Tag Archives: Tony Caruso

Mastermyne to re-start QCoal’s Cook Colliery met coal mine

Mastermyne Group has been selected by Constellation Mining Pty Ltd, a subsidiary of QCoal Group, to operate its Cook Colliery metallurgical coal mine in Central Queensland, Australia.

The project will be restarted over two distinct phases with the first phase commencing immediately, according to Mastermyne.

The Stage 1 works will see the company re-commence the underground operations including bringing the operation out of care and maintenance and transitioning back into production. Stage 1 works will include re-commissioning of underground infrastructure, overhauling of mining equipment, establishment of production panels and all other associated administrative and procurement works. Stage 1 works are scheduled to commence immediately and be completed by late this calendar year.

The Cook Colliery was previously owned and operated by Bounty Mining, which went into administration after placing the operation in care and maintenance at the end of 2019. QCoal then acquired the asset in 2020.

In parallel to the Stage 1 works, the parties will finalise a Mining Services Contract for the underground operations (Stage 2). The expected contract value will be determined and communicated once negotiations for Stage 2 are complete, Mastermyne said.

Mastermyne, in conjunction with QCoal, has carried out a review of the mine and the previous mining methods used. The new planned mining areas and operational methods chosen have been based on a thorough assessment of the risks and opportunities, it said. The parties are confident that a measured, low risk approach will deliver consistent results over the extended contract term.

The company will provide further information to the market as the contract process progresses.

Mastermyne CEO, Tony Caruso, said: “QCoal is a very experienced and well-regarded mining organisation that is well known for developing high-quality assets utilising both owner-operated, and contractor-operated models. Both organisations have carefully considered the mining conditions and are confidently progressing with this project using the right methodology and under the right contracting model, which will result in a successful project for all parties.

“We are pleased to be commencing the Stage 1 works, and we look forward to building a long-term successful relationship with QCoal as we recommence mining operations at Cook Colliery.”

Mastermyne to take on ‘Whole of Mine Operations’ at Sojitz’s Gregory Crinum

Mastermyne Group says it has been awarded the Mining Services Contract to operate the Gregory Crinum underground mine in Queensland, Australia, owned by Sojitz Blue Pty Ltd.

The contract term is seven years, including re-establishment, with the value coming in at A$600-660 million ($464-510 million), the company reported.

During 2020, Sojitz appointed Mastermyne to undertake a feasibility study focusing on the development of a high productivity bord and pillar mining operation. In parallel, Mastermyne was also engaged as the Mine Operator to undertake the re-entry process. The underground mining area was successfully re-entered in late October 2020, with no issues encountered, according to the contractor. Mastermyne continued as the Mine Operator while Sojitz finalised internal approvals.

The re-establishment project scope includes the re-establishment of the underground infrastructure including conveyor systems, ventilation, associated mine services, remediation works and surface infrastructure, all of which is expected to take around six months. Following these works, the mine will immediately transition into production with a staged ramp up to three bord and pillar mining units.

The underground mine is expected to produce around 11 Mt run of mine over the life of the project, with mining production planned to commence later this year.

At full production, the underground mine is expected to employ 180 full-time personnel. Mastermyne will provide underground mining equipment from its current fleet, including three bord & pillar miners, multi bolters and shuttle cars along with a range of ancillary production equipment to support the operation. The contract is expected to deliver on average A$80-100 million of revenue per year once in full production, Mastermyne says.

“Initial funding for the project establishment will be a combination of Sojitz capital and Mastermyne capital with the company drawing on its strong cash position and available funding lines to finance the project,” Mastermyne said. “The company’s capital contribution will primarily fund the overhaul of the mining fleet and ancillary mining equipment, which will be recovered over the term of the contract.”

Mastermyne intends to retain ownership of its mining equipment throughout the project.

Mastermyne CEO, Tony Caruso, said: “The execution of our first Whole of Mine Operations contract is a major milestone for Mastermyne and is significant in transitioning the business into a commercial model that is not only complimentary to the existing contracting model, but will provide an even greater level of earnings certainty over the long term.”

Sojitz CEO, Cameron Vorias, said: “We are delighted to have Mastermyne as our highly regarded partner for this development and it will support our strategic plans for the growth of high quality hard coking coal from the area.”

Mastermyne’s Aquila coking coal contract extended by Anglo

Anglo American has extended the stay of Mastermyne Group at its Aquila coking coal project in Queensland, Australia, with the ASX-listed contractor set to continue development of the underground mine for at least the next 12 months.

Mastermyne has been engaged since August 2019 to undertake roadway development in the mains and gate roads, and all outbye related services for the establishment of the new longwall operation at Aquila.

The contract variation will extend the current contract to March 2022 and includes the operation of an additional roadway development unit.

Mastermyne currently employs 178 full-time personnel under the contract, with a further increase of around 60 full-time personnel required for the operation of the additional roadway development unit. Up to half of the personnel for this third development unit at Aquila mine will be relocated from Anglo’s Moranbah North coal mine (currently suspended), following the completion of planned activities. Mobilisation of the additional workforce at Aquila will be completed by March 2021.

The contractor says it continues to supply development equipment from its fleet, including a continuous miner and ancillary development equipment for the project.

Total revenue generated from the variation and extension to the mining contract is expected to be approximately A$60 million ($47 million).

Mastermyne CEO, Tony Caruso, said “We have been working to deliver major underground infrastructure and roadways safely and efficiently, and we look forward to continuing our work with Anglo American to deliver their new longwall project, producing premium high-quality hard coking coal.”

Anglo’s 70%-owned Aquila project will extend the life of its existing Capcoal underground operations by six years and continue to use the associated infrastructure at the Capcoal complex as its nearby Grasstree mine approaches end of life, Anglo says. The project is scheduled for first longwall production of coking coal in early 2022.

BMA commits A$2.3 million to research and innovation in central Queensland

The newly established Resources Centre of Excellence (RCOE) in Mackay, Queensland, and CQ University have been given a boost with the announcement that BHP Mitsubishi Alliance (BMA) will provide A$2.3 million ($1.6 million) in funding towards research, training, and innovation at the two facilities.

The investment will support the appointment of a General Manager of the RCOE and a Chair of Automation and Future Work Skills at CQU, the company said.

The roles will play an important part in the future of the mining and METS sector in Queensland by helping to establish the RCOE as a world-class mining centre in Mackay and supporting CQU to deliver future-focused training and education, BMA said.

The RCOE features an underground coal mine simulator for testing, demonstrating and filming new equipment and products operating in confined spaces.

The latest announcement follows BMA’s initial commitment of A$475,000 last year to support the establishment of the RCOE, which is due to open in July.

BMA Asset President, James Palmer, said: “This investment will help the region continue to be a global player in skills and training, research, and innovation in the mining and METs sector.

“We want to see people currently in the industry or planning a career in the industry to have the best skills and training in the world and we want them to be proud and say it all started for them in regional Queensland.”

The RCOE GM and CQU Chair of Automation and Future Work Skills will work together with industry, community leaders and governments to identify the best way for the region to take advantage of the evolving opportunities technology will bring, according to BMA. A key component of which will be developing new models for innovation, skills, and training that will enable regional communities to grow their economies.

Chairman of the RCOE board, Tony Caruso, said: “The support of BMA and our collaboration with CQ University will enable the region to play an integral role in shaping the mines of the future.”

CQ University Vice-Chancellor and President, Prof Nick Klomp, said the financial contribution of BMA, coupled with CQ University’s existing research expertise, would supercharge the regional impact of the RCOE.

“The CQU Chair will play a critical role in producing and overseeing research that can be applied directly to the future sustainability of the resource sector and regional workforces, in central Queensland and beyond.”

Mastermyne outbye services contract extended at South32’s Illawarra coal mine

Mastermyne Group says it has won a short-term extension to its existing contract with South32 at the Illawarra metallurgical coal operation in New South Wales, Australia.

The execution of the new contract will see the ASX-listed contractor continue to provide outbye services at the operation, part of the Appin colliery, until June 30, 2020. This extension closely aligns Mastermyne’s outbye services with the roadway development contract also operating in parallel at the mine, it said.

The scope of the agreement provides for a range of services managing outbye processes and supplementary labour in the Appin colliery longwall area.

The contract extension, expected to generate revenue of around A$17 million ($11.6 million) over the seven-month period, also allows the company to use this time to finalise an Enterprise Agreement with its workforce, it said.

South32 completed two longwall moves in the June 2019 quarter and plans to produce 7 Mt of metallurgical coal in the year ending June 30, 2020. This is up from 6.6 Mt in the previous 12-month period. More longwall moves have been scheduled for the current quarter and the March 2020 quarter as South32 looks to support the operation’s return to a three longwall configuration from the June 2020 quarter.

Mastermyne CEO, Tony Caruso, said: “We have worked closely with South32 for some time now, and putting this extension in place means both organisations are able to plan and get set for the longer term requirements at the mine.

“The company has provided contracting services to the Illawarra metallurgical coal operations for over 15 years now and we look forward to assisting South32 with their next stage of underground growth at the Appin colliery.”

Mastermyne gets three more years at Moranbah North, Grosvenor

Mastermyne Group has had its Moranbah Region Umbrella contract with Anglo American’s Metallurgical Coal division renewed for a three-year term, it said.

The contract extends the existing contract at Moranbah North and Grosvenor mines, in Queensland, Australia, and commences from November 15.

Mastermyne said the pact includes an option to extend for an additional two years at Anglo American’s discretion, with work under this contract estimated to contribute revenues of around A$250-$300 million ($170-204 million) over the three-year term.

The scope of work includes design, supply and installation, recovery and maintenance of ventilation structures and devices; installation of secondary support; outbye support and maintenance activities; conveyor belt installations and recovery; and development services.

Moranbah North is an underground longwall coking coal mine that began operating in 1998, while Grosvenor, also a longwall coking coal mine, produced its first longwall coal in May 2016.
Mastermyne said the revenue and earnings from the contract extension have been included in the company’s current 2020 financial year guidance.

Mastermyne CEO, Tony Caruso, said: “The company is very pleased to see the continuation of this long-term relationship, built with Anglo American over the past 17 years. Moranbah North and Grosvenor mines supply high-grade metallurgical coal to the international market for steel production, and we are pleased to support their successful operation.”