Tag Archives: Queensland

Miller Tech’s battery-electric Relays start up at BMA’s Broadmeadow coal operation

Miller Technology has announced the sale and delivery of the first BEV Relays to BHP Mitsubishi Alliance’s Broadmeadow operation in Queensland, Australia.

This battery-powered light duty vehicle (LDV) is capable of completing its bulk charge in less than 20 minutes, providing enough range to complete a typical mining shift of 10 hours, according to Miller. The regenerative braking capability, meanwhile, can add up to two hours in a mine with optimised topology.

This run time and fast charging is made possible by an advanced battery management system (BMS), which monitors battery temperature, with its enclosed refrigeration temperature monitoring system keeping the temperature within the optimal narrow temperature range. The BMS responds instantly to varied demands, while charging and in use, helping the Relay to provide 10 years of battery life, according to Miller.

James Palmer, BMA President, said: “The new electric transporters are a major step towards safer and more sustainable underground workings. This is another positive step in our journey to achieve zero emissions by the year 2050.”

Darren Wood, Project Manager BMA, added: “Diesel machines create a real hazard in an underground mine and we’ve been on a journey over the past four years to reduce these diesel particulate matter emissions in the ventilation system. We’re thrilled to have found the perfect solution in these battery-electric vehicles, which will be used by our maintenance personnel to travel in ‘negligible-explosion risk zones’ throughout the underground mine.

“Hopefully, within the next two years, we will have electric vehicle options available that can enter all areas of our underground coal mines. We couldn’t be more excited to be at the forefront of these new global initiatives.”

Miller’s BEV Relays are not yet certified as ‘Explosion/Flame Proof’ in Australia, but IM understands the company is working on achieving this certification in around the next 18 months. The electric LDV has previously had a trial run at Alamos Gold’s Young-Davidson mine in Ontario, Canada.

Miller Technology said: “Unlike traditional battery-electric vehicle mining LDVs, which are modifications of donor vehicles, typically Toyota’s Land Cruiser, the ground-up design of the Relay BEV has meant ‘everything that is mining’ has been incorporated into every aspect of the design and production.”

(Photo: Daryl Wright)

The Canada-based company says it has invested over a decade of research and development into the Relay BEV, focusing on serviceability and modularity, with a rugged design and construction. The Relay BEV was designed completely in-house by Miller Technology and uses an RESS (Rechargeable Energy Storage System). The system is rated for a maximum continuous 3C charging rate and maximum continuous discharge rate of 5C.

“Utilising the CCS (Combined Charging Strategy) protocol via Combo-2 connection and NMC-G cells (nickel manganese cobalt cathode and graphite anode) offers charging with the most convenient and most widely adopted chargers worldwide,” the company said.

Power is directed to a mid-mounted motor with dual drive output shafts providing 150 kW (peak) to both front and rear differentials. With a drive shaft exiting each end of the electric motor, the 4×4 system minimises moving parts and negates the need for a transfer case, capitalising on drivetrain reliability and power efficiencies, according to the company.

The dual-cab configuration can accommodate four mining-equipped, work-ready adults comfortably and can carry a 2 t payload. Around 1,550 Nm of torque is available from the motor, with the ability to offer the same drivetrain in the Miller Technology BEV Underground Grader.

A ROPS/FOPS Level 2 structure is integrated into the cabin structure, while telemetry diagnostics are data logged on board and transmitted to a control room through Wi-Fi or LTE networks. The data transfer is bi-directional, enabling on-board software to be updated remotely from a control room or mobile tablet.

Paul Summers, Lead BEV Engineer, Miller Technology, said: “The technology in the Relay creates a game-changing vehicle. The unique BMS battery management system and cooling/temperature monitoring process offers a vehicle at the top of its game that is environmentally friendly and the safest, most efficient vehicle of its kind available today.”

Bis to provide tailored equipment solution for Anglo American Capcoal contract

Australia-based Bis has secured a new multi-year contract for Anglo American’s Capcoal operations near Middlemount, in the Bowen Basin of Queensland.

The off-road haulage, materials handling and site services contract is the latest in an ongoing relationship between Anglo and Bis that spans more than 20 years.

The contract will see Bis supply a tailored high payload equipment solution for the operation’s rejects haulage. Additionally, the company will deliver site services including road maintenance, dust mitigation and run of mine equipment feed, as well as haulage of topsoil, rock and run of mine coal as required.

Bis Chief Executive Officer, Brad Rogers, said the company’s ability to provide a tailored haulage and logistics solution, specific to this operation, was a key factor in securing the new contract.

“We have a long history of integrating customisable OEM innovations and existing solutions to deliver against specific customer objectives. This competency continues to drive operational efficiencies and reduce costs for our customers. It’s a formula that works.

“For instance, the specific higher payload capacity solution put forward for this project delivers significant advantages for Anglo American. It means a reduction in the total equipment required, vehicle movements and fuel consumption; all three of which directly contribute towards improved safety, sustainability and productivity outcomes for the customer.”

The range of tailored equipment incorporated to deliver the project includes double trailer configuration haulers, wheel loaders, graders, water trucks and a compaction roller.

The fleet is fitted with the latest Bis safety and productivity management systems, including Trifecta, which is a new in-cabin artificial intelligence driver and vehicle monitoring software developed with EDGE3 Technologies. The system collects and analyses data in real time to improve both safety and productivity. The system collects, analyses and reports driver behaviours such as drowsiness, mobile phone use, smartwatch use, smoking, seatbelt and other violations. Trifecta then ‘learns’ over time to pre-empt high risk incidents in real-time through alerts to drivers and supervisors. Bis says it has exclusive rights to use and sell the system across a range of markets.

On site mobilisation for this new contract is expected to commence from August.

AECI Australia cements Thiess relationship with five-year contract extension

AECI Australia has been awarded a five-year contract extension by contract miner Thiess for the supply of bulk emulsion explosives, initiating systems and related services for mines in Queensland and New South Wales.

This contract consolidates AECI’s base business in Australia and further strengthens the relationship between the two companies, which began in 2014 when AECI entered Australia to support this major mining customer, AECI said. The two also have long-standing partnerships in Indonesia and in several countries in Africa.

The Australian contract, using AECI’s existing in-country capabilities and infrastructure, includes supply of bulk emulsion explosives formulations produced at AECI’s site in Bajool, Queensland, as well as gassing technology for down-the-hole delivery by Thiess; supply of ammonium nitrate; and supply of the Intellishot® electronic initiating system and booster.

Mark Dytor, AECI Chief Executive, said: “AECI Australia is celebrating the achievement of seven years worked without a lost-time injury. We are proud to deliver a safer, innovative and cost-effective product offering that enables ‘One AECI, for a better world’. Better Mining is one of our sustainability goals because we recognise the importance of making global mining safer and more circular. Significant opportunities exist and we look forward to realising more of these in collaboration with customers such as Thiess.”

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.”