Tag Archives: Roy Hill

Epiroc spots further agnostic automation opportunities

Having convinced iron ore miner Roy Hill to move ahead with plans to create the world’s largest autonomous mine, Epiroc and ASI – which the OEM owns 34% of – are ready to take on new equipment-agnostic automation opportunities, Helena Hedblom says.

Speaking after the company’s December quarter and 2022 results were released, Hedblom, President and CEO of Epiroc, said the company and ASI had progressed through three years of rigorous testing of the system, with the solution now entering the “scale” phase.

The Roy Hill project’s Production Verification phase was recently completed with 10 converted haul trucks fitted with vehicle automation kits and in cab clients using ASI Mining’s Mobius traffic management and on–board automation systems to navigate the mine’s virtual map, communicating with ancillary vehicles and the control room.

From March, the companies will start converting the mixed fleet of 96 conventional haul trucks to driverless operation, which is an increase from the 77 trucks originally set to be converted to running autonomously.

“There are certainly opportunities to deploy such solutions elsewhere,” Hedblom told IM. “If you look at how we started autonomous drilling with BHP, we took a step-by-step approach ahead of rolling that out to our customer base.

“We and ASI hope to be able to do that for this type of autonomous haulage solution too.”

Epiroc’s financial results highlighted another robust quarter where orders received increased 18% year-on-year to SEK13.7 billion ($1.3 billion), representing an organic decrease of 4% and organic growth of 3% when excluding Epiroc’s Russian business (which has now ceased). Revenues increased 25% to SEK13.9 billion, an organic increase of 8%, and operating profit increased 25% to SEK3.2 billion.

While this quarter saw fewer large orders than previous three-month periods, it did see the easing of supply challenges and good output levels, Epiroc said, adding that operating profit was at a record high.

The period also saw the company complete the acquisition of four companies – Remote Control Technologies (RCT), Wain-Roy, Radlink and Geoscan – continuing the acceleration of M&A activity Epiroc has become known for.

The purchase of RCT also offers another automation in-road, with the Australia-based company known as an OEM-agnostic automation specialist.

Listing off several of these acquisitions, Hedblom also highlighted the planned acquisition of CR, which has an offering covering surface and underground mining, and products including cast lips, teeth, and protective shrouds installed on mining buckets and loaders.

“CR and ground engaging tools represent a new niche for us,” she said.

When Epiroc announced the planned acquisition in December, it said the move was predicated on expanding its “first-rate offering” of essential consumables and digital solutions.

Hedblom, meanwhile, said the company would continue to evaluate further M&A opportunities as they appeared.

Outside of automation and digitalisation, Hedblom remained confident the company would hit its electrification goals in 2025 – goals that include offering a complete range of emission-free underground products.

“We actually had our first order for the underground tunnelling sector recently,” she said. “We are very well positioned to achieve these targets.”

Atlas Iron names load and haul, drill and blast contractors for McPhee project

Atlas Iron says it has awarded the major haulage, mine load and haul as well as drill and blast contracts for its McPhee project in Western Australia, bringing the iron ore project one step closer to construction and commissioning.

With these contracts, the total number of major contracts awarded for the project is over 50%, with five of nine now awarded. All contracts are subject to the relevant government approvals being approved.

The McPhee project is 100 km north of the Roy Hill mine, and is situated between the townships of Marble Bar and Nullagine. The project scope includes haulage of up to 10 Mt/y of crushed ore to Roy Hill for processing, transport to the port and shipping. For this scope, the haulage contract was split between MGM (60%) and REGROUP (40%).

MACA has been awarded the mine load and haul contract, and a separate contract for drill and blast mining services has been awarded to the Nyamal joint venture, EWP-Ozland.

Indigenous contractor, East West Pilbara (EWP), is a Nyamal-owned firm, with EWP-Ozland previously awarded civil and construction works at Atlas Iron’s Miralga Mine, which has been recognised as an industry first, it said.

This announcement marks the first instance of REGROUP, a full-service civil construction, mining services, labour resourcing and equipment hire company, being engaged as a contracting partner.

CEO Group Projects at Hancock Prospecting Group, Sanjiv Manchanda, noted: “The McPhee project is another step in the successful integrated Hancock Group development approach focusing
on the product strategy for the broader group. Atlas will continue to engage local and Indigenous contractors and maintain a practical approach to operations.”

McPhee is expected to commence operations in the 2024 financial year with first ore reaching Roy Hill in thr 2025 financial year. This is subject to the regulatory approvals being granted in early 2023, which will enable the contractors to mobilise to site and commence the works under their respective contracts.

PROK idlers set for overland conveyor system at Roy Hill iron ore operation

PROK has been selected by Roy Hill to manufacture and supply the idlers for a new circa-8km overland conveyor system as part of the iron ore mine’s Rom4 expansion in Western Australia.

PROK says it was awarded the contract for the conveyor idlers off the back of a long history of success with various overland conveyor systems across the globe.

Roy Hill requires the new overland conveyor to connect a new crusher to the existing mine infrastructure. The system comprises two overland conveyor systems that are approximately 8 km in length.

The entire project scope for the conveyor components included the manufacture and supply of 23,500 rollers and 6,500 idler frames.

The majority of the rollers will be PROK HDPE, a lightweight composite roller. PROK HDPE was chosen due to its lightweight construction and exceptional reliability, PROK said. The rollers include dual-layer wear indicator technology which facilitates smarter roller maintenance.

PROK General Manager WA, Wade Guelfi, said PROK HDPE will bring a range of benefits to Roy Hill’s operations.

“PROK HDPE is proven in heavy-duty iron ore applications and will assist to reduce maintenance costs, increase production and importantly improve safety outcomes,” he said. “We were thrilled to be able to partner with Roy Hill on this project and look forward to working closely with them to continue to optimise conveyor performance.”

Rio Tinto, BHP, Hancock among miners supporting new Western Australia community initiative

The McGowan Government in Western Australia has launched what it says is a state-first Resources Community Investment Initiative, backed by major mining companies, which will facilitate investment in iconic state infrastructure projects and community and social initiatives across Western Australia.

Established with founding partners Rio Tinto, BHP, Hancock Prospecting, Roy Hill, Atlas Iron, Woodside Energy, Chevron Australia and Mineral Resources Ltd, the initiative provides a state government-backed platform for direct contribution to iconic infrastructure and social projects in the Western Australia community that will make the state an even better place to live for generations, the government said.

The initial commitments total A$750 million ($496 million) from Rio Tinto (A$250 million), BHP (A$250 million), Hancock Prospecting, Roy Hill and Atlas Iron (A$100 million), Woodside Energy (A$50 million), Chevron Australia A($50 million) and Mineral Resources (A$50 million).

Government will work with The Chamber of Minerals and Energy of Western Australia and other companies to encourage additional investment from across Western Australia’s resources sector, it said.

An initial pipeline of projects has already been identified, including the Aboriginal Cultural Centre, the Perth Zoo Master Plan, the Remote Aboriginal Communities Fund, the Perth Concert Hall redevelopment and additional contributions to Telethon.

It will also extend to include transformational projects across the state, to enable companies to collectively contribute to achieving long-term social and economic outcomes in the regions they operate in, in areas such as education and training, health, Aboriginal wellbeing and energy decarbonisation projects.

Each company will decide the projects they wish to nominate funding to and individual project agreements will be established with agreed project milestones.

An advisory committee, comprising of an independent chair as well as government and industry representatives, will be convened to oversee the initiative and ensure the highest standards of governance.

Rio Tinto Iron Ore Chief Executive, Simon Trott, said: “This initiative is a great example of government and industry working together to support critical projects that will enable our community to prosper for generations to come. We want to leave a lasting, positive legacy wherever we operate, and this initiative will build on our more than 50 years of work helping to create thriving and resilient communities across Western Australia.”

BHP Asset President WA Iron Ore, Brandon Craig, said: “BHP has a long and proud history in Western Australia, and we welcome the collaborative approach taken by the Western Australia Government and the mining industry to strengthen our significant contribution to this great state. We look forward to furthering our support for long-term social and economic outcomes in the regions where we operate, and for all West Australians.”

Hancock Prospecting Executive Chairman, Gina Rinehart, said: “Hancock Prospecting, Roy Hill and Atlas Iron have invested in programs and infrastructure in West Australia over many years and we are pleased to make a further A$100 million contribution through the RCII initiated by Premier McGowan.”

Mineral Resources Ltd Managing Director, Chris Ellison, said: “Western Australians have played a vital role in the success of MinRes and our industry. As a proud Western Australian company, MinRes is continuing to grow, creating jobs and building projects in this great state. It is only natural that we support an initiative that is building a better future for all Western Australians.”

Monadelphous banks Australia work with FMG, Rio Tinto, Roy Hill and BMA

Engineering company Monadelphous Group Limited says it has secured new contracts and contract extensions in the resources and infrastructure sectors totalling approximately A$220 million ($150 million).

Within this is a number of contracts for work in the Pilbara region of Western Australia, including:

  • A five-year contract to provide maintenance, repairs, general shutdown services and minor projects across Fortescue Metals Group’s Pilbara operations;
  • A multi-disciplinary contract with Rio Tinto for the construction of a new conveyor at the Tom Price iron ore mine, which is expected to be completed in the first half of 2023; and
  • A contract associated with the construction of a pipeline and access road at the Roy Hill Mine site. The work is expected to be completed towards the end of 2022.

In Queensland, Monadelphous has also secured a 12-month extension to its existing contract with BHP Mitsubishi Alliance for the provision of dragline shutdown and maintenance services to its operations in the Bowen Basin.

Civmec to replace car dumper at BHPs Nelson Point, carry out new work for Roy Hill

Civmec Limited says it has recently secured circa-A$120 million ($86 million) of new contracts across multiple operating sectors, including three new agreements with BHP and Roy Hill.

Among these new assignments is a Car Dumper Replacement project for BHP, which has instructed Civmec to replace Car Dumper 3 (CD3) at the Nelson Point facility in Port Hedland, Western Australia, was commissioned in 1998. The new CD3 has a design life of 30 years and is intended to fit in the existing concrete vault with minimal structural modifications, Civmec said.

Procurement activities for this project have commenced, with fabrication commencing in the first quarter of its 2023 financial year (September quarter) and completion of fabrication in Q4 FY2023 (June quarter of 2023). At peak, this contract will employ approximately 85 people, Civmec said.

Roy Hill, meanwhile, has instructed Civmec to perform two contracts.

The first one is a capital upgrades project where it has been awarded the SMP&E (Structural Mechanical Piping and Electrical) works for the ROM4 Crusher 5 project at Roy Hill’s mine in the Pilbara of Western Australia. This is a follow on from the current SMP&E contract for the WHIMS project for Roy Hill, which is nearing completion and will see the same project management team transitioning to the ROM4 project.

The scope includes SMP&E plus communications works for the Crushing Station 5 and transfer conveyor, including installation of client-supplied modules and equipment. Mobilisation will commence in the June quarter of this year with completion by the end of the year.

Civmec has also received an extension of its Shutdown and Maintenance Support Services Agreement with Roy Hill, being granted an additional five years through to March 2027.

“This contract extension demonstrates a significant commitment from Roy Hill and will enable Civmec to support the Roy Hill Operation with multi-disciplined shutdown and maintenance services for the fixed plant assets across the port (facility) and PSA (mine),” Civmec said.

“As one of Civmec’s long term customers, Roy Hill is an important stakeholder for our maintenance business. Our investment in the local community and our commitment to building our Port Hedland Workshop facility is evidence of our pledge to being a long-term partner to Roy Hill and our intent is to further strengthen this relationship.”

Swift kicks off work with Rio, Roy Hill, Strandline, OZ Minerals and South32

Swift, a specialist technology company focused on delivering network infrastructure and premium entertainment and communications, has announced it has recently commenced works on seven new projects across Western Australia and Queensland for key clients Rio Tinto, Roy Hill, Strandline, OZ Minerals and South32.

As part of these projects, Swift will be upgrading and installing its various network solutions which have been designed and deployed by Swift’s in-house team. The total contract value of these agreements is A$1.2 million ($866,418).

Swift CEO, Brian Mangano, says: “These new projects not only represent an increase in project activity but are the result of long-standing relationships between Swift and resource sector clients. Maintained by the talent and expertise of our entire team from sales to inhouse network engineers, delivery, installation specialists and support teams, we are excited to see the positive impact that these upgrades have on our clients and their workforces.

While the aggregate revenue from these contracts is material to the company, no individual contract currently generates revenue over A$1.0 million, Swift said.

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.