Tag Archives: Thiess

Thiess cuts dust and noise emissions at Glencore’s Mt Owen coal mine

Thiess, in partnership with its client Glencore, has come up with a proactive approach to environmental management to ensure dust, noise and blasting emission impacts are minimised on local communities at the Mt Owen coal mine in New South Wales, Australia.

Working together with Glencore, the team has developed a range of controls including leadership training and education sessions, noise and dust risk forecasting, targeted sound power testing of operating equipment and real-time monitoring technology.

Thiess Senior Environment Advisor, Linda Lunnon, said the real-time data enables the operational team to monitor dust and noise levels and respond swiftly to changing weather conditions.

“Paired with regular visual inspections, the technology provides further guidance throughout each shift, enabling our leaders to readily modify operations as needed,” she said. “The system also triggers SMS alerts to relevant personnel if dust or noise levels reach a defined threshold. This provides a prompt for operational staff to reassess controls and implement further actions if required.”

Lunnon said the forecasting systems also allow the Mt Owen team to plan for adverse weather conditions.

“Dust and noise are two of the highest environment risks for our projects in the Hunter Valley, and we are continually monitoring and refining controls that can assist in managing these risks,” she said.

Thiess’ environment team believes engaging its people is critical to effectively managing risks.

“We prioritise continued support and coaching of our people to ensure they understand the context and importance of our environmental controls and can get optimal value from the systems we’ve developed,” Lunnon said. “We educate them on the monitoring of data, trends and how they can apply their knowledge to minimise short-term and longer-term community impacts.”

Thiess Environment and Civil Manager, James Anderson, recognises his team’s ability to stay abreast of emerging environmental trends in industry and legislation to reduce risks and identify and action opportunities for our client.

“Our Mt Owen team works closely with our wider operations in the Hunter Valley to collaborate on solving problems and achieve tailored dust and noise management solutions,” Anderson said.

More broadly, the Mt Owen team works with Thiess’ wider operational and technical teams to design and deliver integrated solutions that optimise overall mining and rehabilitation efforts.

“Each project leverages our global insight to provide local value, with our head office team offering industry-leading environmental insights across each of our operating countries,” Anderson said. “Our proven experience managing the full suite of environmental services on mine sites ensures we continually deliver exceptional outcomes for our clients.”

Thiess cuts probe drilling costs by leveraging advanced void management system

Thiess says its mine planning team is pioneering the development and use of an advanced void management system that is informing probing, drill pattern and blasting design.

The holistic system gives the contractor’s office and field-based teams immediate access to a central database of void information to support better, faster decision making and task optimisation.

Thiess General Manager WA/SA (Acting), Matt Henderson, said the system focuses on capturing, monitoring and understanding existing voids to help the project team manage and backfill where required.

“It gives us and our client a clear understanding of the geological and geotechnical risks associated with the project and how to best address them,” Henderson said. “This flows from mine design into operations, enabling our project team to manage and mitigate risk to our people and delivery.”

Thiess Mine Planning Manager, Ravi Achari, said the system, designed to enable verticle mining through extensive networks of underground voids (drives, development workings, workings, vertical rises and large slopes), was developed to improve safety and provide greater certainty in the company’s delivery.

“The system was developed using insights and learnings from a number of technologies currently available on the market, but without integration were unable to provide the required outcome,” Achari said. “We also leveraged insight from our void officers and surveyors, and drill and blast, geotechnical and mine planning engineers.”

Achari confirmed the new system enables his team to determine the right solution specific to each void.

“The system uses historical plans, probing and drilling data to survey the position and size of the old workings,” he said. “This includes checking the location and attributes of the voids we find against the recorded data to verify any changes in size or shape.

“Our findings will then inform our safety zone and backfilling requirements.”

Incorporating over five-years of proven void management processes and procedures, the system delivers client benefits by enabling Thiess’ team to mine additional tonnes.

“The system gives a precise delineation of the voids informing a more tailored drill and blast design that allows additional recovery of the commodity,” Achari said. “It has also enabled a reduction of probe drilling costs by up to 25%, representing a substantial cost saving.”

To date the system has helped manage and treat over 25 km of underground voids and stopes in Western Australia, and is currently being leveraged to develop an integrated drill and blast reporting system for Thiess globally.

Thiess equity transaction on target for end of 2020, CIMIC Group says

CIMIC Group says it has signed all relevant material documentation including financing agreements for the sale of 50% of Thiess, one of the world’s largest mining services providers, to funds advised by Elliott Advisors (UK) Ltd.

This encompasses the satisfaction of a number of conditions precedent, including the required regulatory approvals, CIMIC noted.

Back in October, CIMIC announced the deal with Elliott, one of the oldest fund managers of its kind under continuous operation, saying the transaction would strengthen CIMIC’s balance sheet by generating cash proceeds on completion of A$1.7-A$1.9 billion as well as reducing CIMIC’s factoring balance by around A$700 million and CIMIC’s lease liability balance by some A$500 million.

Thiess delivers open pit and underground mining in Australia, Asia, Africa and the Americas, providing services to 25 projects across a range of commodities, CIMIC says. It has a diverse fleet of plant and equipment of more than 2,200 assets, a team of around 14,000 employees and generates annual revenues in excess of A$4.1 billion.

CIMIC noted that transaction completion, including receipt of cash proceeds, is expected to occur prior to the end of 2020.

As previously advised, the price for 50% of the equity interest in Thiess implies an enterprise valuation of approximately A$4.3 billion ($3.3 billion).

Elliott funds take 50% stake in CIMIC’s Thiess

CIMIC Group says it has entered into an agreement with funds advised by Elliott Advisors (UK) Ltd regarding the acquisition by Elliott of a 50% equity interest in Thiess, a leading mining services provider.

Elliott is one of the oldest fund managers of its kind under continuous operation and manages more than $40 billion in assets, including equity positions in private and listed companies, in Australia and globally, CIMIC says.

Thiess, meanwhile, delivers open pit and underground mining in Australia, Asia, Africa and the Americas, providing services to 25 projects across a range of commodities. It has a diverse fleet of plant and equipment of more than 2,200 assets, a team of around 14,000 employees and generates annual revenues in excess of A$4.1 billion ($2.9 billion). Thiess is included in CIMIC’s Mining and Mineral Processing segment with CIMIC company Sedgman, a leading provider of minerals processing and associated infrastructure solutions to the global resources industry.

Following closing of the deal, CIMIC and Elliott will jointly control Thiess in accordance with a Shareholders’ Agreement, which contains governance arrangements as well as Thiess’ financial and dividend policies, among other items.

The price for Elliott’s 50% equity interest in Thiess implies an enterprise valuation of approximately A$4.3 billion (based on 100% of Thiess), subject to certain adjustments. The transaction will strengthen CIMIC’s balance sheet by generating cash proceeds on completion of A$1.7-A$1.9 billion as well as reducing CIMIC’s factoring balance by around A$700 million and CIMIC’s lease liability balance by some A$500 million, it said.

CIMIC Group Executive Chairman, Marcelino Fernández Verdes, said: “The sale agreement reflects Thiess’ ongoing strategic importance as a core activity for CIMIC. It capitalises on the robust outlook for the mining sector and, together with Elliott, we will pursue market opportunities in line with Thiess’ growth and diversification strategy.”

Back in July, CIMIC Group announced that it had signed an exclusivity agreement and was in advanced negotiations with funds advised by Elliott regarding the potential investment by Elliott into 50% of the share capital of Thiess.

Thiess to continue operations at BMA Caval Ridge coal mine

CIMIC Group’s global mining services provider, Thiess, has been awarded a contract extension by BHP Mitsubishi Alliance (BMA) to provide mining services at the Caval Ridge coal mine in Queensland, Australia.

The 12-month contract extension will generate revenue of A$110 million ($79 million) to Thiess, CIMIC said.

Under the contract variation, Thiess will continue to operate and maintain three 600 t excavator fleets to move additional overburden for the Caval Ridge operation, an open-pit coal mine with a 10 Mt/y throughput capacity.

Back in 2018, Thiess and BMA signed a contract variation that saw the contract miner move additional overburden through 2020 as per the terms of the contract.

CIMIC Group Chief Executive Officer, Juan Santamaria, said: “This contract extension builds on our relationship with BMA and reinforces our commitment to work with our clients to safely position their operations for optimal efficiency, productivity and cost performance.”

CIMIC Group Executive Mining and Mineral Processing and Thiess Managing Director, Douglas Thompson, said: “We’re proud to continue our work at Caval Ridge where we have a proven track record of delivering innovative and low-cost mining solutions. It is a testament to the team’s continued focus on delivering a safe and productive operation for our client.”

The contract extension will commence in December 2020.

Last week, CIMIC confirmed that it was close to bringing in a new equity investor for its Thiess contract mining business.

CIMIC Group closes in on new equity partner for Thiess mining business

CIMIC Group is close to bringing in a new equity investor for its Thiess contract mining business, with Executive Chairman, Marcelino Fernández Verdes, saying in its latest financial results that due diligence had been completed and negotiations were expected to be finalised “in the coming days”.

Back in July, CIMIC Group announced it had signed an exclusivity agreement and was in advanced negotiations with funds advised by Elliott Advisors (UK) Ltd regarding the potential investment by Elliott into 50% of the share capital of Thiess. This would provide joint control of Thiess to CIMIC and Elliott.

Verdes said in today’s results that the introduction of an equity partner into Thiess “capitalises on the outlook for mining, provides capital for Thiess’ continued growth and enables CIMIC to strengthen its balance sheet”.

Within the September quarter, Thiess secured a A$340 million ($240 million) extension from Glencore to provide mining services at the Mount Owen coal operation in the Hunter Valley of New South Wales, Australia.

CIMIC Group said today that its companies are also bidding on work associated with the Winu copper-gold project in Western Australia, which Rio Tinto revealed a maiden inferred resource for in July; along with a mining extension at MACH Energy’s majority-owned Mount Pleasant coal operation in the Hunter Valley of New South Wales.

Thiess extends stay at Glencore’s Mount Owen coal mine

CIMIC Group’s Thiess has been awarded a contract extension by Glencore to provide mining services at the Mount Owen coal operation in the Hunter Valley of New South Wales, Australia.

The 18-month contract extension, to commence in July 2021, will generate revenue of A$340 million ($240 million) to Thiess.

Thiess will continue to provide mine planning, design and execution, drill and blast, overburden removal and coal mining services at the mine, it said.

The global mining services provider has operated at Mount Owen since 1994, applying, it says, industry best practice mining operations, with uncompromising environmental and safety standards. It is Thiess’ largest coal mining operation in New South Wales, processing up to 15 Mt/y of run of mine, of which 7.8 Mt/y is mined by Thiess from the Mount Owen North Pit.

Thiess Managing Director, Douglas Thompson, said: “For more than 25 years we have delivered industry-leading, specialised mining techniques at Mount Owen, leading to higher resource recovery, increased plant efficiency and reliable material movement for our client.

“Our team looks forward to continuing our long association with Glencore and the Hunter Valley community.”

Thiess says it has a strong presence in the Hunter Valley where it provides mining services at three mines. It works to deliver social benefits through local employment and training, local procurement, community engagement and Indigenous affairs.

Thiess to bring autonomous drilling to Lake Vermont coal mine

Thiess has been awarded a contract extension by Jellinbah Group to continue to provide mining services at its Lake Vermont coal mine in Queensland, Australia.

The five-year extension will generate revenue of A$2.5 billion ($1.7 billion) for Thiess, CIMIC Group’s global mining services provider. It will also see the company provide a range of autonomous services at the mine, including the implementation of autonomous drilling and semi-autonomous dozer push, it said.

When it comes to autonomous drilling, Thiess will most likely leverage the learnings from a phased 12-month autonomous drilling pilot project it carried out at MACH Energy’s majority-owned Mount Pleasant coal operation in the Hunter Valley of Australia, in collaboration with Caterpillar and WesTrac.

Thiess said the contract continues its full-service mining operations at Lake Vermont, including mine planning, coal mining, topsoil and overburden removal, drill and blast, water management and rehabilitation of final landforms. This includes providing all mobile plant and equipment, being statutory operator for the project, and operating and maintaining the client’s coal handling and preparation plant (CHPP).

CIMIC Group Chief Executive Officer, Juan Santamaria, said: “For more than 13 years, Thiess has worked alongside Jellinbah Group to safely position the mine’s operations for optimal efficiency, productivity and cost performance. This contract demonstrates Thiess’ ability to turn insight and optimisation into greater certainty for its clients.”

CIMIC Group Executive Mining and Mineral Processing and Thiess Managing Director, Douglas Thompson, said: “We’ve developed a strong working relationship with Jellinbah Group since commencing work at Lake Vermont in 2007. We’re excited to bring fresh thinking and new solutions to support the mine’s continued, sustainable evolution over the next five years.”

The contract extension will commence from January 1, 2022.

CIMIC Group’s mineral processing company, Sedgman also provides CHPP operations support at the Lake Vermont mine, which, in 2012, went through an expansion to more than double production from 4.6 Mt/y to 10.7 Mt/y of coal.

Lake Vermont is held by the participants of the Lake Vermont Joint Venture (Jellinbah Group 70%, Marubeni Coal 10%, Sojitz Coal 10% and AMCI 10%).

CIMIC eyes more coal work as Q1 financials hold up

Australia-based engineering-led group, CIMIC, posted “robust” operating profit margins in its March quarter results, remarking that the mining market is proving resilient throughout the turbulence caused by the fallout of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Revenue came in at A$3.3 billion ($2.1 billion) for the three-month period, slightly down on last year’s A$3.4 billion, while net profit after tax was A$166 million, compared with A$181.1 million in the March quarter of 2019.

Its operating profit margin was 8.4% for the period.

Throughout the quarter, the company said it had witnessed stable investment in capital expenditure to sustain mining operations. Its UGL subsidiary secured contracts to provide maintenance, shutdown and project services for clients in the mining sector, and its Thiess and Sedgman subsidiaries secured framework agreements with Rio Tinto Iron Ore, in Western Australia, and variations to operations contracts in New South Wales, respectively.

The future prospects for the company look good with, as at March 31, around A$90 billion of tenders relevant to CIMIC expected to be bid and/or awarded for the remainder of 2020, and around A$400 billion of projects coming to the market in 2021 and beyond, it said.

Some major projects the company is currently bidding on include the Lake Vermont mining extension contract in Queensland, Australia. CIMIC’s Thiess is currently working on this Jellinbah Group-owned coal asset through a schedule of rates contract that sees it carry out coal mining, clearing and grubbing, topsoil removal, drill and blast, overburden removal and rehabilitation of final landforms. It also provides all mobile plant and equipment and operates and maintains the client’s coal handling and preparation plant at the site, according to Thiess.

Another contract the company is eying up for more work is the Kaltim Prima Coal (KPC) mining extension in Indonesia. Again, Thiess has a schedule of rates contract in place at the 11 Mt/y Sangatta coal operation and the company hopes it can continue its relationship with the mine with a 2022 contract extension.

Thiess, Cat, WesTrac collaborating on Mount Pleasant autonomous drilling project

Thiess says it is realising the benefits of drill automation after undergoing a successful field trial at MACH Energy’s majority-owned Mount Pleasant coal operation in the Hunter Valley of Australia.

In collaboration with Caterpillar and WesTrac, Thiess introduced a new Caterpillar MD6250 drill rig with autonomous drilling capability at Mount Pleasant in a phased 12-month pilot project, it said.

The autonomous drill uses state-of-the-art guidance technologies to assist operators in drilling holes to the exact location and depth specified by the drill plan, resulting in safer and more efficient blasting.

Thiess General Manager Autonomous Services, Matt Petty, said the purpose of the pilot was to test the functionality and application of the technology while determining its viability for Thiess’ team, operations and clients.

“This trial is an exciting opportunity for us to investigate the applicability of the technology at our operations and train our people in the remote management of autonomous equipment,” Petty said. “The results are showing significant productivity improvements, safer operations and upskilling opportunities for our people.”

The phased pilot program is progressing through three stages of drill automation – operator mission assist, semi-autonomous drilling and full autonomy and perception, Thiess said.

The current stage, semi-autonomous drilling, automates the entire drilling cycle for one row, including moving between holes, from a remote operator station, it added.

“The drill is now controlled by satellite-guided precision ensuring the blast holes are drilled exactly to the design coordinates and desired floor elevation,” Petty said. “This stage allows our operators to select a row of holes for the drill to navigate and auto drill. Operators also help to monitor and authorise the auto-tram between holes to ensure safety is maintained.”

In the coming months, the drill will be fitted with proximity detection and collision avoidance technology, enabling full automation, Thiess said.

Mount Pleasant Drill Operator, Zac Brasington, said the remote operation of the drill had proven safety, precision and equipment utilisation benefits for his team.

“Working remotely eliminates operators’ exposure to potential high-risk activities and allows the drill to function without operator restrictions,” Brasington said. “The remote station replicates the seat and controls of the machine’s cab, allowing us, as operators, to control the machine with minimal decrease in functionality or productivity.

“It’s also helping drive consistency at our operation with improved accuracy in hole placement, trajectory and depth.”

Thiess’ team has been working closely with Caterpillar and the WesTrac team on the implementation plan throughout the trial process, it said.

Brasington added: “I’ve also had the opportunity to gain new skills and competencies. It’s very rewarding knowing I’m one of the few operators, worldwide, who is able to operate an autonomous drill.”

The outcome of the trial will help to inform how Thiess delivers automation as part of its services offering, according to the company.

Thiess first began mining at Mount Pleasant on November 20, 2017, following a successful five-month mobilisation period. The contractor is responsible for providing a full mining service and increasing mining production to 10.5 Mt/y run-of-mine, according to its website. The team is also undertaking progressive rehabilitation at the site.