Tag Archives: Queensland

Jord International addresses pressing issues for BMA Caval Ridge

Jord International has recently taken up a challenge from BHP to come up with a safer solution to filter press maintenance at the Caval Ridge metallurgical coal mine, in Queensland, Australia, as part of the New South Wales-based company’s expanding remit to unlock new technologies for the wider mining industry.

The plant and systems designer, developer and service provider was awarded the project, part of BHP’s Supplier Innovation Program challenge, earlier this year. It has seen Jord design and construct the first concept prototype in tandem with the maintenance team at the mine.

The prototype comprised a belt cartridge installer within a self-contained steel frame that holds a new belt and removes the old, damaged belt. The first commercial belt installer is expected to be in use by July, according to BMA.

Craig Samuel, Jord’s Mechanical Engineer for Aftermarket and Reliability, said the filters the company worked with at BMA Caval Ridge are 3 m wide x 5 m long, with the product path through the filter around 14 m long. While the solution was designed for Caval Ridge specifically, he said it could have applications on any site or with any commodity using filter presses.

“The idea came from the understanding of how the filter belts are installed, and a cartridge-style installer just made sense considering Caval Ridge has a readily available crane to move the cartridge around,” Samuel told IM. “The mechanics of the installer required some out-of-the-box ideas to develop a continuously variable speed ratio between the new belt roll and the old belt roll.”

Samuel said he expected the belt change time to be cut in half with this new solution.

Jord has already applied for another BHP Supplier Innovation Program challenge that could leverage a dust management and cleaning innovation, but the company has also been investing in research and development to commercialise new minerals beneficiation technologies for more efficient and effective liberation of ore, according to Kevin Barber, Jord’s General Manager of Resources.

“Our goal is to unlock new technologies that provide step-change improvements to current processes in the industry,” he said of these new technologies. “It’s about using less energy, using less water and removing some of the environmental challenges with particular focus on tailings. We’re finding alternative ways of dealing with problematic ores and resources.”

Macmahon to start mining Anglo’s Dawson South met coal mine

Macmahon Holdings says it has been selected to provide surface mining services at Anglo American’s majority-owned Dawson metallurgical coal mine in Queensland, Australia, starting from July.

The work at the Dawson South operations, which forms part of the Dawson Mine, an open-pit met coal mine owned in a joint venture between Anglo American and Japan’s Mitsui Group, will generate around A$200 million ($153 million) in revenue over the three-year term, Macmahon said.

Signing of the mining services agreement is expected to occur in the near future, the company added.

Macmahon’s CEO and Managing Director, Michael Finnegan, said: “We are very pleased to be selected for the Dawson South operation by Anglo American, a leading global mining company. We look forward to working very closely with our new client to ensure a smooth transition period and continuity of safe operations. This new project further strengthens our growing east coast presence.”

NRW’s Golding to keep mining Wonbindi Coal’s Baralaba North operation

NRW Holdings Ltd says its wholly owned subsidiary, Golding Contractors Pty Ltd, has received a 12-month extension to its existing agreement with Wonbindi Coal Pty Ltd at the Baralaba North coal mine, in Queensland, Australia.

The award adds approximately A$120 million ($92 million) to the existing contract, which now extends to June 2022.

The extension cements the relationship between Golding and Wonbindi Coal where Golding has provided the contract mining services at the mine, maintaining and operating a wholly client owned fleet of equipment, producing an ultra-low volatile pulverised coal injection product since 2018. This original contract included overall mine planning; the removal of topsoil; drilling, blasting, loading and hauling overburden; loading and hauling of coal; and handling coal through the crushing and screening plant.

Mastermyne’s Aquila coking coal contract extended by Anglo

Anglo American has extended the stay of Mastermyne Group at its Aquila coking coal project in Queensland, Australia, with the ASX-listed contractor set to continue development of the underground mine for at least the next 12 months.

Mastermyne has been engaged since August 2019 to undertake roadway development in the mains and gate roads, and all outbye related services for the establishment of the new longwall operation at Aquila.

The contract variation will extend the current contract to March 2022 and includes the operation of an additional roadway development unit.

Mastermyne currently employs 178 full-time personnel under the contract, with a further increase of around 60 full-time personnel required for the operation of the additional roadway development unit. Up to half of the personnel for this third development unit at Aquila mine will be relocated from Anglo’s Moranbah North coal mine (currently suspended), following the completion of planned activities. Mobilisation of the additional workforce at Aquila will be completed by March 2021.

The contractor says it continues to supply development equipment from its fleet, including a continuous miner and ancillary development equipment for the project.

Total revenue generated from the variation and extension to the mining contract is expected to be approximately A$60 million ($47 million).

Mastermyne CEO, Tony Caruso, said “We have been working to deliver major underground infrastructure and roadways safely and efficiently, and we look forward to continuing our work with Anglo American to deliver their new longwall project, producing premium high-quality hard coking coal.”

Anglo’s 70%-owned Aquila project will extend the life of its existing Capcoal underground operations by six years and continue to use the associated infrastructure at the Capcoal complex as its nearby Grasstree mine approaches end of life, Anglo says. The project is scheduled for first longwall production of coking coal in early 2022.

Sedgman books tailings dewatering work at QCoal’s Byerwen coal mine

CIMIC Group’s minerals processing company, Sedgman, has been awarded a contract to design and construct a tailings dewatering facility at QCoal’s Byerwen coal mine in central Queensland, Australia.

The project will result in a lower operational risk profile, less power usage, and improved water recovery and management of dewatering chemicals, Sedgman says.

Sedgman Managing Director, Grant Fraser, said: “We are pleased to continue working with QCoal with a key focus on reducing impacts and undertaking environmentally responsible practices. The tailings dewatering contract at Byerwen is a great opportunity to achieve joint goals in ESG, an important focus for the industry.”

Construction work for the Byerwen mine will commence this month and the project will conclude in mid-2022.

Back in October, Sedgman was awarded two contract extensions by QCoal to continue to operate and maintain its Sonoma and Byerwen mines processing plants in Queensland.

Castillo Copper eyes recommencement of mining at Big One Deposit

Castillo Copper Ltd says it is looking to recommence mining at the Big One Deposit in Queensland, Australia, following positive assay results and highly favourable forward global demand for copper.

The company will start to prepare the groundwork for this milestone, it said, with the pending release of an inaugural JORC compliant resource for Big One one of the next major developments. Alongside this, the Castillo board is also firming up plans to apply for a mining lease.

Castillo’s strategic intent to recommence mining operations is supported, it says, by Big One Deposit’s key fundamental attributes:

  • A demonstrable high-grade shallow copper system that was previously mined in 1997 – producing 4,400 t of supergene ore, averaging 3.5% Cu – via several open pits;
  • Recent and historical drilling campaigns that have produced “exceptional” high-grade intercepts; and
  • Its location in the renowned Mount Isa copper belt, which has supportive mining infrastructure and third-party processors with excess milling capacity Castillo is now actively canvassing.

As part of its next steps, Castillo Copper now plans to carry out further work to extend known mineralisation and Big One Deposit’s potential scale, commencing with an induced polarisation survey to identify incremental test-drill targets.

Once ground conditions improve, post the wet-season, drilling will also resume at the Big One Deposit, then move to Arya prospect which has an interpreted 130 m thick potential massive sulphide anomaly (1,500 m by 450 m) that, the company says, is highly prospective for copper mineralisation.

Simon Paull, Managing Director of Castillo Copper, said: “The combination of excellent, high-grade assay results and buoyant global demand for copper means the board is prepared to step up its strategic intent for Big One Deposit.

“We are highly optimistic that the next phase of planned exploratory work has the potential to further extend known mineralisation and build out this high-grade shallow copper system. Consequently, the board believes it is prudent to start preparing the groundwork to potentially recommence mining operations.”

Water treatment plant starts up at Anglo American’s Aquila met coal project

Anglo American’s Metallurgical Coal business says it is now operating the first of two state-of-the art reverse osmosis (RO) water treatment plants at its Aquila project in the Bowen Basin, Queensland.

The aim of the RO plants is to reduce the use of fresh water in its mining operations.

Chief Executive Officer of Anglo American’s Metallurgical Coal business, Tyler Mitchelson, said the A$5 million ($3.9 million) water treatment system was currently treating two megalitres of mine affected water (MAW) a day and supporting construction of the Aquila Mine, near Middlemount in central Queensland.

“A key target in Anglo American’s global Sustainable Mining Plan is to reduce our reliance on fresh water by 50% by 2030 across our mine sites, and I’m pleased to say Aquila is currently sourcing recycled water during construction of the mine,” Mitchelson said.

“A planned second RO plant will to be used to recycle a further 2.4 megalitres of MAW – once Aquila becomes operational in early 2022, more than doubling capacity and helping to reduce the reliance on water from local sources during times of drought.

“Aquila will be one of the world’s most technologically advanced underground mines and will showcase our innovation-led approach to sustainable mining. The project is currently supporting 500 jobs.”

Aquila, owned 70% by Anglo and 30% by Mitsui & Co Ltd, will extend the life of Anglo’s existing Capcoal underground operations by six years and continue to use the associated infrastructure at the Capcoal complex as its nearby Grasstree Mine approaches end of life, Anglo says. The mine will also continue to adopt Anglo American’s FutureSmart Mining™ program, which applies innovative thinking and technological advances to address mining’s major operational and sustainability challenges, the company said. One of the initiatives the company is working on as part of this is remote operation of the longwall; a process the company has trialled at some of its other Bowen Basin coal mines.

Aquila’s Project Director, Tony Willmott, said the A$240 million Aquila Mine was committed to awarding contracts locally.

“Our Aquila project is progressing well, with support from its Queensland-based workforce and contracting partners. More than 90% of our Aquila contracts have been awarded to Queensland-based suppliers,” Willmott said. “Aquila’s integrated network of pipes and pumps is securing the distribution of high-quality water which is necessary in metallurgical coal mining for equipment cooling and coal cutting operations.”

Heritage Minerals smashes Dando Terrier percussive drilling depth record

The Heritage Minerals team, led by Drilling Manager, Shane Charlton, has been achieving depths of 46 m with high-quality 86 mm samples using Dando Drilling’s Terrier percussive drill rig, the drilling manufacturer says.

The depth is a record for the Terrier rig, according to Dando.

Heritage Minerals is currently working on the historied Mount Morgan mine in Queensland, Australia. One of Australia’s oldest mines, Mount Morgan was active from 1882 through to the 1980s. In the process, tens of millions of tonnes of tailings were generated.

Today, these tailings present both a problem and an opportunity; a problem because they were subject to old, polluting technologies for processing gold, but an opportunity because they still contain reserves of gold, copper and other minerals.

Heritage Minerals is employing innovative processing technologies such as ReCYN, developed by partner GreenGold Engineering, to clean pollutants from the tailings and returning them to safe land.

It was this technology and the tailings recovery aim IM recently focused on for an in-depth article on Mount Morgan.

Heritage chose a Dando Terrier rig to sample the tailings at Mount Morgan for several reasons, Dando said.

“Foremost, the unconsolidated geology of tailing fines is very hard to sample with conventional rotary equipment,” it said. “The Terrier’s Duplex Sampling System, which is driven into the ground by a 64 kg anvil and simultaneously cases-off and samples, provides excellent recovery in this type of unconsolidated geology for metallurgical and in-situ density measurements.”

Charlton proved and refined the drilling method he used in the mineral sands of Kalimantan, Indonesia, where he sampled alluvials to over 20 m for lab analysis, Dando says. This is an impressive feat for a rig that has a large user base for geotechnical sampling, standard penetration testing and dynamic probe testing, most often at depths of less than 15 m.

More than doubling this to 45 m was no easy task, Charlton explained: “At depth, it took almost 10 minutes to trip the drive rods and retrieve the sample, but the quality of the sample and the economies in terms of cost per metre offset the sometimes slow drilling.”

Heritage has recently purchased a second Terrier rig from a Dando customer in Australia and Charlton has made some modifications to the design to facilitate drilling beyond the original specifications of the rig.

“We’ve fitted a permanent casing extractor to help pull sample tubes and casing if they get stuck, as well as modifications to assist with tripping rods more quickly,” he said.

To achieve these depths, the team are using a reaming method whereby they sample using an 86 mm windowless sampler tube, and then ream out using a larger 116 mm tube before returning to the 86 mm sampler to continue. This reduces frictional forces along the side of the borehole and abrasive tailing materials, according to Dando.

The percussive hammer system allows sampling without flush, minimising the need for cumbersome mud tanks or air compressors while preventing contamination of the sample or the environment, it added.

Searcher expands into mining space with Queensland airborne survey

Searcher, a leading service provider of global geoscience products for exploration and production companies, has expanded into the mining sector with the completion of an airborne exploration survey in Queensland, Australia, on behalf of copper and gold-focused Longreach Mineral Exploration Pty Ltd.

The new airborne magnetic and radiometric geophysical survey was acquired over Longreach’s exploration permit (EPM27423), around 40 km northeast of Clermont, Queensland. The survey covers 387 sq.km and includes 8,770 km of data acquisition lines.

Searcher was contracted by Longreach to assist with project management. Its input included project planning and survey design, sourcing and contracting MAGSPEC Airborne Surveys Pty Ltd as the principal contractor, management and quality control of the acquisition and processing and interpretation of the final data.

Helen Anderson, Vice President of Minerals for Searcher, said: “Searcher’s extensive knowledge and experience in the petroleum industry is transferable to the mineral sector. We were able to apply this to assist Longreach Mineral Exploration to achieve their exploration goals. We are also excited to be actively reviewing other data acquisition and data services to offer the mineral sector.”

DRA Global to deliver Carmichael coal handling and preparation plant

DRA Global has won its second major contract on the Bravus Mining & Resources-owned Carmichael coal project, in Queensland, Australia, with the engineering firm set to deliver the project’s A$140 million ($108 million) coal processing plant.

Bravus CEO, David Boshoff, said DRA was known for its exceptional service to the Australian resources sector, and previous work on the Carmichael project building the coal handling plant (CHP) had demonstrated its experience and capability.

The coal handling plant (CHP) and the coal preparation plant (CPP) will work together to prepare and process the coal to meet market specifications at Carmichael.

The CPP is designed to process the coal, using recycled water and density separation processes so that the product that goes into market is more energy efficient and environmentally friendly, DRA says.

DRA will carry out the engineering, design and construction of the CHP and the CPP at Carmichael. Included within this is the supply and construction of coal processing infrastructure; supply and construction of coal sizing and conveying equipment; construction of coal stockpiling infrastructure; and construction of the train load out infrastructure to enable loading of trains.

According to the original project description from October 2013 authored by engineering services company GHD, the project’s coal handling and preparation plant has been designed to receive, size and process a maximum throughput of 74.5 Mt/y run of mine coal, producing 60 Mt/y of product coal. However, this is the maximum approved production level. Initial mine production will be 10 Mt/y with a surface mine capacity of 40 Mt/y, rising to 60 Mt/y when the underground mine comes online.

DRA Global CEO, Andrew Naude, said: “DRA is delighted to have been awarded an additional major contract on the Carmichael project and to be able to continue creating employment opportunities and supporting the Central Queensland region.”

Boshoff said: “The CHP resizes the coal and the CPP processes the coal to meet final product quality requirements and in doing so it is more energy efficient and environmentally friendly. It is these facilities that will see Carmichael coal become some of the better-quality coal from around the world.”

He added: “Every week we are reaching exciting new major milestones on the Carmichael mine and rail projects bringing us a step closer to the reality of completion. We are on track and looking forward to producing first coal in 2021.”