An equipment handover ceremony of a Cat® D10T2 dozer at WesTrac’s South Guildford facility, in Western Australia, this week held special meaning for the stakeholders involved, the Cat dealer says.
Indigenous contracting business Civil Road & Rail SX5, part of the broader SX5 Group of companies, will use the new dozer for mine rehabilitation services at Rio Tinto’s mine sites in the Pilbara.
According to SX5 Directors, Ralph Keller and Cherie Keller, and Co-Director and Eastern Guruma Senior Elder, Kenzie Smith, the act of rehabilitating the land has grown in significance over recent years.
“We’re making things green again, making Country feel better,” Ralph Keller said. “In repairing Country, we’re helping repair the trust and relationships with the region’s Traditional Owners.”
As well as being among the Traditional Owners of the land, Smith’s family have a long history of helping modern enterprises use and rehabilitate the land. The family once helped break horses and muster cattle on the stations in the region and was permitted to gather any stock left behind to sell themselves. SX5 was the brand applied to those stray cattle before they were taken to market. That set the family on an entrepreneurial path that resulted in Smith helping to establish and run SX5’s contracting business, according to WesTrac.
WesTrac General Manager, Cameron Callaway, said miners, as well as their suppliers and service providers, understand the vital importance of engaging with the Traditional Owners on whose country they operate to ensure continual improvement in environmental, social and governance outcomes.
“The world needs miners to supply the mineral resources required for a more sustainable future, and that means we need to support sustainable mining initiatives,” Callaway said. “Drawing on the knowledge of Traditional Owners and the expertise of knowledgeable, experienced Indigenous organisations such as SX5 is a key aspect of that, and it’s especially rewarding for WesTrac to be involved in projects such as this.”
The Cat D10T2, itself, comes with onboard technologies to drive greater efficiency, productivity and fuel economy, as well as improved operator safety and comfort. It is also equipped with the building blocks to enable remote and semi-autonomous operations.
Ralph Keller says technology has been key to SX5’s success, and support from Indigenous Business Australia (IBA) has made it possible for the group to continue to purchase equipment with the latest machine control technologies.
“What makes us different is that SX5 continues to reinvent itself every day,” he said. “It’s all about technology. That’s how you achieve excellence and how you mitigate risk.”
IBA, a commercially-focused Federal Government organisation, supports First Nations businesses with cashflow and performance bond guarantees to enable business growth.
Kirsty Moore, IBA’s Chief Executive Officer, says: “Putting the regeneration of Country back in the hands of First Nations companies like SX5 is smart business and we’re so glad to support their efforts.
“IBA provides leasing opportunities to First Nations businesses so they can acquire critical capital equipment without tying up large amounts of cash that is needed to cover the operating costs of the business. The new equipment has stepped up the production and quality of work that the business has been able to achieve by using equipment that is purpose-built for the task.
“SX5 is a great example of a First Nations business transforming its opportunities to work with big business – all while restoring Country and being trained in new technology.”
Martin Roedhammer, Rio Tinto Manager Rehabilitation and Closure, said: “We work hard to leave a lasting, positive legacy everywhere we work. As part of this, we strive to generate opportunities for businesses to be part of our supply chain and deliver local economic benefits.
“Rio Tinto has worked with SX5 for more than seven years to support and develop the group’s capacity and understanding of our requirements and facilitate introductions across our Pilbara operations.
“A credit to SX5 is the business’ ability to think of ways to increase efficiency and get the best quality outcomes, trialling the use of chains to improve final surface finishes and modifying equipment to achieve improved vegetation establishment.
“We look forward to a continued successful relationship with SX5 and witnessing them grow even more in the future.”