Tag Archives: Perenti Group

Perenti plants roots in USA on North America contract mining potential

Perenti Group has targeted the North America market for further contract mining growth, establishing a US office in the first half of its 2021 financial year.

The office, thought to be in Denver, Colorado, will help the company make the most of the substantial pipeline it has identified in North America.

The news came during the company’s first half results to the end of December 2020, which showed off revenue of A$1.01 billion ($799 million) and EBITDA of A$201 million.

Noting strong growth in its underground business and a contraction in its Africa surface business (most of which is tied to its AMS subsidiary), the company said it had won A$1.1 billion of new work and extensions since July 1, 2020, while its orderbook was around A$5.5 billion and its pipeline was circa-A$9.2 billion.

Within this global pipeline, A$2.1 billion was in the North America region, Perenti said. This was made up of 14 projects, three of which were at the tendering stage. Overall, 14% of the pipeline was from the US and 9% was in Canada.

The company, through its Barminco subsidiary, won its first “significant” North America contract last year when it signed on to an underground contract mining agreement at Barrick Gold’s Hemlo mine in Ontario, Canada (pictured).

In other news, the company said increased demand for its MinAnalytical mineral sample processing had been registered in the six months to the end of December, with record PhotonAssay processing recorded in December 2020.

The company also said it was “progressing alternative service offerings” during 2021.

Ausdrill gets hands on with hands-off-steel diamond drilling tech

With Ausdrill having recently added a Boart Longyear LF160 drill rig and FL262 FREEDOM™ LOADER combination to its diamond drilling fleet in Australia, IM caught up with Eric Gobbert, Senior Operations Manager, Exploration, to find out more about the company’s ‘hands-off-steel’ initiatives.

The newest coring rig – capable of pulling a 4.5 m sample – comes with a tilting top drive head to simplify rod handling, a foot clamp and braking device, and visible wireline. This is the second LF160 in Ausdrill’s portfolio, and a third rig is on the way. Meanwhile, the company is actively exploring a similar system capable of offering 6 m samples.

One rig is currently active at a Queensland coal operation, with the second at a nickel operation in the Goldfields of Western Australia. The third is expected to go to the Pilbara iron ore sector.

It is the combination of the LF160 with the FL262 FREEDOM LOADER that is bringing safety benefits to Ausdrill and its customers.

With totally hands-free rod handling, the combined rig and loader require no intervention from the driller’s assistant to trip in and align the rods or connect to the top drive head – thus offering greater freedom to drill by reducing the risk of hand and back injuries while handling rods. This freedom of movement comes as a result of the FREEDOM LOADER’s remote-control panel, which allows drillers to move to – and work from – a safer location away from the risks of moving rods.

“It’s a good innovation and has enabled us to provide a much-needed solution,” Gobbert said.

Ausdrill, a Perenti company, was encouraged to adopt this new diamond drilling technology as part of its own commitment to developing the mines of the future in partnership with clients. “Most companies have technology roadmaps with a strong safety vision. These roadmaps outline the future expectations for increased safety of exploration drill rigs,” Gobbert told IM.

Exploration drilling is an obvious place for Tier 1 miners to look to for safety improvements. A manual and repetitive job, traditional diamond drilling comes with many injuries as a result of drillers and offsiders removing and inserting heavy drill rods into the rigs. While automating part of the exploration drilling process may not provide the same financial payback as automating haul trucks or blasthole rigs, it does significantly reduce risk to personnel.

Gobbert agrees: “If you look at the drill inserts and the ongoing safety risks associated with being a driller’s offsider, or drilling in general, reducing the whole hands-on steel process and going down the automated or autonomous path makes sense.”

It is improving safety that is the real aim of leveraging such technology, according to Gobbert.

“De-risking the manual handling component is the real winning aspect of this,” he said. “We all want to achieve our business aims, but more importantly ensure our staff and our client’s staff are safe in the process.”

And, by reducing these risks, companies are ensuring continuity of operations, with personnel less likely to obtain the injuries that so often come with diamond drilling.

“Safety has always been at the centre of our technological drive – we understand that a safe project is a successful project,” Gobbert said.

This is not Ausdrill’s first foray into hands-off-steel diamond drilling. Drill Rigs Australia, an Ausdrill subsidiary up until July, previously engineered a similar style rod presenting system on one of its rigs at a Tier 1 client’s operation. Gobbert says the rig is still successfully operating – a full five years on.

“Ausdrill has a 30+ year history of designing and customising fleet to suit the needs of our clients and the swiftly-evolving market,” Gobbert says. “Today, we work in partnership with our clients, OEMs and third-party tech service providers to bring a bespoke combination of fleet and equipment, geared specifically to the needs of each project. Our project success and notable safety records showcase just how well we are delivering on our intentions, and tracking along our roadmap.”

Barminco wins 18-month, A$140 million contract extension at MMG’s Dugald River mine

Barminco has agreed the terms of a variation and extension to its development and production contract at MMG’s Dugald River zinc-lead mine, in north Queensland, Australia.

In addition to several amended contract conditions, the variation extends the term of the contract by 18 months to December 31, 2022, with two, one-year options to extend further. The value of the 18-month extension for Perenti’s hard-rock underground miner is approximately A$140 million ($103 million).

Barminco has been operating at Dugald River since 2012. IM recently reported MMG and Barminco were trialling an automated Sandvik LHD at the mine to further boost production.

Barminco’s Chief Executive Officer, Paul Muller, said: “We are excited to continue our relationship with MMG, which began in 2001 at the Rosebery mine in Tasmania. Dugald River has been a significant project for Barminco since commencement during 2012, and this extension will take our valued relationship with MMG to over 20 years.”

Perenti Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer, Mark Norwell, said Perenti had a “robust” tender pipeline of A$8.8 billion and its Underground Industry Sector Group had secured more the A$540 million in contract extensions this financial year.

Downer suspends mining business review on market volatility

Downer EDI Ltd says it will suspend the review process relating to its mining business due to the “extraordinary market volatility caused by the COVID-19 pandemic”.

The company announced back in August that it was undertaking a review of its portfolio and that its Mining business would be an important area of focus, explaining that the process would include evaluation of a potential sale.

Grant Fenn, Chief Executive Officer of Downer, said its Mining business was currently performing well.

“As we said when we announced the portfolio review, Downer’s Mining business is a leader in Australia with a proven track record and it is well positioned to build on its strong market position and pipeline of work,” he said.

Contract wins since the company announced the review process include a five-year contract extension at the Meandu coal mine in Queensland, circa-A$165 million ($102 million) in contracts from Alinta Energy related to the solar project at Fortescue Metals Group’s Chichester Hub iron ore operations in Western Australia, and a two-year extension at BHP Billiton Mitsubishi Alliance’s Goonyella Riverside coal mine in Queensland.

Perenti, which advised the ASX on February 5 that it “was considering a potential acquisition of Downer Mining”, also said it had “suspended participation in the sale process” conducted by Downer due to current market conditions.

Panoramic looks to Barminco for Savannah nickel-copper-cobalt ramp up

Perenti’s hard-rock underground mining subsidiary, Barminco, has been selected as the preferred contractor by Panoramic Resources at its Savannah nickel-copper-cobalt project in the Kimberley region of Western Australia.

The contract, worth around A$200 million ($135 million), will see Barminco carry out mine development, production, and haulage over a three-year term. Work is expected to commence in March 2020.

Barminco anticipates it will employ around 170 people for the project and use predominately new equipment, which has been included in the capital guidance previously provided, to deliver the project.

Savannah, 110 km north of Halls Creek in Western Australia, saw mining operations recommence in December 2018, with the first shipment of concentrate departing Wyndham in February 2019. The miner is currently developing the higher-grade Savannah North orebody focusing on high speed development and a ramp up to full production in 2020, Perenti said.

Perenti Managing Director, Mark Norwell, said: “This project demonstrates our ability to capture organic growth opportunities, with the Barminco business now well integrated into the Perenti group whilst further embedding itself as a leader in underground mining.”

Underground Chief Executive Officer, Paul Muller, added: “We look forward to working closely with Panoramic Resources in driving the development of the Savannah North orebody safely and efficiently as it ramps up to full production.”

Ausdrill kicks off Middlemount coal contract

Perenti’s Ausdrill says it has officially started a three-year contract at the Yancoal/Peabody-owned Middlemount coal mine in Queensland, Australia.

Two new Caterpillar MD6310 rotary blasthole drills (pictured) are up and running, as of January 1, as part of a full turnkey drill and blast contract for the client, Ausdrill said.

Middlemount produces low volatile pulverised coal injection coal and hard coking coal, with contracted rail and port capacity through Dalrymple Bay Coal Terminal and Abbot Point Port, in Queensland.

It is an open-pit mine, 90 km northeast of Emerald in Queensland’s Bowen Basin. Full scale operations commenced in November 2011, with mining activities using conventional truck and shovel techniques.

 

 

Barminco turns Perth head office into remote operations centre

Leading underground mining services provider Barminco, a subsidiary of Perenti, says it has successfully piloted a new operations centre that allows it to remotely operate underground equipment on a client’s mine site anywhere around the world.

In what the company believes to be a world first, Barminco operated a machine, working underground, from its head office in Perth at a client mine site in the Goldfields of Western Australia.

“The innovation was made more impressive given the remote operation occurred via the internet, instead of through a fibre-optic cable, which is the method that mine owner-operators have historically used,” the company said.

Barminco Chief Executive Officer, Paul Muller, announced the achievement at the third annual Sandvik Digitalization in Mining Event, in Brisbane, Australia, this week.

Muller said: “Barminco has cemented its place as one of the world’s leading underground mining service providers through the use of technology and automation.

“A key strategic initiative under our parent company, Perenti’s, 2025 strategy is to deliver a ‘technology driven future’, and our ability to remotely operate underground machinery from our head office is a significant achievement in delivering on that strategy.”

The Barminco Remote Operating Centre, or BROC, was successfully trialled in collaboration with Sandvik and Independence Group (IGO) back in July. It was trialled in the early morning at Barminco’s Head Office in Hazlemere for a machine located at IGO’s Nova nickel-copper-cobalt mine site, almost 1,000 km away.

Barminco General Manager Technology and Innovation, Darren Kwok, said the trial was a great success.

“Whilst many mine sites have operators remotely operating equipment from the mine’s surface, we are one of the first, if not the first service provider, to operate underground equipment on a client’s site from a much greater distance,” Kwok said.

“BROC enables us to connect multiple sites and operators at the same time, meaning if there is an issue at any point, we have contingencies in place.”

Barminco’s first trial involved the remote operation of a Sandvik LH517 LHD being operated in Perth by Barminco employee, Guy Gilbert, and Kwok said Barminco was now working with IGO to make BROC a permanent fixture at its Nova mine site.

“The advantages in improving the safety of our workplace and the efficiencies for our clients are enormous,” Kwok said.

Independence Group Chief Operating Officer, Matt Dusci, said the company was thrilled to be part of the successful trial, which is all part of the company’s ‘IGO – Smart Solutions’ initiatives.

“At IGO, we continually look for ways to improve how we do business and deliver operational excellence. By integrating innovative Smart Solutions at our operations, such as working with Barminco on BROC, we improve the safety and wellbeing of our people, realise step change opportunities, and optimise efficiencies and productivity,” Dusci said.

Kwok added: “Our future plan is to have a dedicated remote operating centre manned 24/7 where our team and our client’s people can work collaboratively side by side to deliver a world-class mine site.

“Clients who work with Barminco should expect more from our business along with the broader Perenti group of companies and BROC is one such example of how we are delivering on this promise.”

The Sandvik event concludes on December 4 and showcases best practice examples of industry leaders integrating digitalisation into their operations across the mining, construction and quarrying industries.

The announcement comes just over a week after Barminco was awarded Large Employer of the Year 2019 at the National Australian Training Awards in Brisbane.

Barminco and Sandvik in mobile raiseboring world first

Barminco, part of the Perenti Group, says it has become the first company globally to have taken delivery of a mobile raiseboring machine with uphole, downhole, and back reaming capability.

The hardrock underground mining services provider has been using Sandvik’s new Rhino 100 Mobile Raise Boring machine for 18 months in Ghana and three months in Australia, and has now added a module enabling back reaming capability to the machine.

The Rhino 100 is a fully mechanised and self-contained electro-hydraulic mobile raiseborer designed for slot raising in underground mining. Up until now, a back reaming module had not been used anywhere in the world on this rig, Barminco said.

Mick Radi, Barminco’s General Manager of Mining, said the new module – which had already been deployed at AngloGold Ashanti Sunrise Dam gold mine, in Western Australia – would enable safe, efficient upward and downward drilling providing maximum flexibility for clients.

“We are thrilled Barminco is offering a world first for our clients. The new plug and play back reaming module gives us the capability to quickly change from an uphole slotting machine to a conventional back reaming raisebore machine,” he said.

“The mobile carrier enables the Rhino to be totally self sufficient with no requirement for other fleet to assist in rig moves. Fast set up times and high drilling productivity is helping us to derisk our clients production plans and increase the certainty of meeting targets.”

Radi said the company had been successful using our Rhino 100 Mobile Raise Boring machine on its client’s sites in the Goldfields region of Western Australia and its plan was to keep the machine in this region where there is demand for this capability.

“The addition of this new module is just one of many ways Barminco is providing innovative solutions for clients, such as AngloGold Ashanti,” he said. “We have been working with AngloGold for 14 years and by providing this new capability we are helping them improve their operations to be even more efficient and safe.”

Bryan Watson, Manager Mining from AngloGold Ashanti, said the module was already making a significant difference on site.

“This new piece of equipment saves us time, is safer, and will assist us achieving production targets at Sunrise Dam,” Watson said. “We appreciate Barminco’s approach to working with us as a client to help us achieve more efficiencies on site.”

The down drilling module drills a pilot hole at 279 mm, up to a depth of 200 m. This can then be reamed to a diameter of 660 mm or back reamed to a diameter of 1.06 m. Back reaming can be achieved to a depth of 100 m with hole angles at a maximum of  15° dump, and 30° to either side from vertical.

The setup time for the machine is two hours, compared with a three to four day set up for a conventional raiseboring machine.