Tag Archives: Thiess

Thiess opens ‘dynamic hub’ for mining truck rebuilds

Thiess has celebrated the official opening of its new Thiess Rebuild Centre on Batam Island, Indonesia, a facility that, it says, will serve as a dynamic hub for rebuilding Thiess’ mining trucks, equipment and components for its operations in Asia and Australia.

The official opening brought together many dignitaries and stakeholders, including Mayor of Batam and Head of BP Batam, Muhammad Rudi, the Australian Ambassador to Indonesia, Penny Williams, Chairman of Kabil Integrated Industrial Estate Group, Kris Wiluan, clients and industry leaders, key suppliers, community representatives and Thiess employees, to witness the unveiling of a facility that will elevate Thiess’ global capabilities in asset management and asset services.

Thiess Group Executive Chair and CEO, Michael Wright, said: “This purpose built, state-of-th-art rebuild centre enables Thiess to play a bigger role in the future of sustainable mining. The rebuilt equipment and components will result in improved machine productivities, incorporating product updates and technology improvements, and delivering enhanced mining efficiencies at lower costs for our clients.

“It also establishes a platform for Thiess to explore decarbonisation and alternative fuel technologies, as well as the opportunity to provide these services to our clients in the future.”

Thiess Group Executive of Asset Management, Autonomy & Digital, Ramesh Liyanage, explained that the rebuild centre will enable Thiess to retrofit rebuilt trucks with clean fuel technologies upon availability, instead of simply replacing end-of-life trucks with conventional diesel trucks currently on the market.

“The Thiess Rebuild Centre is the perfect demonstration of how we can leverage our global expertise and come together to provide sustainable solutions for our clients’ operations, as well as deliver asset management services to the mining sector globally,” he said.

Thiess’ Batam Engineering General Manager, Daryl Albury, added: “We have just completed our first two zero-hour rebuild Cat 789 trucks, which will be heading to Thiess’ Australian operations. The rebuild successfully reset the usage on these trucks to zero hours, extending their lives by a further 50,000 to 60,000 hours each.

“We currently have another eight 789s stripped back and ready to go through a complete overhaul of all major components, as well as a full refurbishment of their chassis and all electrical systems, and technology updates. By the end of 2024, we expect to have around 65 trucks fully rebuilt, a great result for Year one.”

Thiess says it is committed to offering employment, training and development opportunities to local communities where it operates around the world. For the Batam Island communities, this includes opportunities for local people to enter Thiess’ leading apprentice program, as well as for local students to participate in work experience with Thiess, with the goal of furthering their future employment opportunities.

First zero-hour Cat 789 trucks roll out of Thiess Rebuild Centre in Batam, Indonesia

Employees at the Thiess Rebuild Centre on Batam Island, Indonesia, have celebrated the completion of the centre’s first zero-hour rebuild Cat 789 truck, marking a significant milestone for the company.

Ten Cat 789 haul trucks from Thiess’ Indonesian operations arrived on Batam Island in October while the facility was being constructed, and, less than two months later, the facility is operational and the first Indonesian truck rebuild has been successfully completed.

Thiess Group Executive Assets, Technical Services and Technology, Ramesh Liyanage, said: “Our Thiess Rebuild Centre team is a great example of our long-standing expertise in asset management and fleet maintenance. This rebuild facility demonstrates how Thiess can leverage our global expertise and come together to solve complex problems. It’s the next step up in the evolution of our capabilities and service offerings.”

Thiess Batam Engineering General Manager, Daryl Albury, added: “The team has successfully reset the usage clock on this truck to zero hours, extending its service life by a further 40,000 to 60,000 hours.

“We have another four 789s stripped back, ready to go through a complete overhaul of all major components, and a full refurbishment of chassis and all electrical systems.

“Once the first batch of five 789s are completed, they will be shipped across to Thiess’ Australian operations to meet the growing demand for fleet. We look forward to this being the first truck of many over the coming years with a plan to rebuild up to 160 Thiess and third-party trucks per annum.”

MACA takes delivery of first Sandvik DR410i rotary blasthole drill rig at Gruyere

MACA says the first of six Sandvik DR410i rotary blasthole drill rigs has arrived at the Gruyere gold mine as part of a complete replacement of an ageing mixed fleet at the open-pit operation.

This compact yet imposing rig boasts a single pass depth of 14 m and capacity for holes some 32.3 m deep, further enhancing the capabilities of MACA’s strong fleet at Gruyere, it said. MACA, owned by Thiess, was recently awarded a five-year contract extension at the operation.

Gruyere, jointly owned by Gold Fields and Gold Road Resources, is 1,200 km northeast of Perth. The long-standing partnership began in 2017 and was founded on an aligned focus for safe mining practices and operational excellence.

The strengthened drilling fleet – which will amount to nine rigs in total – will assist MACA to achieve production goals, it says.

The six Sandvik DR410i units will also be joined by two Leopard DI650is and a Pantera DP1500i, representing MACA’s significant investment in leading mining technology to deliver value to clients, it said.

Thiess turning autonomous mining opportunities into reality

Thiess may have deliberately started small with autonomy, however, 10 years into its journey, the company is now being recognised as a mine automation leader in the ever-competitive mining services space.

Whether it is drilling, dozing or haulage, Thiess has plenty of autonomy expertise to offer.

The company started off in 2013 with maintenance and service work on the autonomous haulage fleet a major producer had assembled at its iron ore operation in the Pilbara. This has since broadened out to semi-autonomous tractor system (SATS) operations at major coal mines in Australia, autonomous drilling advances using Epiroc and Caterpillar platforms and, most recently, autonomous haulage and drilling operations at Pembroke Resources’ Olive Downs Complex greenfield operation in Queensland.

Trent Smith, Head of Autonomy and Operations Technology at Thiess, says the company seeks to involve itself early on with autonomy projects to ensure benefits can be realised.

He explains: “We like to help identify the opportunity for automation, which initially involves answering two big questions: is the application suitable? And does it deliver a financial benefit to the project? If there are positive answers to both questions, we try to work with those potential clients on how to bring the vision to life.”

Thiess’ involvement in this process is extensive, looking at network options, OEM selection, the “people element” and more, according to Smith.

“Our strategy was a bit different to others, where, aside from the work at our first autonomy project in the Pilbara, we started with small pilot projects on drills and dozers,” he told IM on the side lines of IMARC 2023 in Sydney earlier this month. “This enabled us to establish some solid foundations, understand the significance of the required changes, understand what the key enablers like networks were and put support models behind those aspects.”

To date, the mining services provider has worked closely with OEMs Epiroc and Caterpillar on modifying their autonomy platforms to fit its clients’ operations to improve safety and efficiency.

“With Caterpillar, we were able to take an emerging technology platform like Cat® MineStar™ Command for drilling and ensure it was fit for purpose for the coal environment we were planning to deploy it in.

“With Epiroc’s solution, we took a mature and proven product from the iron ore environment – equipped mainly for single pass, vertical drilling in competent ground with big and open drill pads – and tailored it for a coal application. This application required the introduction of autonomous rod changing and angle drilling for drilling in varied ground within tighter working areas.

“We worked hand-in-hand with Epiroc to understand the complexities of translating the solution for this environment, utilising all of the on-board data in the early trial stages and filtering that down to identify areas of waste and opportunity that could be used by the OEM and ourselves to realise an improvement in performance within that new environment.”

This evidently worked, with the companies, earlier this year, achieving the significant milestone of drilling more than one million lineal metres at the Lake Vermont coal mine in Queensland.

Pembroke Resources’ Olive Downs Complex has become the world’s first mining operation to deploy Command for hauling and Command for drilling solutions simultaneously

Thiess is also expecting to later this year reach the same autonomous drilling milestone with Cat’s Command for drilling platform; this time at a major coal mine in New South Wales.

The company has also helped achieve an industry first at Pembroke Resources’ Olive Downs Complex, with it becoming the world’s first mining operation to deploy Command for hauling and Command for drilling solutions simultaneously.

This assignment, which moved from concept to implementation of autonomous trucks and drills within a matter of 18 months, will ultimately include the deployment of 21 haul trucks (15 Cat 794 ACs and six Cat 793Fs) and three drills (Cat MD6310s) fitted with autonomous technology. Additionally, Thiess has established a private LTE network on Pembroke’s on-site communication infrastructure, enabling the safe operation of more than 85 connected assets within the autonomous operating zone. It has also upskilled more than 280 team members to, Thiess says, support the delivery of autonomous operations at Olive Downs to enable improvements in safety, operating hours, cycle efficiency and cost.

There is potential to add Command for dozing at Pembroke Resources’ Olive Downs Complex in future years, according to Smith.

“We have built the network and control room with the anticipation that this will be used,” he said. “We are already the first company in the world to have all three Caterpillar autonomy products running at operations, but Pembroke Resources’ Olive Downs Complex would be the first operation in the world to have all three Cat autonomy products operating at one mine.”

Thiess now has six autonomy projects out in the market, all of which are performing well against industry automation benchmarks, according to Smith, who says this capability is being recognised within the mining company community and OEM space.

The company has already announced its first automation project outside of Australia – at a coal mine in East Kalimantan, Indonesia, where it will deploy autonomous drilling operations – and Smith says the company is exploring further autonomous drilling opportunities in Latin America.

As well as continuing to engage with the wider OEM market on automation options, Thiess is working on different automation applications for existing products.

“With the SATS Command for dozing product, for instance, we are looking to take the platform and work with Caterpillar to move it towards a rehabilitation application,” Smith said, referencing the Thiess Rehabilitation business the company launched last year. “The requirements in mine rehabilitation are somewhat different to standard dozer push and stockpile applications, with multi-push vectors and the ability to potentially control several small-scale projects from one centralised hub.

“This is an example of where we work with an OEM, bring our knowledge of working with the product, identify a new application for the product, and then lay out what new set of capabilities need to be addressed to meet the requirements and fulfil that market opportunity.”

The company has a track record of proposing and advancing such autonomous dozing opportunities in certain niche applications, Smith said, adding that it recently achieved the 10 million cubic metres push mark with SATS.

The first rehabilitation application for SATS could end up being at a project in central Queensland – a project the Thiess Rehabilitation team started work on last year.

Thiess recently achieved the 10 million cubic metres push mark with SATS

Against this advancing autonomy backdrop, Smith says the company continues to be asked about combining the “decarbonisation” and autonomy pieces of the mine operating puzzle, with a staged approach typically being recommended.

“At the moment, these two (autonomy and decarbonisation) are a little bit separate, but they will converge at some point,” he said. “I imagine artificial intelligence and predictive capabilities will play a role in that – evaluating when the truck might run out of charge, when is best to pull that truck out of service for a 30-minute fast charge, etc.

“What I would say is if you have taken a step in either direction (autonomy or decarbonisation) already, you are well placed for this convergence.”

Smith offered up one last piece of advice to any company looking to take its next automation step: “Don’t forget the people and process part.”

He explained: “Most organisations know how to deliver a technology project, but I think the real value in automation is bringing the people and process along with that. Automation is a business transformation.

“We worked with Pembroke Resources’ at their Olive Downs Complex to ensure the appropriate change management process to enable automation was implemented across all business functions. Each function was reviewed to understand what needed to change to bring in automation and create a cohesive environment.

“It’s already starting to pay off at that project, where we exceeded our target of 6,500 annualised hours within two months of commencing autonomous haulage operations.”

Thiess-Batam

Thiess ramps up truck rebuilding capability in Indonesia

Thiess says it has demonstrated commitment to expanding its truck and component rebuilding capabilities on a large scale with the execution of a lease for a new facility at Kabil Integrated Industrial Estate on Batam Island, Indonesia.

Thiess has an extensive fleet of mining haulage trucks in Indonesia and Australia, including more than 650 that will reach the end of their service life in the next eight years and require either replacement or rebuilding, it says.

Thiess Group Executive Chair and CEO, Michael Wright, said: “The new truck rebuild facility at Kabil Estate is an integral part of a strategic initiative to equip Thiess with better control over our asset replacement and rebuild program, and deliver improved financial and sustainability outcomes for our clients and shareholders.

“We are pleased to have secured this site that is centrally located between our Indonesian and Australian operations, with world class facilities and transport and logistics services – the professionalism and support from Kabil Estate has enabled swift mobilisation and we are on track for first production by December 2023.

“This rebuild facility also establishes a platform for Thiess to explore decarbonisation and alternative fuel technologies, as well as the opportunity to provide these services for our clients in the future.”

Kabil Integrated Industrial Estate Group Chairman, Kris Wiluan, said: “We are delighted to welcome Thiess as a valued addition to Kabil Estate. With state-of-the-art infrastructure, strategic location, and a focus on sustainability, we look forward to providing Thiess with a competitive advantage in its operations in Indonesia and Australia while supporting its ecofriendly initiatives.”

Thiess Batam Engineering General Manager, Daryl Albury, said: “Our new facility at Kabil Estate will enable Thiess to reset the usage clock on up to 160 trucks per year to zero hours, through a complete overhaul, including all major components, a full refurbishment of electrical systems and returning all worn components to original equipment manufacturer specification.

“The zero-hour rebuild is expected to extend the service life of each of Thiess’ Caterpillar mining trucks by a further 40,000 to 60,000 hours.”

Thiess Group Executive Assets, Technical Services and Technology, Ramesh Liyanage, said: “Thiess’ reputation for certainty of delivery is built on our expertise in asset management and fleet maintenance, with component rebuild centres across our operations for decades.

“This new truck rebuild facility is the next step up in the evolution of our capabilities and service offerings.”

Thiess’ existing rebuild facilities in Perth, Brisbane and the Hunter Valley in Australia, and in Balikpapan in Indonesia, have a track record in rebuilds and refurbishments of trucks, dozers and components for the company’s fleet of mining assets, as well as limited fee-for-service rebuilds of client assets.

MACA to replace Gruyere open-pit surface drilling fleet with Sandvik rigs

Leading Australian mining, civil and minerals processing contracting group, MACA, has selected Sandvik Mining and Rock Solutions to supply nine new surface drill rigs as a complete replacement for an ageing mixed fleet at the Gruyere open-pit gold mine in the Western Australian Goldfields, where it was recently awarded a five-year contract extension.

The order, which was booked in the June quarter of 2023, includes six Sandvik DR410i rotary blasthole drills, two Leopard™ DI650i down-the-hole (DTH) drill rigs and a Pantera™ DP1500i top hammer drill rig. Deliveries began in July and will continue through April 2024.

MACA, part of Thiess, has specialised in mining, crushing, civil construction, infrastructure and mineral processing for more than 20 years. It employs more than 3,000 people across operations in Australia and internationally.

MACA has provided various services at Gruyere, a joint venture between Gold Fields and Gold Road Resources, since the contractor initiated bulk earthworks in 2017. Gruyere is expected to produce an annual average of 350,000 oz of gold through a current mine life of at least 2032.

Sandvik DR410i rotary blasthole drill rigs (pictured) are compact, powerful and technologically advanced, the OEM says. They are designed for rotary and DTH holes up to 254 mm, with a mast offering a first pass capability of 14 m and a maximum depth of 32.3 m.

The Leopard DI650i is a self-contained, crawler-mounted, intelligent DTH drill rig designed for demanding high-capacity production drilling applications, Sandvik says, while the Pantera DP1500i is a hydraulic, self-propelled top hammer drill rig, ideal for production or pre-split drilling in large quarries or open-pit mines and construction sites.

Australia’s first Liebherr R 9300 mining excavator starts work at Karlawinda gold mine

Liebherr-Australia has recently delivered an R 9300 mining excavator to long-term customer MACA at the Karlawinda gold project, in Western Australia, with the machine becoming the first such excavator commissioned in the country.

After a successful launch – with five of these excavators already sold in Indonesia – the commissioning of the first R 9300 in Australia further demonstrates the strength of the machine’s reputation, the OEM says.

The mining excavator was commissioned in late August at Karlawinda, in the Pilbara region of Western Australia. MACA, a global contractor that works within the mining, construction and process engineering sectors and is owned by Thiess, is excited to welcome this machine to its growing Liebherr excavator fleet, it says.

It joins three Liebherr R 9200 excavators operating on the site, owned by Capricorn Metals, expanding MACA’s already extensive Liebherr fleet, totalling over 20 excavators.

The R 9300 was chosen not only for its capacity to assist in meeting the production targets of its client, but also for the excavator’s fuel efficiency; its state-of-the-art technology, such as Liebherr’s Assistance Systems; and its operational effectiveness, Liebherr says.

Liebherr-Australia completed the assembly, testing and commissioning of the R 9300 in a matter of four weeks. The company will continue to support the machine and MACA from both its Perth and Newman branches, as well as from the factory for Liebherr mining excavators in Colmar, France.

The R 9300 was launched to the global mining market in June of this year. It is the second Generation 8 excavator within the Liebherr Mining portfolio and comes with the most advanced Liebherr Mining innovations as standard. The R 9300 will replace the R 9250 as the 250-tonne mining excavator in Liebherr’s portfolio in 2024.

You can find out more about the R 9300 in this video interview here.

MACA wins load and haul contract with Atlas Iron’s McPhee Creek project

MACA says it has been awarded the mining contract at Atlas Iron’s McPhee Creek project, in the northeast Pilbara region of Western Australia, approximately 100 km north of the Roy Hill Mine.

Thiess Group Executive Australia West and MACA CEO, David Greig, said: “MACA has a strong, 20-year history servicing the resources and construction industries, and has built long standing client relationships during this period. We are now operating as a Thiess company, and I am delighted with the effort between both companies to continue to support these relationships and critical project development in Western Australia.”

“We’ve been working with Atlas for almost 15 years across our crushing, civil and mining businesses, and I look forward to working with them once again on the McPhee Creek project,” he said.

Thiess Executive Chair and CEO, Michael Wright, added: “It is very pleasing to see MACA’s ongoing commitment to their clients. They have great people who pride themselves in providing value across a broad range of services.”

The three-year project scope includes mine load and haul of up to 10 Mt/y, before being transported to Roy Hill for processing. The project is anticipated to employ 145 people at peak operations and will include partnerships with local Indigenous businesses.

Thiess extends mining services stay at Wahana and Hanoman mines in Indonesia

Thiess says it has received contract extensions in South Kalimantan, Indonesia, at the Wahana coal mine from Bayan Resources and at the Hanoman coal mine from PT Cakrawala Langit Sejahtera , which mines the pits in the Satui area owned by Arutmin, part of Bumi Resources.

With a combined value of A$480 million ($320 million) over more than three years, Thiess will extend its mining services, including drill and blast, load and haul, and pit dewatering.

Thiess Executive Chair & CEO, Michael Wright, said: “We are excited to continue to deliver sustainable mining outcomes for our longstanding partners Bayan and PT CLS by working the two adjacent mines.

“These extensions reinforce our capability and credentials for operational excellence. They also give us opportunities to showcase our passionate commitment to diversity and inclusion, where we continue to increase the participation of women and people with disability in our workforce.”

Thiess President Director, Indonesia, Jeffrey Kounang, added: “The solutions we provide for both clients enable our team to maximise resource recoveries and optimise the reserves of both operations. We are proud to continuously live up to our clients’ expectations and deliver on our promises.

“We are also very pleased to be able to continue working with the Satui community, which started back in the early 2000s, to help create lasting social and economic values.”

These contract awards build on two separate agreements Thiess has signed in Indonesia, both announced this week. Thiess successfully extended a long-term contract with Bayan Resources to continue providing mining services at the Melak mining complex, in East Kalimantan, while it also secured an agreement with Kaltim Prima Coal to extend its current mining services contract and to provide fleet hire services at Sangatta mine, also in East Kalimantan.

Thiess extends KPC stay and bolts on hire services for Sangatta mine

Thiess has secured an agreement with Kaltim Prima Coal (KPC) to extend its current mining services contract and to provide fleet hire services at Sangatta mine, East Kalimantan, Indonesia.

With revenues of A$210 million ($141 million) and commencing in January 2023, Thiess will expand its services from land preparation, load and haul, asset management and rehabilitation, to include equipment hire and maintenance.

Thiess Executive Chair & CEO, Michael Wright, said: “The KPC mine in Sangatta has been an important part of the Thiess business for more than 30 years. We are proud to continue contributing to our client’s ongoing success, while extending our strong record of safe operations.

“We also welcome the opportunity to continue to work with the Sangatta community where we have been involved for some 30 years.”

Thiess President Director, Indonesia, Jeffrey Kounang, said: “Our team in Sangatta played a significant role in securing this extension, managing operations safely and meeting our client’s expectations, despite the often challenging weather impacts. And they did this while achieving a fantastic record of 10 million work hours injury free!

“This extension gives us the opportunity to continue delivering sustainable results for the client and the community, which we are so passionate about.”

Thiess has been working with KPC since October 2003 and currently undertakes a range of contract mining services for four of KPC’s pits including mine planning, stripping, blasting, overburden removal, mining and stockpiling.