Tag Archives: Roy Hill

Civmec to construct Mount Holland lithium concentrate refinery

Civmec Ltd has been issued with a notice of award for a major construction contract in the resources sector at the Covalent Lithium Pty Ltd joint venture in Western Australia, as well as several infrastructure and maintenance projects, raising its order book to more than A$1.15 billion ($823 million).

The major construction contract is for the Mount Holland lithium project in Western Australia being undertaken by subsidiaries of Wesfarmers and Sociedad Química y Minera de Chile SA through the 50:50 joint venture manager Covalent Lithium Pty Ltd.

The Mount Holland mine site will produce lithium concentrate, which will be transported to a refinery that Civmec has been tasked to construct. The refinery, to be located at Kwinana in Western Australia and within 10 km of Civmec’s flagship heavy engineering facilities in Henderson, will convert the lithium concentrate into high-purity lithium hydroxide monohydrate. Covalent says the refinery operations are expected to have an 85% recovery of the lithium contained in the spodumene concentrate, with the capacity to produce around 45,000 t/y of battery-quality lithium hydroxide.

The scope of work being undertaken by Civmec covers most disciplines performed by Civmec including structural and piping fabrication, SMP erection, refractory lining, insulation and E&I installation works.

Civmec expects to commence work on this project in 2022, with completion expected in 2024.

On top of this, the company says it has also continued to make traction in our efforts to secure more market share in the maintenance area on both the East and West coast of Australia with a new contract award for maintenance services for Glencore’s Murrin Murrin operations. It is also getting more work for maintenance and shutdowns from long-term client Roy Hill, and has recently completed work for a nickel producer in the Goldfields region of Western Australia.

Civmec’s Chief Executive Officer, Patrick Tallon, said: “Demand for heavy engineering and construction services in the private and public sectors in Australia remains strong and these new contracts underscore, yet again, our strength as a top-tier contractor. Our efforts to generate more recurring income are also paying off as we are getting more work involving maintenance and capital works from both existing and new clients.”

CSI to deploy ‘innovative’ screening solution at Roy Hill iron ore operations

CSI Mining Services (CSI), a wholly owned subsidiary of Mineral Resources Limited (MRL), has been awarded a mining services contract by Roy Hill at its iron ore operation in Western Australia’s Pilbara region.

This new contract builds on CSI’s long-standing relationship with Roy Hill, which has seen CSI provide crushing and screening works since early project inception. The new contract will see CSI deliver an expanded scope of work which includes crushing, screening and haulage services.

CSI says it is uniquely positioned as a key service provider to Roy Hill given its strong track record of exceeding performance targets and detailed understanding of the mine and its operational processes and procedures.

In delivering the new contract CSI will deploy an innovative new screening solution to deliver industry-leading efficiencies to the project. The screening solution is an exclusive product to CSI and is not available on the market, giving CSI a distinct design advantage.

Mineral Resources’ Chief Executive Mining Services, Mike Grey, said: “We are very pleased to be selected as preferred mining contractor by Roy Hill to provide safe and efficient crushing, screening and haulage services, following the successful completion of our previous contract.

“Our track record at the operation demonstrates that we can mobilise quickly and exceed production targets, while maintaining an industry leading safety record.

“Our mining services business has delivered strong growth year-on-year and this new contract for Roy Hill reinforces CSI’s position as a market leading mining services contractor.”

Roy Hill Chief Operating Officer, Anthony Kirke, said: “CSI has been a valued partner to Roy Hill since February 2017, initially providing crushing services, followed by the addition of screening and associated haulage services for our Direct Shipped Ore. CSI’s agility in responding to changing operational requirements, commitment to innovation and continuous improvement and alignment with our values have resulted in positive outcomes for Roy Hill.

“The award of this new and expanded multi-year contract reflects the strong relationship between our two companies and we look forward to the deployment of CSI’s new screening solution at our mine site.”

Hancock, Mineral Resources and Roy Hill consider Australia-first infrastructure sharing pact

Hancock Prospecting Pty Ltd and Mineral Resources Ltd have entered into a legally binding agreement under which they will jointly investigate the potential to develop a new iron ore export facility at Port Hedland’s Stanley Point berth 3 in South West Creek.

The agreement would see Roy Hill Holdings, a Hancock subsidiary, provide services to both MRL and Hancock for development and operation of the project, including rail haulage and port services.

MRL said: “The project aligns with MRL’s strategy to unlock stranded deposits in the Pilbara by developing pit-to-port solutions and expanding its capability to be a long-term, low-cost sustainable supplier of iron ore to international markets.”

Hancock and MRL will conduct an expedited study to assess the economic and technical feasibility of the proposed project in the coming months, to usual market standards, they said.

In addition, Hancock and MRL will seek to undertake discussions with the Government of Western Australia and the Pilbara Ports Authority (PPA) in relation to the potential project. It is acknowledged that in order for the proposed project to proceed, the parties would need to first receive a development approval and a capacity allocation for the project from the PPA to jointly develop and operate Stanley Point berth 3 and other associated supporting port infrastructure.

MRL Managing Director, Chris Ellison (pictured in shot with Hancock Prospecting Executive Chair, Gina Rinehart on screen), said this partnership and infrastructure sharing proposal is the first-of-its-kind in the Australian resources industry and would enable significant value to be unlocked for the company in a sustainable manner.

“Our long-stated strategy is to transition from short-life, high-cost mines to lower-cost, long-life operations underpinned by innovative infrastructure solutions,” he said. “Developing our stranded assets will provide additional growth for MRL’s unique mining services build-own-operate model.”

The project  will be subject to a final investment decision by both parties, and other necessary approvals and agreements (including a lease, licence and an infrastructure development agreement or similar) from the PPA on agreed terms.

Aqura Technologies to expand Private 4G LTE network at Roy Hill

Veris Limited’s wholly-owned subsidiary, Aqura Technologies, has been selected to support Roy Hill in the design, install and commissioning of an expansion of its advanced Private 4G LTE network at its Pilbara iron ore mining operations in Western Australia.

The new project builds upon Aqura’s first phase delivery of Roy Hill’s new Private 4G LTE network in May 2021.

The new A$1.8 million ($1.31 million) project value leverages Aqura’s experience with Roy Hill in the first phase installation and commissioning, it said, building on Aqura’s track record in delivering “leading-edge, high performance Private LTE networks underpinning the digital transformation programs of large-scale operational activities in highly remote locations”.

Aqura Technologies CEO, Travis Young, said: “We are very pleased to have our performance, quality and value-driven approach recognised by Roy Hill through the form of this new contract following the highly successful outcomes delivered in our initial engagement earlier this year.

“The installation and successful commissioning of the first phase within such a short timeframe proved critical in the validation work of Roy Hill’s autonomous haulage and broader digitisation programs.

“Our in-house team is looking forward to continuing to extend the reach of the Roy Hill Private LTE network, which will accelerate the realisation of benefits from their Autonomous Haulage Systems and digital transformation initiatives.”

The project will commence with the design phase in November 2021 with scheduled completion to occur by June 2022.

Back in May, Roy Hill said of the AHS project: “Roy Hill’s autonomous haulage project has completed its initial start-up phase and has moved into production testing at the company’s Pilbara mine. A fleet of seven trucks have been converted using the Epiroc/ASI Mining autonomous haulage solution. This interoperable conversion kit has been fitted to both Hitachi EH5000 and CAT 793F trucks enabling load and haul circuits to commence in a segregated autonomous operating zone.

“Having established a stable haul circuit, work is progressing on optimisation and testing across additional mining scenarios. Another core feature of Roy Hill’s innovative AHS program is an open architecture approach, allowing existing and new systems to work together to deliver superior outcomes. We recently commenced testing the dispatching interface between Roy Hill’s existing fleet management system Wenco and ASI Mining’s Mobius traffic management software.”

SRG captures Rio and Roy Hill contracts in latest tenders

SRG Global Ltd says it has secured seven term contracts valued at around A$110 million ($81 million), including agreements with Rio Tinto and Roy Hill.

Included within this is a three-year contract, with the option for a one-year extension with Roy Hill to provide shutdown maintenance services at its iron ore operations in the Pilbara of Western Australia, commencing immediately.

It has also been granted two separate 18-month contracts with Rio; one to carry out shutdown scaffolding services at its QAL alumina refinery, and one to provide access and refractory services at its Yarwun alumina refinery. Both projects have commenced are located in Queensland.

On top of this, the company received a three-year contract at a major nickel and cobalt operation in the Goldfields of Western Australia, where it will provide ad-hoc maintenance support, commencing immediately.

Civmec banks new work from BHP, Roy Hill and Rio Tinto

Civmec Ltd says it has received three notices of award from several repeat mining customers for maintenance and capital works projects collectively worth approximately A$130 million ($97 million).

These orders – from BHP, Roy Hill and Rio Tinto – bring its total order book to about A$1.05 billion as at September 30, 2021.

For BHP, Civmec is to carry out a civil and earthworks job as part of the miner’s Port De-bottlenecking Project Stage 1, which includes a new stockyard planned for the South Yard at Nelson Point, in Port Hedland, Western Australia.

The scope of work includes dewatering, piling, ground improvement, associated earthworks, concrete foundations, new roads, high voltage poles and underground power works.

Civmec says mobilisation will commence this quarter, with completion expected in the March quarter of 2022.

With Roy Hill, Civmec is due to carry out a greenfield construction package related to an extension of the existing Wet High Intensity Magnetic Separation (WHIMS) plant at Roy Hill’s mine site north of Newman, in Western Australia’s Pilbara region.

The scope of work includes greenfield installation and pre-commissioning of pre-assembled modules, piping, electrical and tie-in works. Mobilisation will commence immediately and completion is scheduled for the March quarter of 2022.

At Rio Tinto’s Boyne Island Smelters operation, Civmec is to supply refractory trades and other associated disciplines for maintenance, rebuild and reduction cell reconstruction works on carbon bake furnaces. The contract term is for three years with two one-year extension options.

Civmec’s Chief Executive Officer, Patrick Tallon, said: “We are delighted to secure these project wins with three of our long-term Tier 1 customers. The projects combine multi-year maintenance works along with two projects within our newly formed Maintenance and Capital Works – Resources and Energy area. With the BHP PDP1 project located in the Port Hedland region, it provides an ideal opportunity for Civmec’s newly opened regional branch to support the project, validating Civmec’s recently announced plans to invest in a purpose-built facility in Port Hedland.”

Wabtec FLXdrive battery-electric loco to work at Roy Hill rail network in the Pilbara

Roy Hill, in Western Australia, has announced the purchase of a Wabtec FLXdrive battery-electric locomotive, the world’s first 100% battery, heavy-haul locomotive for the region and the mining industry.

“We are committed to transforming the next generation of transportation by adopting advanced technologies that improve energy efficiency, lower operating costs and improve our rail and mining network,” Gerhard Veldsman, CEO of Roy Hill, says. “The FLXdrive locomotive will be the first for the region and the first for the mining industry and will improve our rail operations from the mine to Port Hedland.”

Roy Hill will receive the newest version of the FLXdrive battery-electric locomotive in 2023 with an energy capacity of 7 MWh. It is an upgrade from the 2.4 MWh prototype that was successfully tested in revenue service with a Class 1 railroad in the USA earlier this year.

Based on the route and Roy Hill’s rail operations, the FLXdrive is anticipated to reduce the company’s fuel costs and emissions in percentage by double digits per train. The ongoing use of the FLXdrive will also reduce ongoing operational costs through maintenance spend.

Simon Pascoe, General Manager of Engineering for Roy Hill, says: “Our analysis with Wabtec confirms the FLXdrive locomotive is ideally suited for our rail network. It has the horsepower to operate in a heavy haul train consist pulling loaded wagons with 35,000 t of iron ore, while at the same time reducing the entire train’s fuel consumption. The FLXdrive also is designed to function in the extreme heat of the Pilbara region.”

Today, Roy Hill uses four Wabtec ES44ACi “Evolution Series” diesel-electric locomotives in a consist to pull trains that are typically 2.7 km in length. The FLXdrive will replace one of the diesel locomotives to form a hybrid consist, and recharge during the trip through regenerative braking.

The FLXdrive manages the overall train energy flow and distribution through its Trip Optimizer system, an intelligent cruise control system programmed through artificial intelligence to respond to every curve and grade of the track in the most energy-efficient way possible, Wabtec says. It is also designed with a special liquid cooling system to withstand the Pilbara heat, where temperatures can reach 55°C.

Wendy McMillan, Regional Senior Vice President Australia and New Zealand for Wabtec, says: “This order demonstrates Roy Hill’s progressive and forward-thinking approach to the mining industry. By adopting this revolutionary technology in region, Roy Hill is pioneering new approaches to its operations that will benefit the company’s bottom line. The FLXdrive is a continuation of our growing partnership and shared vision to bring more efficient solutions to mining and rail industries.”

Wabtec’s goal is to develop the next generation of zero-emission locomotives. The company says it has a clear path to power new locomotives – and repower existing locomotives – with batteries, hydrogen internal combustion engines and hydrogen fuel cells. It is part of Wabtec’s vision for the rail industry to play a key role in building a clean energy economy and will enable the reduction of up to 300 Mt of global carbon emissions.

Rogerio Mendonca, President of Freight Equipment for Wabtec, says: “Controlling emissions is critical in the fight against climate change. The FLXdrive battery-electric locomotive is a bold step toward a low-to-zero-emission locomotive future. We continue working on solutions that cut the overall carbon footprint of the industries we serve through the development of low-emitting locomotives like the FLXdrive, and the use of alternative fuels such as bio-diesel, renewable diesel and hydrogen.”

Charge On Innovation Challenge sparks more miner interest

The organisers of the Charge On Innovation Challenge have reported an overwhelming response to the preliminary phase, which closed on July 31, with 21 mining companies joining as patrons, over 350 companies from across 19 industries registering their interest as vendors, and more than 80 organisations submitting expressions of interest (EOI).

The challenge, a global competition, is expected to drive technology innovators across all industries to develop new concepts and solutions for large-scale haul truck electrification systems aimed at significantly cutting emissions from surface mining. It also aims to demonstrate an emerging market for charging solutions in mining, accelerate commercialisation of solutions and integrate innovations from other industries into the mining sector.

BHP, Rio Tinto, and Vale, facilitated by Austmine, launched the Charge On Innovation Challenge in May of this year, initiating the EOI process on May 18. Since the initial launch, Roy Hill, Teck, Boliden, Thiess, Antofagasta Minerals, Codelco, Freeport McMoRan, Gold Fields and Yancoal came forward as patrons by early July.

The latest release has highlighted another nine miners to join as patrons. This includes Barrick Gold, CITIC Pacific Mining, Evolution Mining, Harmony Gold, Mineral Resources Ltd, Newcrest Mining, OZ Minerals, South32 and Syncrude.

The patrons, supported by Austmine, will assess the proposals over the next month and select a shortlist of vendors who will then formally pitch their challenge solutions.

At least one of these proposals has come from ABB, which confirmed earlier this month that it had submitted its ideas for the challenge using its mine electrification, traction and battery system eand charging infrastructure expertise.

At the end of the pitch phase, the challenge patrons will look to select the most desirable charging concepts identified as having broad industry appeal and application, as well as providing a standard geometry that enables chargers to service trucks from different manufacturers. The first concepts could be ready for site trials in the next few years, according to the organisers.

BHP’s Charge On Innovation Challenge Project Lead, Scott Davis, said: “The Charge On Innovation Challenge is a great example of the current collaborative work being done by the mining industry in seeking solutions to decarbonise mining fleets. The challenge received interest from companies based in over 20 countries, showing the truly global reach of the opportunity to help reduce haul truck emissions.”

John Mulcahy, Rio Tinto’s lead for the Charge On Innovation Challenge, said: “Twenty-one mining companies, all focused on lowering carbon emissions, have joined as patrons. Together we’re encouraging technology innovators to help us introduce large-scale haul truck electrification solutions. The sooner we bring these technologies to market, the sooner we can introduce them to our fleet, and reduce emissions.”

Vale’s Charge On Innovation Challenge Project lead, Mauricio Duarte, said: “We are very happy with the results of the first phase of the project. It´s still early to talk about the success of the challenge, but it is clear that the industry has reached a new level: we worked together on a common sustainability agenda and we will work collectively to reach our goals, gaining safety and speed on our way to low carbon mining.”

Antofagasta becomes latest Charge on Innovation Challenge patron

Antofagasta, as part of its sustainability efforts, has joined the Charge On Innovation Challenge as a patron.

The initiative, which counts BHP, Rio Tinto and Vale as founding patrons, seeks to develop solutions to charge the batteries of electric mining trucks safely, quickly and sustainably. This is essential in order to replace the use of diesel in these trucks and the emissions it produces, the challenge organisers say.

The goal is to enable trucks of 220 t or more to stop using diesel and run on electric batteries, just like other electric vehicles. In order to achieve this, it is essential to develop a battery charging system that does not use polluting fuels and, at the same time, allows the extraction trucks to operate as they usually do.

Today there are already efforts underway to develop and use electric trucks, but those are for trucks of a smaller tonnage (100 t) which can regenerate their own energy, Charge on Innovation says. The collaborative work with the Charge On Innovation Challenge seeks to develop solutions for larger trucks.

Iván Arriagada, CEO of Antofagasta, said: “As a mining group focused on innovation, we are interested in collaborating and contributing to the development of the industry for the future. That is why we decided to participate in this challenge, which is key to being able to use electric trucks and significantly reduce greenhouse gas emissions.”

As part of its Climate Change Strategy, from 2022, the electricity supplying Antofagasta companies will come from renewable sources. Antofagasta’s Zaldívar mine has been operating from clean energy sources since July 2020.

Thanks to these advances and other measures adopted by the company, Antofagasta was able to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions by more than 580,000 t since 2018. Its new goal is to decrease those emissions by an additional 30% between now and 2025.

The Charge On Innovation Challenge was launched by BHP, Vale and Rio Tinto in partnership with Austmine. It has since added Roy Hill, Teck, Boliden and Thiess as additional patrons.

Australian government backs mining and metal sector decarbonising initiative

A new Cooperative Research Centre focused on integrating green energy sources such as hydrogen, ammonia and solar into high-heat and high-emission manufacturing processes for products like steel, aluminium and cement has won Australia government backing.

The Heavy Industry Low-carbon Transition Cooperative Research Centre (HILT CRC), to be led by the University of Adelaide, has been provided with A$39 million ($29 million) of funding through the CRC Grants program. It is also backed by an additional A$175.7 million in funding and in-kind support from research and industry partners such as Alcoa, Rio Tinto Aluminium, South32, Roy Hill, Fortescue Metals Group, the Australian National University and the CSIRO.

South Australia Minister for Industry, Science and Technology, Christian Porter, said the CRC would help to secure the future of heavy industries right across the country by helping them to lower costs and establish a reputation as exporters of high-quality, low-carbon, value-added products.

“In order to remain internationally competitive, it is crucial that our heavy industries begin the transition to lower cost and cleaner energy technology to secure the long-term future of their operations,” Minister Porter said. “By connecting those industries with our best and brightest minds from within our major research institutions – coupled with the significant funding that’s now available to fast-track this work – we expect real-world solutions can be delivered within the 10-year life of the CRC.”

Dr David Cochrane, who is Technology Lead at core CRC partner South32 and also an industry leader of the HILT CRC, said: “The HILT CRC will play an important role in transitioning to a low-carbon future by creating a framework for industry to collaborate, sharing knowledge and experience while lowering the risk of trialling technology.

“For South32, we have recently set medium-term targets to halve our operational emissions by 2035 as we transition to net zero by 2050 and initiatives like the HILT CRC are part of our plan to achieve these targets.”

Susan Jeanes, who is Chair-elect of the HILT CRC, said: “Decarbonising Australia’s heavy industry will position it to be competitive in the rapidly developing, global low carbon markets for green iron and aluminium products that have higher value than our current exports. These new markets are being driven by our trading partners in countries like China, Japan and Europe, which are introducing a range of financial measures to meet their carbon targets, such as EU’s Carbon Border Tax.

“Our mineral resources geographically co-exist around the continent with our first-class renewable energy resources making decarbonising more competitive here than in other parts of the world.”