Tag Archives: South32

GFG Alliance, South32 and Anglo American complete TEMCO transaction

GFG Alliance says it has finalised the purchase of the hydro energy-powered Tasmanian Electro Metallurgical Company (TEMCO) smelter in Bell Bay in northern Tasmania, Australia.

After entering a binding sale and purchase agreement with South32 and Anglo American in August, today’s finalisation sees TEMCO join LIBERTY Steel Group as part of the GFG Alliance family, it said.

The smelter, in Tasmania, Australia, was run by the Samancor Manganese joint venture, owned 60% by South32 and 40% by Anglo American.

GFG Alliance Executive Chairman, Sanjeev Gupta, said the acquisition not only secured the jobs of the smelter’s 250 workers but would also play a key role in enhancing LIBERTY’s drive to be self-sufficient in the supply chain.

“When we entered into the agreement in August, I flagged that our investment in key inputs such as ferromanganese and silicomanganese would generate supply chain value to ensure a sustainable and globally competitive steel manufacturing sector,” Gupta said. “This acquisition is an upstream integration for Whyalla and all our steel plants globally.

“The Bell Bay precinct and nearby George Town is a long-standing industrial community with a proud heritage, and we are committed to seeing this facility continue to play an important role in the future of the Australian steel industry.”

The TEMCO facility, which is powered by Hydro Tasmania, has four submerged arc furnaces, including a sinter plant, and has the capacity to produce around 150,000 t/y of high carbon ferromanganese and 120,000 t/y of silicomanganese used in the production of steel, the company said.

“GFG Alliance already produces the lowest carbon aluminium in the world in both the UK and France and I’m proud to add one of the world’s greenest ferro alloy producers to our portfolio,” Gupta said. “Our goal is to be carbon neutral by 2030 and I am proud to invest in a state like Tasmania, which has a plentiful supply of renewable energy resources.”

South32’s Cerro Matoso ferronickel operation welcomes electric buses

South32’s Cerro Matoso ferronickel operation in northern Colombia says it is leading the way in eco-friendly transport with the introduction of an electric bus fleet.

Twelve new buses are being used to transport workers between the town of Montelíbano and the operation, with Cerro Matoso working with its bus contractor, Amtur, to phase out its diesel-powered fleet. The electric buses are expected to reduce emissions and noise levels.

The new buses were launched at an event attended by dignitaries including the Colombian Minister of Mines and Energy, Diego Mesa, Vice Minister of Mines, Sandra Sandoval, and the Governor of Córdoba, Orlando Benítez.

Mine electrification shift could create new business opportunities, report says

Heightened social pressure and a need for economically efficient mining practices will see Australia’s mining industry shift towards a future of automation, electrification and the ultimate goal of zero emissions on site, according to the State of Play: Electrification report.

The report states the majority (89%) of the globe’s leading mining executives expect mine sites across the world to electrify within the next 20 years.

Electrification is a game changer for the mining industry as it allows the complete removal of diesel from mines and, when combined with renewable energy, results in a decarbonised mine site.

Australia’s leading mining companies such as Rio Tinto, BHP, South 32 and OZ Minerals – along with Tesla – provided input into the report, which uncovered that the need to shift to low footprint, electric mines is being driven by economic, environmental and health related opportunities.

More specifically, nearly 79% of mining executives believe there will be a health-related industry class action in the next 15 years and 91% expect the shift to electrics will create new business opportunities.

It’s these perceived health risks – if nothing changes – and economic benefits that State of Play Co-Founder and Chairman, Graeme Stanway, says is driving the industry to take a close look at current practices and think: how can we do this better?

“Electric equipment will allow for a shift from the typical underground mine sites we see today in Australia with many pieces of heavy equipment, powered by diesel, operating underground in confined spaces alongside teams of people, towards a clean future of mining, not seen before,” he said.

“A future where machinery is safe, automated and battery powered; this would effectively cut out two of the biggest issues in mining: carbon impact and particulate exposure and result in zero carbon emission mines.”

While the industry as a whole understands these benefits, when it comes to individually implementing them as an organisation, cost becomes a key hurdle, according to Stanway.

“Our data shows renewables, all electric systems and batteries will help fuel the change towards a healthier, economically viable future of mining, but uncertainty remains when it comes to to which area to invest in first, and how,” Stanway says.

He says the industry should focus on collaborating to overcome cost barriers and uncertainty in technology choices that may be beyond the capacity of individual companies. And, while the mass adoption of electrification technology has so far been low, key players such as Independence Group, Gold Fields, South32, OZ Minerals and Barminco are joining forces to accelerate achieving the goal of zero emissions mines.

METS Ignited CEO, Adrian Beer, is part of this collaboration and says Australian mining companies have a huge advantage compared with their global counterparts when it comes to alternative energy sources.

“Here, in Australia, we have an abundance of renewables that the industry is tapping into, particularly in our most remote operations,” he said. “Local mine sites have the opportunity to install solar and wind, and battery energy storage systems to power their operations at a much cheaper cost than many global players.”

He added: “For the country to fully realise the opportunity of zero emissions mines, we also need to be able to effectively implement these technologies. We need to modernise our regulatory framework, and consider what skills our sector will need, across the entire range of the workforce, from trades and technicians, university graduates, through to our scientists and PhDs.”

Hitachi CM looks for access to resource industry start-ups with Chrysalix fund investment

Chrysalix Venture Capital, a global venture capital fund with a history of commercialising innovation for resource intensive industries, has announced Hitachi Construction Machinery Co Ltd has invested in the Chrysalix RoboValley Fund.

Hitachi Construction Machinery, a leading manufacturer of construction and mining equipment, joins a cluster of mining and metals players such as South32, Severstal and Mitsubishi Corp in the fund, and “will leverage Chrysalix’s extensive network in the mining field to strengthen open innovation by connecting with start-ups that possess the latest technologies for mining in areas such as robotic systems, IoT, AI and data analytics”, the company said.

“Chrysalix has made step-change innovations in the metals and mining, manufacturing and machinery industries, through digital solutions and advanced robotics technologies, a major theme of our fund, and we are delighted to welcome Hitachi Construction Machinery to the Chrysalix RoboValley Fund,” Alicia Lenis, Vice President at Chrysalix Venture Capital, said.

Just some of the companies included in Chrysalix’s portfolio include Novamera, which is developing its Sustainable Mining by Drilling technology for narrow-vein mines; and MineSense Technologies, a Vancouver-based start-up developing real-time, sensor-based ore data and sorting solutions for large-scale mines.

Naoyoshi Yamada, Chief Strategy Officer at Hitachi Construction Machinery, said: “We identified Chrysalix as having a valuable network of start-ups in its global innovation ecosystem, and a unique window on innovation opportunities in the mining industry.

“With the trends toward digitalisation, the autonomous operation and electrification of mining machinery, as well as the growing need for solutions to streamline and optimise not only mining machinery but also overall mining operations, many start-ups offer novel technologies and services, and our investment in the Chrysalix RoboValley Fund will enable Hitachi Construction Machinery to tap into these new breakthroughs.”

The Chrysalix RoboValley Fund, Chrysalix says, seeks to achieve significant returns for its investors by enabling resource intensive industries, including energy, mining, construction, infrastructure and mobility, to tap into innovation from high growth start-ups.

South32 adds Cat AD63 to Cannington underground trucking fleet

Last month, Cat dealer Hastings Deering sent out the world’s first AD63 truck to South32’s Cannington silver-lead mine in Queensland, Australia.

With a 63 t payload, the AD63 is the largest underground truck in the Cat product line, and comes with best in class speed on grade, according to Hastings Deering.

Joe Russell, South32 Cannington Vice President Operations, told IM that since taking delivery of the articulated truck from Caterpillar, via Hastings Deering, the company had started work on tailoring the vehicle to the mine’s specific requirements.

“Once the truck enters full operation, it will replace an older vehicle in our fleet,” Russell said. “The AD63 will be used in conjunction with the rest of the underground trucking fleet to move material to various locations within the South32 Cannington mine site.”

Russell highlighted the vehicle’s Euro Stage V Cat C27 diesel engine when reflecting on the recent fleet addition.

“The AD63’s engine specifications will help us to further reduce emissions, resulting in good outcomes for the environment and underground air quality,” he said.

Released in April, the AD63 features a 5% increased payload and more torque for enhanced production capabilities compared with its predecessor, the AD60, Cat says.

Additional new features enhance operator ergonomics, maintenance access and safety, and data collection for machine health monitoring, according to the OEM.

South32’s Cannington underground mine produces about 3 Mt/y of ore.

SRG Global bolsters South32 relationship with more Worsley Alumina work

SRG Global says it has secured a long-term circa-A$100 million ($72 million) contract with South32’s Worsley Alumina operations to provide specialist refractory services, including gunning and casting and installation of refractory products and anchors.

Works under the contract will commence in October 2020 with a duration of eight years.

South32 has also extended SRG Global’s existing engineered access services contract for a further two years, pocketing the ASX-listed engineering firm another circa-A$25 million. This will see SRG Global continue to provide access services at South32’s Worsley Alumina operations until mid-2027, it said.

David Macgeorge, Managing Director of SRG Global, said: “These contracts are a terrific achievement for SRG Global and we are excited to be expanding our partnership with South32 to continue to deliver long-term value for their Worsley operations.”

As part of the Worsley Alumina operations, bauxite is mined near the town of Boddington, 130 km southeast of Perth, Western Australia. It is then transported on the largest overland conveyor belt in the southern hemisphere, for more than 50 km, to a refinery near the town of Collie, where bauxite is turned into alumina.

GFG Alliance to take over TEMCO manganese alloy smelter following South32 pact

South32’s association with the Tasmanian Electro Metallurgical Company (TEMCO) is set to come to an end after it agreed to sell its stake in the manganese alloy smelter to an entity within the GFG Alliance.

The announcement from South32’s Groote Eylandt Mining Company (GEMCO) said completion of the transaction was subject to approval from Australia’s Foreign Investment Review Board. Upon satisfaction of this condition, GFG will make a nominal payment to GEMCO to acquire 100% of the shares in TEMCO, it said, without naming an acquisition price.

As a condition to the completion of the transaction, the parties have entered into an ore supply agreement from GEMCO to TEMCO.

The smelter, in Tasmania, Australia, is run by the Samancor Manganese joint venture, owned 60% by South32 and 40% by Anglo American.

South32 says TEMCO uses ore shipped from its GEMCO operations in the Northern Territory of Australia and produces ferromanganese for steelmaking. Most of the alloy produced is exported to customers in Asia and North America, with the remaining sold to steel producers in Australia and New Zealand.

South32 CEO Graham Kerr said the agreement represented another milestone for South32 as it continues to reshape its portfolio.

“Today’s agreement follows an extensive review of options regarding the future of our manganese alloy business,” he said.

“The transaction and our ongoing supply of ore to TEMCO will see the smelter, first established in 1962, continue to operate into the future.

“Looking forward, we are confident that GFG, a current TEMCO customer, is well placed to operate the smelter, with the acquisition representing an opportunity to further vertically integrate its steel business.”

The transaction does not include the Samancor Manganese JV’s South African manganese alloy smelter, Metalloys, which has separately been placed under care and maintenance, South32 added.

K2fly gets to work on RCubed mineral inventory reporting solution for South32

K2fly has signed up diversified mining and metals company, South32, to use its resource governance solution, RCubed.

South32 is expected to use the platform for its mineral inventory reporting for five years, with the total contract value more than A$880,000 ($608,419), K2fly said.

The full implementation is to commence immediately and will cover 19 global operations, the company added.

Nic Pollock, K2fly’s Chief Commercial Officer, said: “It is a great honour to be working with South32. This adds to our growing list of diversified customers like Rio Tinto, Teck Resources and Nexa Resources.”

The company says its total contract value has growth 45% this quarter and is now over A$6.9 million, compared with the end of the March quarter.

Alliance stays in the air with South32 Cannington, GEMCO contract

Alliance Aviation Services says it has entered a new airline services contract with South32, as agent for each of its Cannington and GEMCO routes.

Alliance will be the sole supplier for these services, according to the company, continuing a relationship with the mine sites that began in 2006.

The extension, from 2020-2030, was won through a competitive tender process and is testament to Alliance’s safety record, on time performance and competitiveness in the marketplace, according to the ASX-listed service provider.

Lee Schofield, Alliance’s CEO, said: “Alliance is delighted to be continuing the provision of these services for both Cannington and GEMCO mine sites from Townsville, Cairns and Brisbane. This new contract will see Alliance flying a minimum of 35 sectors per week.

“For the next 10 years Alliance will also be servicing South32’s charter requirements from Darwin. This will result in a significant increase in our permanent presence in the Northern Territory, which in turn should provide significant new opportunities for Alliance, particularly in tourism.”

GEMCO, in the Northern Territory of Australia, is an open-cut mining operation, producing high-grade manganese ore that is shipped to South32’s Tasmania manganese alloy plant and around the world.

The Cannington underground silver-lead mine, in Queensland, is made up of a 3 Mt/y underground mine and processing plant (pictured).

Miners not taking cybersecurity risks seriously, report finds

While cybersecurity is today considered a major threat to all industrial companies, a recent report out of Australia has concluded it will take a catastrophic event for it to be taken seriously in the mining industry.

Through interviews, survey and analysis of Australia’s largest mining and service companies, including BHP, Rio Tinto, South32, and Anglo American, the ‘State of Play: Cyber Security Report’, from researchers at State of Play, has uncovered that 98% of top-level executives think a catastrophic event is required to drive an industry response to cybersecurity in mining.

This is despite State of Play Chairman and Co-founder, Graeme Stanway, saying the risk of cybersecurity failures in mining could be severe.

“In an increasingly automated and interconnected world, the risk of rogue systems and equipment is growing rapidly,” he says.

“If someone hacks into a mining system, they can potentially take remote control of operational equipment. That’s the level of risk that we are facing.”

Global Head of Cybersecurity at BHP, Thomas Leen, agreed and said the mining industry is up against archaic processes when it comes to evolving on the cybersecurity front.

“Mining as an industry has a low level of cybersecurity maturity, mainly due to legacy environments that lack basic capabilities,” he says.

The report went on to find that the second most likely driver to instigate change, after a catastrophic event, will be government led initiatives and responses.

Michelle Price, CEO of independent, not-for-profit organisation, AustCyber, believes public-private partnership is the key to driving change in the way the mining industry approaches cybersecurity.

“AustCyber has collaborated with METS Ignited and State of Play to conduct this survey as we see the potential to improve cybersecurity across the mining environment,” she says.

“There are several challenges specific to the mining sector as documented in the Australian Cyber Security Industry Roadmap, developed in conjunction with CSIRO – such as operational technology, connected equipment and sensors, availability of data, anomaly detection and the volatility of markets.

“There are plenty of growth opportunities – especially when the sector collaborates with organisations like AustCyber to have a coordinated voice on the kind of support it needs to push forward cyber resilience.”

South32 Head of Cybersecurity, Clayton Brazil, sees this collaboration as a strength of cybersecurity in the mining industry. “Cybersecurity is incredibly collaborative in mining, we know it’s a critical industry for our nation and we all want to be safer,” he says.

Brazil sees a strong cybersecurity capability as a strategic opportunity for South32. “Done properly, cybersecurity can be a competitive advantage for us,” he said.

Interestingly, when asked what is the most likely motivation for cyber attacks, 50% of responses identified extortion and theft as the most likely cause, followed by competition with 21% and politics with 19%.

METS Ignited CEO, Adrian Beer, says industry growth and sustainability will come from collaboration and the implementation of standards. “Mining operations are still made up of legacy closed systems that have customised integrations between them,” he says.

“However, the modern technology vendor community is trying to overcome these systems with new models; building collaboration and trust between mining and the technology sector will create a secure sustainable future.”

Beer also believes standards have a two-prong role to play. “There is clearly a need for both a strong set of standards to define what good looks like in terms of cybersecurity more broadly, and a set of industry standards to ensure that the specific needs are met to deliver those secure outcomes.”