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Australas ian M

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ISSUE 2.1

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2011


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Editor Kathryn Edwards Editorial Assistant Jarrod Fitch

Contents

Lead Graphic Designer Michael Griffiths Graphic Designers Kasha Abbott Bianca Fidge Kimberley Smith Publisher Garth Wright CEO Gary Peach General Manager Graham Miles

3

Industry Foreword

6

Managing your tyres during the supply crisis Many of the practices recommended can be regarded as common-sense for any mine operator looking to maximise equipment utilisation and life, writes Paul Comninos.

16

The Australian Coal Industry Review and outlook by St George Economic Research.

35

Gold: Passing the buck All things considered, gold has a bright future for at least the next two years, writes Chris Towsey.

42

Oil and gas review The Chinese zodiac may have 2011 designated as the Year of the Rabbit, but following a string of new project approvals Queensland’s $50 billion liquefied natural gas (LNG) industry may well have claims to the title, writes Anthony Fensom.

48

Exploration review An Exploration Tax Credit (ETC) model is an effective means of encouraging investment in junior exploration companies, particularly those looking to undertake greenfields exploration, writes Simon Bennison.

Advertising Phone: (07) 3003 0283 Email: philip@aprs.com.au

53

Mining in a future climate Hotter, drier conditions and more extreme weather events will have an impact on working conditions and safety for mine workers, writes Andrea Wild.

Disclaimer APRS is not committed to nor takes responsibility for the views expressed in articles or advertisements herein.

60

Hearing protection Aging causes a natural hearing decline in almost everyone, however with noise damage, even a 30-year-old can have trouble listening, writes Ian Paterson, Vice President, Tinnitus Association of Victoria.

The publishers could not possibly ensure that each advertisement published in this magazine complies with the Trade Practices Act and responsibility must therefore rest with the person, company or agency submitting the advertisement for publication.

66

The future of automation technologies The rise of automation in the Australian resources industry will cause a major skills shortage in the next decade unless it invests in specialist training, a new industry report has revealed.

80

Maximising capabilities of Geographic Information Systems How Geographic Information Systems (GIS) can be implemented successfully and strategically to improve data access and business integration, delivering improved efficiencies, risk mitigation, and maximum return on investment. By Alicia Stumm.

Marketing Kimberley Rainsford Johnathon Dunstan Printer Newstyle Printing Co. Pty Ltd 41 Manchester Street Mile End, SA 5031 Phone: 08 8234 6155 APRS Head Office Level 6, 38 Currie Street Adelaide, SA 5000 GPO Box 1746, Adelaide, SA 5001 Phone: (08) 8113 9200 Fax: (08) 8113 9201 APRS Queensland Office Level 2, The Mansions 40 George Street, Brisbane, QLD 4000 Phone: (07) 3229 9766 Fax: (07) 3229 3066 Pre-Press Phone: (08) 8113 9206 Email: prepress@aprs.com.au

Front cover image: Steve Cruse securing front wheel hub in heavy machinery workshop at East Weipa bauxite mine. Copyright Š 2010 Rio Tinto.


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89

Products and Services guide

90

Access and control safety systems Fortres

134

Research, development and innovative technologies CRCMining

91

Access heights safely and easily Lincon

136

Slurry pumping Tyco

92

Accomodation - portable and demountable mine site buildings Decorate by Design

138

Technologies for growing industries - from operations to inventory to finance Leverage Technologies

94

Aviation services to the mining industry Adagold, MI Helicopters

139

Undergound equipment - drilling Carbide Bit Co.

97

Underground machinery and equipment solutions ET Mining Solutions

140

Vehicle maintenance - washing, servicing and repairing Autowash

98

Bearings NSK

142

Minerals processing equipment Russell Mineral Equipment

100

Cables and mining components Rexel

144

Trucks Duratray, Haulmax

102

Consultancy services to the mining industry - exploration to production Deswik

104

Drill and blast showcase Barminco

106

Electrical, electrical engineering testing and safety B&R Enclosures

108

Gas detection MSA

110

Hydraulics in mining Manuli Hydraulics, Pirtek

114

Mine site security Security Intelligence Group, ADT

117

Pipes, hose, tubes and valves for mining PPI

118

Plastics vs metal and corrosion FRP Engineering

120

Power generation Energy Power Systems

122

Height safety Branach Ladders

123

Power transmissions CBC Bearings, Bonfiglioli Transmission

128

Ramps, walkways and metal flooring Webforge, Locker group

132

Repairs AEM

133

Signage and promotional products Bladon W.A.

Australasian Mining Review 2011: issue 2.1


When the task is hard, the choice is easy.

Working at heights needs special features to ensure maximum safety. Branach Step Platforms are recognised as world leaders in protecting workers from injury - or worse. Large footings and adjustable levelling attachments provide extra stability, even in rough or uneven ground. An innovative safety rail totally encloses workers while allowing them to use both hands for the job, instead of one hand to work and the other to hold on. The standing area is larger than the industry average to help with balance while using power tools. Lightweight fibreglass construction gives both strength and non-conductivity. When you choose Branach, you chose the highest level of safety for workers operating at heights.

www.branach.com.au


3

[Foreword]

The challenges ahead for mining boom II The stellar performance of the Australian resources sector over the past decade looks set to continue for some time to come due to a combination of strong economic growth by our international customers, the pipeline of projects required to support that growth with the minerals and energy they need, and Australia’s international reputation as a reliable and competitive supplier.

The Australian Bureau of Agricultural and Resource Economics and Sciences (ABARES) estimates earnings from Australia’s mineral and energy exports will increase by 28 per cent to a record $177 billion in 2010–11. This record value reflects higher prices for bulk commodities, crude oil and most base metals and higher export volumes for all major minerals and energy commodities. As at October 2010, more than 70 projects were at an advanced stage of development, with a capital expenditure of $132.9 billion – another Australian record and a 21 per cent increase from April 2010. In 2009-10, new capital expenditure was the second highest on record and 2.7 times the 30-year average. The value of advanced minerals and energy projects was boosted by the decision to proceed with the development of BG Group’s $15 billion Queensland Curtis Island LNG facility and Rio Tinto’s $3 billion commitment to expand its iron ore export capacity by 60 million tonnes to 283 million tonnes a year in 2013 – just two more examples of Australia’s growing resource capacity and customer focus. Since that report the joint venture partners on the Gladstone LNG Project have also taken a final investment decision for capital expenditure worth $16 billion. Exploration – the lifeblood of future projects – is also growing. In real terms, exploration spending in 2009-10 was the third highest on record and nearly double the average of the past 30 years. These figures look even more impressive when they are stacked up against the rest of the economy. This year, Australian industry will invest more money into mining than the whole country invests in building new houses - something that has never happened before. And one single project – the $43 billion Gorgon project – is worth about the same as two years of output from agriculture. Australia’s success in resource industries did not happen by chance. It is built on a history of successful reform and effective regulation. But neither the Australian Government nor the resources sector can afford to rest on our laurels. We have significant challenges ahead of us to maintain and manage the momentum of Mining Boom II.

First and foremost, we need to maximise the benefit for future generations from the disposal of non-renewable natural resources. This is always the largest challenge during a global resources boom. The Australian Government is meeting this challenge through the Minerals Resource Rent Tax (MRRT), which will apply to coal and iron ore production, and the extension of the Petroleum Resource Rent Tax to all onshore and offshore oil and gas projects, including the North West Shelf. Shortly after the July 2010 announcement of the MRRT and revised PRRT the Government established the Policy Transition Group (PTG) whose task was to consult with industry and stakeholders over the implementation of these resource taxation reforms. The PTG which I co-chaired along with Don Argus, provided its reports to the Treasurer in December 2010. As a result of the work of the PTG I am confident that the new taxation regime will be implemented in a way which meets the twin goals of maximising community benefit from Australia’s natural resources while maintaining the competitive edge that has made Australia the world leader for mineral production and investment. This is in no small part due to the collaborative, cooperative dialogue that the PTG was able to generate with all sectors of the resources industry. We are also addressing the strain placed on infrastructure, especially coal and iron ore facilities, by the past decade of growth. Recently-completed projects from the public and private sector to assist the coal and iron ore industries help meet future demand, include: •

Completion of the Minimbah Bank Third Rail Line in the Hunter Valley coal region of New South Wales;

The Brisbane coal terminal expansion and the Coppabella to Ingsdon rail duplication to service coal mines in the northern and central areas of the Bowen Basin; and

The Port Hedland Port Authority’s $225 million Utah Point Berth Project in Western Australia. With a total capacity of 18 million tonnes, this multi-use export terminal has significantly increased the export capacity available to smaller iron ore producers.

Australasian Mining Review 2011: issue 2.1


4

Of course, the natural disasters that beset Queensland and other parts of Australia this summer have complicated our task. We have a massive rebuilding task ahead, including getting the infrastructure that supports Queensland’s coal industry back on track. The demands of flood recovery will only compound the huge strains being placed on our labour market by the mining boom. The resources sector was already facing a potential shortfall of 36,000 tradespersons by 2015. After three decades when unemployment was our major problem, we now face shortages of labour – a problem unmatched anywhere in the industrialised world. All these challenges – intergenerational equity, infrastructure and ensuring we have the skilled labour force to deliver - require government and industry to work together closely, and I look forward to continuing to work with industry to realise the opportunities presented, for this generation and the next, by Mining Boom II.

Martin was elected to Federal Parliament as the Member for Batman in1996 and served continuously as a Shadow Minister until the election of the Labor Government on 3 December 2007. Martin served successively as Shadow Minister for: Employment and Training - 20 March 1996 to 26 August 1997 Employment and Training, Population and Immigration and Assistant to the Leader on Multicultural Affairs - 26 August 1997 to 20 October 1998 Employment, Training and Population - 20 October 1998 to 3 October 1999 Regional Development, Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Services and Population - 03 October 1999 to 25 November 2001 Regional and Urban Development, Transport and Infrastructure - 25 November 2001 to 23 August 2002 Regional Development, Transport, Infrastructure and Tourism - 23 August 2002 to 02 July 2003 Urban and Regional Development, Transport and Infrastructure - 2 July 2003 to 26 October 2004 Primary Industries, Resources and Tourism 26 October 2004 to 24 June 2005 Primary Industries, Resources, Forestry and Tourism - 24 June 2005 to 10 December 2006 Transport, Roads and Tourism - 10 December 2006 to 3 December 2007 Previously, Martin was President of the Australian Council of Trade Unions (ACTU) after working for the Federated Miscellaneous Workers’ Union of Australia since 1975. As president of the ACTU, Martin was a member of advisory councils and foundations including the Social Security Review, the Economic Planning Advisory Council, the National Labour Consultative Council and the Advance Australia Foundation. Martin was also a member of the ILO Governing Body from 1990 to 1996.

Martin was born in Sydney in 1953 and was educated at St Patrick’s, Strathfield. He has a Bachelor of Economics degree (Hons) from Sydney University.

Martin and his wife Patricia have two children. Martin was appointed a Member of the Order of Australia in June 1996.


APRS subscriptions The Australasian Mining Review is an independent voice for mining in Australia and is a well established member of the APRS mining and resource publications. There are enormous opportunities for Australasian companies to reach Australia’s key decision makers. If you need to brand your organisation or launch or brand a new product, our range of mining publications provides the best targeted distribution in the region. All APRS titles are produced with the highest possible production-quality. Content is always aimed at the discerning reader who is interested in quality, style and informative editorial.

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during the supply crisis

Managing your tyres

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Many of the practices outlined and recommended in this article can be regarded as common-sense for any mine operator looking to maximise equipment utilisation and life, writes Paul Comninos.

M

ost mine operators in Australia would now be aware of the tyre supply crisis which is having a dramatic effect on the supply of tyres for both original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) and end users; this issue was outlined in considerable detail over the past 12 months.

2.

Increasing Potential Life: Upgrading and improving your existing operation or tyre specification to further improve tread utilisation. For example, where the tyre is previously considered as worn out at 85 per cent tread wear, aim for 95 per cent tread wear.

Combining these two approaches will give you maximum tyre life. Let’s look at each in more detail.

Recognising that it is a global problem which is not going to go away in the medium term, it is essential that mine operators take steps to manage their tyre use and quickly develop processes to maximise tyre life.

Using existing potential Again, we can break down this approach to a number of critical factors, which include:

The alternative is standing down equipment if no replacement tyres can be sourced.

1.

Reducing cut damage.

2.

Repairing cut-damaged tyres.

3.

Operating tyres within their capabilities.

Most mining operations already have personnel who are dedicated to standard tyre maintenance practices, for example correct pressure maintenance and tyre rotations. However, they are often not in a position to influence daily production practices, which have a far greater effect on the consumption of tyres. To maximise returns on tyre investment, and thus minimise the impact of tyre shortage, the mindset of tyre preservation now needs to permeate all levels on the minesite, from middle management to mine planners to truck and loader operators. For example, changing a set of rear tyres on a dump truck can take a better part of a shift; thus any gains in production from assigning an operator to a truck rather than a grader, would be lost by the truck sitting in the workshop due to a tyre rock cut. Furthermore, to ensure that tyres are properly matched, not only does the damaged tyre have to be replaced, but also any accompanying dual tyres. Potentially, that could be up to four new tyres from what is a diminishing stock. A succession of three or four trucks with rock cuts can rapidly drain tyre stock levels on site – not to mention lose production time. There are two key approaches to increasing tyre life: 1.

Using Existing Potential: Ensuring you fully utilise the potential of your tyres by doing everything possible within your existing operation to reduce cut-damaged scrap and increase the number of worn out tyres.

Reducing cut damage There are four key steps you can take to minimise cut damage to your tyres – probably the single biggest cause of early tyre failure. These are: 1.

Clear loading surface: A clear loading surface means no rocks, stones or other sharp objects in your loading area, where your trucks and loaders are manoeuvring and there are added stresses and shockloads on tyres.

Steps to ensure a clear loading surface include: •

Using a dedicated grader or dozer to keep the loading area clean of spilt rocks and rubble at all times. Assign an operator to a clean up machine before adding a dump truck.

Improving material fragmentation, with the aim of achieving smaller, better-fragmented materials, which will reduce the risk of cuts.

Training your loader or shovel operators in good target loading practices, to minimise spillage of rocks.

Training your truck drivers in good truck positioning practices to ensure ideal placement for loading operations, again to minimise spillage.

Maintaining good drainage around the loading area; puddles can hide sharp, tyrekilling rocks, while slippery, wet conditions greatly increase the risk of tyre damage.

2.

Eliminate spillage on haul roads: Rocks spilt on haul roads are another frequent cause of truck tyre damage.


7

[Tyres}

Steps to help eliminate spillage on haul roads include:

Ensuring good windrow maintenance, to keep dumped material clear of truck tyres.

Eliminating soft spots and rough patches.

4.

Minimise operation in wet conditions: Wet conditions pose an extremely high risk of tyre cut damage. Tyres are more prone to cutting when rocks and spilt materials are wet and slippery, while puddles can hide rocks that an operator might otherwise avoid.

Targeted loading on the part of your shovel and loader operators, to ensure the load is fully within the truck body, and properly distributed to minimise the chance of spills.

On corners, either instructing your drivers to reduce speed or incorporating superelevation to ensure the truck and its load remains properly balanced at all times.

Ensuring that truck loads are positioned to minimise spillages on the haul road during gear changes.

In addition, operating over a wet surface, exposes the roadbase, and increases the risk of tread cuts.

Repairing cut-damaged tyres Eliminating soft spots and rough patches of haul road, where loads can bounce out and/ Repair of cut-damaged tyres is another option for extending tyre life. While a repair can never or tyres can be damaged. return the tyre to its original level of structural 3. Control your dump area: The dump area integrity, it can improve the opportunity for you to offers further potential for tyre damage from safely get close to a full life from a damaged tyre. spilt loads and poor operating practice as fully loaded trucks manoeuvre into position. While it is possible to effectively repair tyres that have been quite badly damaged, timely removal Steps to control your dump area include: of cut-damaged tyres for repair will ensure you • Incorporating dedicated roads in the dump keep repair costs to a minimum, and are able to area; instead of allowing trucks to travel get maximum life from the repaired tyre. anywhere in the dump area, a dedicated road In the case of damage to the tread area, a tyre is easier to keep clear of spilt materials and is a far smaller area that needs to be maintained. should be removed for repair when separation on the top belt occurs, or when the belts have • Using a dedicated grader or dozer to keep been penetrated. the area clean. Damage to the sidewall area requires removal f • Instructing your drivers to only perform an or repair once the steel ply is visible. “L- turn” at the dump area, rather than a U-turn; U-turns produce significant side force Operating tyres within their capabilities loadings on the front tyres, increased tyre Ensuring your tyres are operated within their wear and higher rates of material spillage capabilities is critical to ensuring maximum tyre life. (see diagram for correct procedures). •

Apart from cut damage caused by sharp rocks and rubble, heat is the great enemy of tyres. Tyres that are consistently overheated will break down and fail well before their maximum life. In the past, many mining operations have chosen to overwork their tyres, happy to trade off shortened tyre life in return for higher productivity. However, today, with the likelihood of tyre shortages requiring equipment to be stood down, this philosophy needs to be reconsidered. The prime indicator of a tyre’s capability is the TKPH (tonne/kilometres per hour) rating. Each earthmover tyre has a TKPH rating; if it Australasian Mining Review 2011: issue 2.1


is operated consistently above this, premature failure will result. Giant loader tyres are also in very short supply. While they generally last longer than truck tyres, excessive tramming will result in tread separation, particularly on new tyres with minimal tread wear. Consult your tyre manufacturer if loader tramming is necessary. Increasing potential life In the previous section, we discussed ways of working within your current mine operation to maximise tyre life. However, introducing some wider-ranging changes, including the overall setup of your operation offers the potential to increase tyre life even further.

Corners, where you should look at superelevation for better load balance, increasing the radius to reduce skidding and sliding, and if necessary introducing speed limits, again to reduce skidding. Gradients, because tyre life is significantly reduced when gradients exceed eight per cent. Drainage, where the camber should be adequate to achieve acceptable drainage, to a maximum of three per cent. Road width, which should be based on the widest operating track, with provision allowed for debris clearing without interrupting haul cycles. Speed limits

1.

Improving your operating surfaces.

Speed limits according to conditions, signposted and strictly monitored, will help ensure that your tyres remain within their TKPH capabilities. Highrisk areas where speed limits should be imposed include:

2.

Better road design.

Downhill loading

3.

Imposing speed limits according to conditions.

Switchbacks

4.

Optimising tyre selection.

Corners

Dump areas

Pit floors

Intersections

Abnormally long hauls (outside TKPH capability of the tyre).

There are four main factors here:

Improving your operating surfaces Previously, we mentioned the importance of maintaining clean, rock-free loading, hauling and dumping areas. Consider going a step further, and properly sheeting with roadbase your haul roads, dump access areas and loading areas (ideally to a minimum of 20 mm). That will give you a safer, more stable road surface and reduce tyre wear and tear resulting from rough or poorly finished roads. Improve your dewatering and drainage, particularly in high-risk areas such as load and dump areas, and in low-lying haul roads. In addition, ensure your water carts do not overwater to the extent that puddles remain lying around or roads remain slick and slippery. Better road design Better road design throughout your mining operation will certainly contribute to longer tyre life. Areas to consider include:

Your aim should be to minimise opportunities for excessive heat build-up, skidding and sliding. Optimising tyre selection In view of the tyre supply crisis, more than ever today mine planners must be aware of tyre limitations, and structure a mine’s operations to maximise tyre life. Production planning must fall within the tyre capabilities; the days of trading off higher production for shorter tyre life are over. Tyre selection today needs to be based on the bulk of your production requirements, not the longest haul distance. If necessary, consider two separate dedicated truck fleets to match differing conditions: for example, one for highspeed hauling, another for in-pit dumping.


9

[Tyres: continued}

However, if you have no option but to continue with extreme operations, such as very long haul roads, you are going to have to restrict your haul speeds and cycle times to ensure you remain within your tyres’ capabilities.

Don’t drive through water.

Management responses

Report and avoid spillage.

Drive slowly in hazardous areas.

Maximising tyre life to survive the current supply shortage will require a significant culture change, driven by senior mine management.

Come to a complete stop before turning to dump/load, always with an “L- turn” (stop, then reverse into position turning to the truck’s left-hand side).

Loading tools

While the operator is your first line of defence in maximising tyre life, other personnel such as mine planners and production superintendents need to be aware of how their daily decisions affect tyre performance.

Ensure correct targeting of payload and load positioning.

Stop trucks from reversing onto toe.

Keep loading area clean.

These include increasing haul distance from, say, eight kilometres to 12 kilometres, excessive tramming of giant wheel loaders, building substandard temporary haul roads, and so on.

Maintain tramming speed, as per the tyre manufacturers’ recommendations.

Most mines today have access to mining despatch systems and onboard vehicle monitoring systems to ensure the operation does not exceed the limits of the machine – or the tyre. It is imperative that production data is scrutinised and compared with tyre manufacturers’ recommendations and TKPH capabilities. Tyre scrap reasons should also be analysed on a monthly basis, to determine the effect of the operation on tyre performance and identify areas for improvement. Operator training Operators need to be trained in correct operational techniques to minimise tyre damage, and educated as to the importance of maximum tyre life in maximising production. Operators should also be engaged in the tyre inspection process, reporting and logging any abnormal tyre conditions, such as cuts or deformations. Reports need to be reviewed and any necessary action taken – which may have to include removal of the tyre for repair. Basic instructions for operators of different equipment types should be as follows: Haul trucks •

Auxiliary equipment •

Employ a dedicated maintenance crew to grade, clean and maintain all load and dump areas, and haul roads.

Develop good lines of communication between operators, maintenance crews and tyre maintenance personnel.

Conclusion Many of the practices outlined and recommended in this article can be regarded as common-sense for any mine operator looking to maximise equipment utilisation and life.

Bridgestone Earthmover Tyres Bridgestone Earthmover Tyres is Australia’s leading supplier of off-the-road (OTR) tyres for mining, construction, earthmoving, forestry, agricultural and industrial applications. It supplies all types of OTR tyres, from those for skidsteers and backhoes, up to “super class” mining trucks and loaders. Products include Bridgestone and Firestone tyres, Topy wheels and rims, SealZit tyre and rim protection, and Extracta valves and accessories. In addition to supplying tyres and related products, it offers tyre management programs, tyre repair facilities and specialised training courses. Bridgestone Earthmover Tyres’ distribution network includes its own branch outlets and depots in all states plus the Northern Territory, as well as an extensive dealer network.

However, the ready availability of tyres over the past few years has encouraged many to trade off increased production at the expense of shorter tyre and equipment life. This is no longer an option. Mines which continue to record excessive tyre usage and low tyre life through not following recommended practices will find that replacement tyres will not be readily available. They will no doubt experience a far more substantial fall in production rates if they are forced to park up equipment because no tyres are available for their machines, especially when compared with the alternative: changing mine management practices to maximise tyre life.

Obey all speed limits. Australasian Mining Review 2011: issue 2.1


10

All tread, we shred Tyre remediation The Tyremil Group is a tyre recycling company that has adopted a revolutionary tyre recycling plant which meets stringent EPA guidelines for emissions while generating its own power to operate, an Australian-first tyre to energy plant. Tyremil Group is first-tomarket with a specific process to increase the value of the23 million end of life tyres that are disposed of annually in Australia, the majority of which become landfill or are illegally dumped and shipped overseas . This unique plant and specific process is designed to remedy the global issue of waste tyres.

T

he Tyremil Recycling Plant is geared to turn the previously worthless waste from tyres into a renewable resource outputting a number of value recyclable materials. It is one of the first companies in Australia to be able to effectively recycle end of life tyres, maintaining emission outputs that more than meet stringent EPA guidelines. Tyremil system produces five commodities, Diesel, bunker oil, carbon black, ingot-grade steel, and Syngas.

and scrap rubber disposal. This process is clean, sustainable and will provide a noticeable benefit to current and future generations. The goal is sustainable industry with environmental credibility. We’ve established our focus on the environment by: •

Creating a top-down culture of commitment to the environment.

Implementing world best technology to produce the best results with the least environmental impacts currently possible.

With years of development completed to produce this market-ready infrastructure, there is a compelling • case to capitalise on this research and the significant momentum to revolutionise a huge market • with enormous potential. Tyremil’s vision is simply to turn rubbish into resources. Not only does Tyremil’s process completely solve the current negative environmental impacts associated with commercial and urban tyre and rubber waste, but it proactively produces positive results by extending the life of naturally occurring, “non-renewable” resources by supplementing these supplies with recycled products. The Tyremil process is able to convert waste tyres and scrap rubber into commercial grade products. The resultant materials are not only useful in producing new tyres, but are also suitable for use in other industries. The only waste product generated is ash, which is suitable for use in concrete production. The plant produces zero emissions, therefore avoiding the common issue of tyre recycling plants polluting the atmosphere and damaging the surrounding environment. Furthermore, the recycling process is also selfsustaining, generating its own source of power. Synthetic gas is sourced from the waste product during the recycling process, and is able to completely power the plant without any need for outside electricity. The Tyremil process is aimed at ensuring sustainability and natural resource conservation. It is able to produce an environmentally friendly and renewable tyre production life cycle. Additionally, it has the potential to have a recognisable and positive impact on the quality of life in communities subject to the negative impacts of waste tyre

Tyres in mining - from production to disposal

Measuring our environmental impact to exceed current standards. Promoting continuous improvement in energy efficiencies where economical and viable accountability is the cornerstone in our organisation.

The extensive research of the Australian end-oflife tyre market, found that over 25 million tyres per year were being made illegal landfill, burnt in furnaces, or shipped overseas. Currently, only seven per cent of these are partly recycled! Tyremil is now the only fully recycled tyre system – wherenothing whatsoever is discarded or wasted. Whilst we will recycle all tyres and rubber products, we have chosen to tailor a particular solution to the Australian mining resources sector.

Step One: Initial Shredding For waste tyres to be recycled, the tyre needs to be Converted into tyre crumb. Tyremil’s custom method can shred tyres from mining vehicles, without quarterising or de-beading, and easily in our unique system. All consumer and commercial tyres can then be properly recycled in this way.

Step Two: Convert to Fuel The recycling then proceeds via pyrolysis to convert secondary-shred, from one form to another. This enables us to separate it using fractionation, thereby giving us our commodity grade recyclable and renewable products. Prolysis is a practices in chemical engineering to processes many scrap products over the past decades. For example, pyrolysis has been used for


11

over 80 years – such as the creation of charcoal from wood, and the creation of coke from coal. This is the first fully operational example of this system seen in Australia for the conversion of tyres into renewable materials.

Our services •

Remove all tyres and rubber

Remediation plans

Management from end of life to total recycling

Certification of disposal

Worldwide services

Resell all recycled products

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Australasian Mining Review 2011: issue 2.1


12

Tyres and our mining focus Striving towards the objectives of building a solid reputation, Cen-Trac was established in February 2006. With a customer focus based on quality tyres, quick response and cost effective products and services, we focus on serving the mining industry, as well as large construction companies and OEM.

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en-Trac only access reputable tyres through our long association with well recognised manufacturers and suppliers, and we continue to develop our diversity in tyre supply. Our mission is to strive to be a knowledge-based company and derive our further success from applying our knowledge of the industry and markets to generate value for our customers Our vision is to become known as a reliable trustworthy partner who delivers on promises every time Cen-trac aims to be the best company to source OTR(Earthmoving Tyres) in Australia and perform its functions ethically to the benefit of all its stakeholders. We offer the following to all our customers: •

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Triangle was the first tyre brand in China to receive the prestigious certification of “China World-Famous Trademark” and “China Name Brand Product”. Triangle sold over 20 million annually to customers in over 160 countries and regions. It has earned recognition from its customers worldwide with top quality products and excellent service. With the excellent performance of its products, Triangle gained official product certifications from over 60 countries and organisations, which meet the certification requirements of the entire global market. Triangle also passed the stringent performance tests of Goodyear, Caterpillar and Volvo, and have since established strategic partnerships with them. Triangle plays a leading role in China’s domestic market, supplying tyres to over 50 of Chinas major automobile companies.

Triangle is committed to its three-fold mission to “provide the most valuable products and services; • Cen-Trac prides itself on only dealing with tried to continually develop overall efficiency and social and proven products and only with brands that responsibility; and to motivate and stimulate the carry the manufacturers warranty. improvement of its employees” in order to advance its global strategy as Triangle moves forward to • Scrap tyre audits. become a leader in the global tyre industry. Global shortages of radial tyres have resulted in Tyres for Transport Machines a huge increase of cheaper imported bias ply into markets, with some notable failures which have Cen-Trac supplies tyres for Mining Machinery created a “bad reputation” for some Chinese made such as:tyres. Cen-trac aligns itself with only reputable • Rigid Dump Trucks companies enabling us to market their products with • Articulated Dump Trucks confidence and full product support when needed. • Motor-Scrapers To this end, Cen-Trac was appointed the Triangle • Loaders Radial OTR Distributor in July 2010 for QLD, • Dozers NSW, VIC. •

The following Triangle Brand Giant OTR Radial Tyres are now available through Cen-Trac Wholesale Tyres Pty Ltd.

Through the years Triangle has dedicated itself to innovation, development and manufacturing of commercial and passenger vehicle tyres for customers around the world for a variety of field applications. Currently Triangle offers more than 4000 types of tyres to its domestic and global customers.

Cen-Trac offers quality, value and service.

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13

Improve productivity and reduce tyre Wastage by reducing tyre tread depth “The more rubber the better” is a common misperception that most people have about tyre tread depth, but this misperception is costing the mining industry millions of dollars a year.

A

lmost every tyre failure resulting from casing separation, distinguished by the ominous bulging of the tyre on the shoulder or tyre sidewall is avoidable.

For every application, there is, in fact, an optimum tread depth for a tyre, beyond which deeper tread will actually reduce tyre life rather than extend it. This is very well illustrated by the experience of an Ipswich mine that was using high-capacity heavyply 26.5-25 tyres with 100mm of rubber tread. The tyres were consistently lasting only 12 months before failing from case separation due to excessive heat build-up, which gradually destroys the internal tyre structure. Once a tyre dealer determined the cause of the problem, Big Tyre in Toowoomba was asked to remove half the tread of all new tyres for this application before they were fitted; thereafter the replacement tyres lasted three years before they wore out. The cost of removing half the tread cost 5% of the new tyre cost but yielded 4,000% return (or 200% ROI on the total tyre investment). This size tyre was not available from the tyre manufacturers in the strength and tread thickness required by the mine and it is not economical to custom make tyres to suit, so modifying new tyres is still the best option. The alternative option of slowing down the vehicles to reduce tyre heat no doubt costs the mines far more in lost productivity than it would cost in modifying the tyres. Consequently Big Tyre has been buffing excess tread off significant

numbers of new tyres of all sizes including dozens of 33.00R51 and 40.00R57 tyres. All OTR tyres have, or should have, a TKPH rating relating to the average load on a tyre (T) for a given speed (KPH) that a tyre is capable of sustaining. Multiplying the tonnage on the tyre by the speed, determines the amount and rate of work the tyre is doing and therefore reflects the amount of heat being generated. Similarly a ‘Site TKPH’ can be calculated by multiplying the average weight on a tyre by the average speed over a complete cycle time. If the site TKPH is greater than 80 or 90% of the rated tyre TKPH then heat-related failures are likely to occur, resulting in unnecessary wastage and downtime. Tyres are a very significant cost, especially when in short supply. Typically the industry has concentrated on improving tyre life through improved road maintenance, correct loading, etc and blame the tyre manufacturers for any heat related tyre failures. The good news is that mines have the power to greatly reduce or prevent these premature failures and to significantly improve tyre performance through removing excess rubber on tyres. Excellent use can be made of tyre management reports to investigate all tyres that have been ruined through tyre separations, and arranging for tyre replacements to have less tread. Through trials, mines can actually determine their own tyre tread depth to help optimise their operations. To discuss these issues further contact Bruce Louden or Robert Ward at Big Tyre on 07 4699 9777

Australasian Mining Review 2011: issue 2.1


14

DIG DEEPEr THE GrOUND. NOT yOUr POCKET.

The real cost of tyre failure The deeper you dig, the more cost savings you realise.

O

ver the last 60 years, Tyre Protection Chains have become well accepted and highly utilised assets throughout the mining and quarrying industries. In fact, worldwide demand for Tyre Protection Chains has more than quadrupled in the last five years.

RUD is the world’s premier manufacturer of German-quality Tyre Protection Chains, and as part of their dedication to innovative design, RUD has performed field trials all over the world. While the financial benefits of Tyre Protection Chains vary from site to site, all of RUD’s trial statistics show remarkable financial benefits. Reduced costs and increased production are the most obvious benefits provided by Tyre Protection Chains. RUD’s chains have been proven to extend the average tyre life in most mines from 1,500 hours to 6,000 hours, effectively reducing tyre costs by 25%*. Fewer tyre changes mean less maintenance costs and downtime and increased machine productivity. They also mean increased safety - changing loader tyres can be an extremely hazardous operation, and Tyre Protection Chains dramatically reduce the number of change-outs required. WOrlD’s larGEsT WHEEl lOaDEr – PrOTECTED by rUD

RUD Tyre Protection Chains . . . Helping you achieve lower costs per tonne. RUD Tyre Protection Chains provide increased efficiency and productivity for your operation. Features

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RUD, the original and leading manufacturer in Tyre Protection Chain systems. For more information contact: RUD Chains Pty Ltd 8 West Link Place, Richlands QLD 4077 T 07 3712 8000 F 07 3712 8001 chains@rud.com.au www.rud.com.au

APRS_HP_Vert.indd 1

Tyres

28/01/2011 3:19:30 PM

The increased traction delivered by RUD Tyre Protection Chains delivers further cost benefits by reducing digging cycle times and increasing fuel efficiency, in some cases by up to 10%. And in vehicles that can burn through over $6,000 of fuel a day this in itself is a significant cost saving. The substantial reduction of sudden tyre failure is where chains deliver their highest cost reductions. Australia’s largest iron ore mines use RUD Tyre Protection Chains to enable 24 hour production. One sudden tyre failure can result in a wheel loader being down for up to 12 hours. These giant machines can generate income in excess of $50,000 per hour, and preventing un-planned downtime means the wheel loaders can realise their full earning capacity. With the ongoing growth of new operations and expanded production in the mining sector, Tyre Protection Chains will continue to become more commonplace as a standard tool for maximising profit and safety commitments. And with over 140 years experience in developing future-oriented solutions with chain systems and components, RUD will continue to create customer oriented technical innovations to meet the needs and demands of this industry. * Field study results from a RUD FELS TORO X19 Tyre Protection Chain on a CAT underground R2900 29.5 x 29


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The Australian coal industry St. George Economic Research •

Global coal prices have boomed roughly three times during the last century. The reason behind the current boom is increasing demand from China and India for both thermal and metallurgical coal.

We are being told by a wide variety of commentators including the large mining companies and the RBA that this boom will last many years, possibly decades, and on the way China and India will become huge consumers of raw materials.

China itself is a major coal producer. In the first quarter of 2010 its output was 751Mt (million tonnes) raising its annual capacity to 3.6Bt (billion tonnes) – considerably in excess of Australia’s output. Even so, China has moved from a net exporter to a net importer in the last five years.

Australia is exporting additional tonnes to China as well as Japan, Korea and Taiwan as China has gradually withdrawn from these markets. India is also increasing its appetite for Australian coking coal.

The new opportunities in the Asia-Pacific market have seen Australian producers and governments plan for a doubling of export capacity at our ports over the next 10 years.

This represents a significant near-term lift in investment for both Queensland and New South Wales. New South Wales is usually not considered a “mining state.” This is despite investment in mining and mining infrastructure being more than by any other industry. In June 2010 it was 17 per cent of total private capital expenditure – 10 years ago it accounted for only two per cent. In the next year or so it is set to be 19 per cent of total.

In Queensland the share of private investment going into mining is currently 29 per cent. According to the Australian Beureau of Statistics (ABS) this investment will drive business expenditure over the next [several] years and account for a remarkable 56 per cent of the total. If investment continues this trend it risks seeing a considerable shift in resources – both labour and capital – towards mining and away from other industries presenting a fundamental shift in the economy.

How big is the boom? The surge in prices and profits in 2008 during the worst of the global financial crisis was so large as to help lift the Terms of Trade to a 60-year high. It is providing much of the finance for the current expansion in infrastructure.

This spike is likely to be a one-off as prices have eased significantly since 2008 and returns have been magnified by a significant depreciation in the Australian dollar. The dollar has now rebounded and is near parity with the US dollar. The risk is that prices will continue to be volatile while also trending downwards as in previous commodity cycles.

This volatility could potentially spill over to the macro economy with activity now becoming increasingly reliant on the commodity cycle to drive growth and investment. Australia has experienced a commodity shock, which so far has been positive, offsetting the global slowdown. However, while commodity cycles shock on the upside, they also shock on the downside.

Coal driving investment If investment is the driver of long-term growth then the picture of current and future investment flows is an important one. According to the ABS’s quarterly survey of businesses, NSW and Queensland spending is about to expand markedly over the next 12 to 18 months. Since the global financial crisis investment has been relatively subdued. This has been particularly the case in Queensland where investment has been negative for the last five quarters on a yearon-year basis. NSW investment contracted in the second half of last year and has since rebounded. Expenditure should be rebounding. As the economy moves into cyclical upswing, corporates take advantage of lower interest rates by expanding capacity in the hope the improvement in demand will more than offset the original cost of the debt. Where that expenditure is directed is more interesting. The ABS figures not only show a sizeable lift in proposed capital spending, they also show where that capital will be spent and in what industries. In both States it is mining that is attracting the greatest share of investment flows. Queensland’s metallurgical coal is in heavy demand from Asian steel meals, while NSW’s


17

[Coal review]

high-quality thermal coal is increasingly being shipped to China and India to feed the growing number of new power stations. Quiet simply mining companies – including those producing coal, iron ore in the West, gold and other base metals – are earning above-normal profits and attempting to expand supply to take advantage of higher prices; hence the term “commodity boom.” Long-term expected expenditure (current prices)

$b

Mining Manufacturing Other

Total

NSW

3.4

2.4

11.9

17.7

Qld

12.9

2.5

7.6

23.0

Ratio (%)

3.9

1.0

0.6

1.3

Economic theory says that in a market economy, capital should move into areas where there is above-average profit – from both domestic and international sources – until supply rises and the “super profits” are shared amongst an increasing number of interests. In time super profits should become normal profits. This shift in economic resources will also include labour. Employment is likely to continue moving from less abundant industries – manufacturing, agriculture, financial and profession services, etc. – into those that can afford above-market wages – which is mining.

US dollar is negating the upswing for many nonmining exporters. We think official rates could rise 5.5 per cent by mid 2011 due to the commodity boom and the Terms of Trade effect. In the US and most of the major industrialised economies official rates are between naught and one per cent. Australia’s manufacturing contracted over the course of the GFC and has only just started recovering. Rather than continuing its upswing recent figures show that it is again slowing. The Australian Industry Group’s index of manufacturing in September 2010 fell below the 50-point line for the first time this year suggesting it is contracting. In the charts we present investment trends in NSW and Queensland. Prior to the global crisis business investment in Queensland was about to exceed that in NSW. During the GFC, investment in Queensland dipped much more than in NSW. Looking ahead, Queensland investment is about to swing sharply upwards and will exceed that in NSW. This could be by as much as 30 per cent in the next 12 to 18 months. Looking ahead Queensland investment is about to swing sharply upwards and will exceed that in NSW.

According to the ABS’s labour cost index general wage inflation appears to be some time away, while wage growth within the mining industry has been above average for the last few years. Labour and capital are scarce so as recovery does take place in other parts of the economy there is a risk of increasing competition for these resources putting further upward pressure on interest rates and bringing forward general wage price inflation. In Australia the official interest rates are about to rise when other countries have near zero rates – due in large part to the commodities boom. It is reasonable to argue that even at this point the mining sector has “crowded out” other industries. The same can be said for the Australian dollar – its appreciation to being almost par with the Australasian Mining Review 2011: issue 2.1


18

NSW vs Qld business investment

Ratio of Qld to NSW investment

This is one signal as to how the mining boom is set to shape growth over the coming years. Capital is flowing into the sunshine state at a never-before[seen] pace with the probability of an economic lift greater than that in NSW, or indeed the rest of Australia – barring Western Australia, home of iron ore. According to those who believe that the commodities boom has decades to run this would be just the beginning of the story. If investment is the main determinant of long-term growth then the outlook for Queensland looks very promising indeed. Private investment is kicking in just as public expenditure is winding down. That said there is the risk that the spill over from the boom could be less than expected for non-mining industries and States, creating a narrowing in the industry base and an increase in interstate migration. This is more likely if the central bank relies heavily on monetary policy to limit cost pressures due to increased competition for labour and capital. The government is currently debating a more discerning policy response in the mining tax – although this carries the risk of discouraging investment in mining once super profits return to normal profits. It is also unlikely to deter the current wave of new projects. Commodity booms represent an upward shock for an economy, providing additional employment, incomes and investment. In Australia’s case it has protected the economy from a greater downturn during the global crisis.

Mining as a share of total investment

These shocks can also change spending decisions by households, businesses and government. In the case of Australian households, debt to disposable income is continuing to rise, when debt in other countries is coming down because of the GFC. It is possible Australians are feeling a false sense of security and as a result have no barrier against a sudden reversal of fortune. It is interesting to note current correlations between commodity and housing prices. The Federal Government’s promise that the budget will return to surplus is also riding on a continuation of rising commodity prices via a new mining tax.


19

[Coal review: continued]

Global energy mix

Non-OECD

OECD

China

Clearly the longer the current boom the greater its influence on the overall cycle. This is despite commodity booms being fickle affairs. Prices are often volatile while there is a constant risk of a downward shock once the boom turns to bust.

expenditure all round. Also the government would be less likely to return to surplus not only because of less mining tax revenue but also because of less tax revenue generally and a rise in welfare payments.

This has the potential to also cause the overall cycle to become more volatile as well as monetary and fiscal policy. It’s quite possible that the peak in prices has already passed.

Will the boom continue?

What would a bust look like? It would mean a drop in export revenue and loss of jobs as coal companies and ports suddenly need to reduce costs to remain viable. It may also include fewer jobs elsewhere as non-mining industries are unable to absorb the sudden surplus of labour. On a macro level we may see slower household spending if balance sheets continue to remain out of balance along with much softer business

Commodities, and more specifically coal, have boomed roughly three times during the last century. Demand grows more quickly than expected while the supply response takes time to develop, including the building of new railways, ports, ships etc. Prices and profits surge through this period so that by the end of the cycle there is an overwhelming number of new supply options including new mines, renewed exploration, new countries which are now able to export due to the higher prices Australasian Mining Review 2011: issue 2.1


20

and even different energy sources as coal is priced out of the market for some countries. The supply response risks being overdone. This can also occur when the increase in demand eases or when the new markets have not developed as predicted, which when combined with the additional supply causes the market to tumble. Indeed prices can become depressed for a much greater time than when prices boomed. We are being told by a wide variety of commentators, including the large mining companies and even the RBA, that this commodity cycle is different. China’s transition – and eventually India’s – from a developing economy into a manufacturing one will take many years, most probably decades, and on the way will become huge consumers of raw materials.

In September 1974, when the index began, it was 16.2 points. In September 2004, 30 years latter, the index had grown to 68, a 319 per cent increase. If we take it to March 2004 the index had increased to just 46.8, a 189 per cent rise. To put this into perspective the Consumer Price Index has risen from 13.3 to 144.1 points in the same time, a 524 per cent increase. To March 2004 the CPI was up 518 per cent. Quite simply, coal prices have grown little, and have not kept up with inflation. Australian coal revenue

As economies transform they need at their very base electricity, roads, modern vehicles and in the end large cities with better accommodation to house literally millions of people as they move from villages to the cities to man ever expanding factories. China is a major coal producer. In the first quarter of 2010 its output was 751Mt (million tonnes) raising its annual capacity to 3.6Bt (billion tonnes) – considerably in excess of Australia’s output. Production should expand even more in time as coal groups merge into more efficient identities, infrastructure improves and new mines open up.

Australian coal volumes

Even so China has moved from a net exporter to a net importer in the last five years. This is because domestic production has not kept pace with the manic building of coal-fired electricity plants and steel mills, and the location of some of these new plants is removed from key coal mining areas, making sea-borne exports cheaper. It is this shift, which saw the queues of vessels outside Newcastle and along the coast of Queensland, some five to six years ago. At first the queues were blamed on inefficient loading and closures for maintenance. Export capacity had been rising only marginally each year and there were few demand pressures. Also, prior to 2004-05 prices for coal were relatively steady – and cheap. The Australian Bureau of Statistics’ deflator for coal bears this out. This is a price index derived by “deflating” the revenue received by coal exporters by the underlying volume. Changes in the index were at most 20 per cent through the year, which were often, but not always, followed by similar falls in price.

Current exports vs proposed capacity


21

review cont.] [Coal [Coal review: continued]

To grow, revenue companies have had to constantly cut costs which usually meant increased mechanisation, raising productivity and a trend towards open cut mining versus the more expensive underground pits. Whilst profits may be “super” now, prior to this and for the last 30 years, profits often struggled. It’s not surprising in this environment then there was little pressure from companies, nor finance, to expand infrastructure. 2005 will probably be marked as a watershed year for the Australian coal industry. Before this the industry seemed to be in an apparent slumber. One of the main reasons for this is the “seemingly” steady demand for coal from Australia’s main customer – Japan. Japan was, and still is, Australia’s main customer for both thermal and metallurgical coal. “Seemingly” because in reality the annual contract negotiations between the major power plants and mills were a make or break time for many coal companies particularly the smaller sized ones which relied solely on coal and no other commodity for their survival. Japan is best described as a “mature” market where demand at one point increased quickly and which now has steadied as the cycle of its industrialisation came to a conclusion some decades ago.

The initial cost of coal power stations as well as steel mills means they are built with a supply source in mind. Many coal producers can count on an ongoing consumption of their product over the life of a mine and which is unlikely to be turned off overnight Moreover, there is also the likelihood that markets for coal will also develop in Vietnam, Malaysia and the Philippines. Many of these countries are looking for cheap and reliable sources of electricity for homes as well as business so that they can also industrialise. It is easy to recognise Australia’s confidence – as China continues to develop it will need ongoing supplies of coal, which are unlikely to be turned off overnight. That said there still remains a risk that Australia’s supply response will be overdone. Over the last few years plans have been given the go ahead – some of which are close to completion – to more than double the export capacity of Queensland and New South Wales’ ports.

Indeed it is probable that over the longer run coal demand will begin to go backwards because parts of the country has the option to revert to nuclear power and its population growth is in decline. China only had to give the market a slight nudge before we saw the massive price surge in 2008. At the beginning volumes were tiny. Even now Australia is exporting around 30Mt of coal to China. Of this 14Mt is metallurgical and 15Mt thermal. Compared to Japan this is not substantial. Australia also began exporting additional tonnes to Japan, Korea and Taiwan as China gradually withdrew from these markets. India also started increasing its appetite for Australian coking coal. These seemingly small additional tonnes put the existing infrastructure under strain and led producers to realise that supply was unlikely to match an unanticipated demand increase any time soon. China – and India’s – presence changed the fundamentals behind the Asia Pacific market. Previously, demand was steady and predictable. Now these countries are creating new markets with newly built power generators and steel mills, where demand is typically “sticky.” Australasian Mining Review 2011: issue 2.1


22

Exports by port

Queensland vs. NSW coal exports

Newcastle port – key destinations

Newcastle – thermal vs. metallurgical coal

Supply overdone?

traditional customers, which meant price swings occurred once a year. Now metallurgical producers are showing a preference for shorter contracts and the spot market for thermal coal is growing. Price volatility is now likely to impact on producer decisions over a much shorter period of time.

In the 12 months to June 2010 New South Wales exported 111Mt while Queensland shipped 180Mt. In the next five to 10 years this is expected to rise to 215Mt and 416Mt, respectively, representing a 117 per cent increase in volume. This growth is sizeable and would see coal rise as a proportion of Australia’s total exports. Logically if prices were to remain around present levels the completion of each stage of expansion would become the key driver in raising coal revenue and potentially overall export incomes. The question is whether coal prices can be maintained. Firstly, commodity markets are typically volatile. This includes coal. In the past, Australian producers signed annual contracts with their

We not only see price volatility ahead we also see the risk of more moderate price gains. Many of the plans to increase supply were put into place during, or shortly after, the 2008 price surge, the revenue from which is largely funding these expansions. The price surge occurred when producers were caught unaware of the changes in the market and there were severe bottlenecks across the system, which could not be resolved in the short term. Furthermore the Australian dollar’s record depreciation magnified returns. Commodities fell


23

[Coal review: continued]

in line with the currency however most producers had signed annual price contracts prior to the market’s fall. It is possible that a major depreciation in the Australian dollar could occur again in 2011 or even 2012. This would provide producers with a second wind if there were a major correction in the coal market – although many of the metallurgical producers are using spot or quarterly contracts, which would limit the impact of the currency.

the market to take advantage of abnormal profits. The heavy capital investment in port infrastructure in New South Wales and Queensland will be no barrier to greater price volatility ahead. Coal developments

The majority of Australia’s black coal production is concentrated in Queensland and New South Wales. Brown coal production is concentrated in Victoria and is not exported. Of black coal, metallurgical coal, which is typically used in steel making, comes from Queensland’s Bowen Basin, Also, international prices should steady. Come while thermal coal which is generally used in 2011 and 2012 not only will be Australia be power generation, comes from the Surat Basin in increasing its supply of coal, other countries should also be ramping up their production to take southeast Queensland. advantage of abnormal profits. New South Wales produces largely thermal This includes Russia, Indonesia and eventually Mongolia. Indonesia overtook Australia as the largest thermal coal exporter around seven years ago. Russia is completing major port expansions while mining has begun in Mongolia where it has large coal reserves. These developments could eventually limit Australia’s role as a price maker in the region. Recently the Australian dollar has been appreciating to be near-equal with the US dollar. However global coal prices have not risen to compensate as they did in 2008. Rather, the quarterly contract price for metallurgical coal in the final quarter of this year has declined slightly and thermal prices have steadied around US95/tonne. This may mark a turning point for the market. Finally, it is China itself, which represents the greater risk to the Asia Pacific market with the size of its domestic production dwarfing Australia’s export efforts. As supply becomes increasingly dependent on China this risks increasing price volatility on two fronts. Firstly, from changes in its business cycle, and secondly, as China itself raises production and improves infrastructure. In the worst-case scenario China could begin exporting once again if market dynamics became sufficiently favourable – even if temporary. This would see Australian coal ports go from fully-utilised to under-utilised in a very short period of time. There is a risk that Australia’s supply response may be overdone with plans to expand port and rail partly dependent on prices returning to 2008 levels. Prices in 2008 risk representing the peak for this commodity boom as new suppliers enter

coal, which comes from the Hunter Valley while some hard coking coal comes from the Southern Coalfield. Around 80 per cent of this black coal is exported. The Port of Newcastle is the largest coal port in Australia with Port Waratah Coal Services (PWCS) shipping some 96Mt in the 12 months to June of this year. The new NCIG terminal (Newcastle Coal Infrastructure Group) handled over one Mt following its opening in March this year. Australia’s second largest port is Hay Point (shipping 82Mt), followed by Gladstone (60Mt) and Abbot Point (14Mt) – all of which are located in Queensland. The fifth largest coal port is Port Kembla in Wollongong, which exports 13Mt – which is split between thermal and metallurgical coal. The Port of Brisbane exports around 6Mt – mostly thermal – and Fremantle Port in Western Australia, which has just begun exporting in the last couple of years, loads around half a million tonnes of thermal coal. Port developments The port of Newcastle Newcastle has the world’s largest coal export port with a name-plate capacity of 143Mt pa. This is a massive increase even over the last six months when the port had only two loaders – Carrington (25Mt pa capacity) and Kooragang (88Mt pa capacity). These two terminals are managed by Port Waratah Coal Services (PWCS), a consortium of coal exporters, Japanese trading companies and steel mills manages these Australasian Mining Review 2011: issue 2.1


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terminals. While its name-plate capacity is 113Mt, actual volumes have been more around 95Mt pa. PWCS has been given government approval to lift its capacity from 113Mt to 145Mt pa. The third loader is the new NCIG terminal. It began operations in May 2010 with a name-plate capacity of 30Mt pa. Given the strong demand finance is already being sought for the second stage of the terminal, which will boost capacity to 53Mt pa. The NCIG has the potential to expand capacity to 66Mt pa. Wollongong – Port Kembla There are no plans to increase capacity at this stage. The Port Kembla Coal Terminal is owned by a consortium of major coal companies, which leases the port facility from the NSW Government. Currently port capacity is 16Mtpa.

(The ACCC has authorised arrangements to transfer specified amounts of coal handling capacity from the Barney Point coal terminal to the proposed Wiggins Island terminal due to pollution concerns amongst Gladstone residents.) Abbot Point The Ports Corporation of Queensland (PCQ) proposes to develop a $680 million Stage 3 (X50) expansion, which would effectively duplicate the existing terminal infrastructure raising capacity from the current 25Mt pa to 50 Mtpa. The Abbott Point expansion is dependent on QR National completing what is known as the Northern Missing Link, in the coal rail system. Coal pricing Queensland coal exports

Mackay – Dalrymple Bay Only recently capacity at Dalrymple Bay Coal Terminal (DBCT) at the port of Hay Point expanded from 68Mt pa to 85Mt. Ships continue to queue outside the North Queensland port although the outcome being complicated by the fact that the 85Mt capacity is not being reached due to other bottlenecks including rail and mines. There are plans to expand capacity to 170Mtpa – although this could be some years away. Mackay – Hay Point Hay Point is privately operated by the BHP Billiton Mitsubishi Alliance (BMA). Capacity has only just been increased to 44Mtpa. BMA expects this to increase to 55Mt pa by 2011. Gladstone The port of Gladstone contains the 7Mt pa Barney Point and the 55Mtpa RG Tanna loaders. In 2009/10 Gladstone exported some 62Mt. Xstrata has recently proposed a $1 billion coal export terminal on Balaclava Island at Port AlmaIf. If approved, the project could export up to 35Mt pa from the Bowen and Surat basins. Wiggins Island The proposed coal terminal is also part of the Port of Gladstone. Initial capacity will be 30Mtpa with the potential to upgrade to a nominal 80Mtpa in later stages.

Darlymple Bay


25

[Coal review: [Coal continued] review]

Hay Point

Gladstone

It’s important to have a closer look at coal pricing. Again, in the 12 months to June 2010 NSW exported 111Mt compared to Queensland’s 180Mt. Of Queensland’s shipments only 30 per cent is thermal while the rest is the more expensive metallurgical coal, including hard and soft coking coal.

Pacific Region including Japan, Taiwan and China. Thermal coal contracts are typically settled in March ahead of the new Japanese fiscal year, beginning in April - that is prices are set for twelve months. At this stage only 10-20 per cent of this coal is traded on the spot market.

In NSW it is the reverse where thermal coal makes up roughly 70 per cent of exports. Queensland not only exports more volume it also receives a higher income for its product. The cost differential between metallurgical and thermal coal is often significant depending on demand. For instance during the June quarter 2010, Queensland hard coking coal averaged $US161.29 per tonne, soft coking coal $US110.65/t and thermal $US93.01/t. When coal peaked in the final quarter of 2008 hard coking coal averaged US$325.83/t, soft coking $US210.92/t and thermal US$114.01/t. Coal is usually priced and negotiated in US dollars. All in all, the value of coal exports from New South Wales equalled $A12.6 billion in 2008-09. In Queensland that figure was $A40.1 billion. As can be seen in the charts, in 2008 prices for coal surged to record levels. The first chart shows the weekly spot price for Newcastle coal, which is the benchmark for thermal coal in the Asia-Pacific region and its annual contract price. The second chart puts together contract prices for both metallurgical and thermal coal – note both rose together as demand for commodities increased from the major economies in the AsiaAustralasian Mining Review 2011: issue 2.1


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Newcastle spot and contract prices

The contract price is traditionally set between the larger thermal coal producers (Rio Tinto and Xstrata) and the major Japanese power stations. From these negotiations the medium and smaller coal companies also set their contracts. At the beginning of 2010 metallurgical coal began to be set on quarterly basis. This is new territory for the coal market. The shift to shorter contracts was led by the larger producers, in particular BHP-Billiton, which also shifted to shorter-dated contracts for its iron ore.

Hard coal and thermal contract prices

While international demand for resources is the key factor in determining prices, the Australian dollar also plays its part in determining returns. This can also be seen in the charts at right. In March 2008 annual contract prices for metallurgical and thermal coal were set at record highs. At that point, just like now, the Australian dollar was having a charge at parity with the US dollar. When a country is a price maker the strength of its currency influences the price outcome – more so when demand is strengthening. World energy demand This was the case with Australian coal – as the US dollar depreciated the global price for it as well as other commodities rose to compensate commodity producing countries such as Canada, South Africa and Australia. In October 2008 the Australian dollar began dropping significantly – in July it had touched US$0.97 while in November it had dipped to US$0.61. The fall in the currency reflected the uncertainty surrounding the global financial crisis with concerns that Australia too was headed for recession.

Can prices edge up to 2008 levels and at the same time ride an Australian dollar depreciation over the course of 2011?

Australian miners hit pay dirt – more so if they had gone unhedged. Record prices for coal combined with a record depreciation. For some hard coal producers the US$305/t contract price translated into a return of A$481.2/t during the December quarter – a 325 per cent increase in Australian dollar’ returns from the December quarter the year before. This can also be seen in the ABS’s overall index of coal prices in chart three – the spike helping to lift the terms of trade to record levels. The question is can it be repeated again? That is, can prices edge up to 2008 levels and at the


27

[Coal review: [Coal continued] review]

World energy demand

same time ride an Australian dollar depreciation over the course of 2011?

prices and the exchange rate return to their longterm trends.

Prices for thermal and metallurgical edged up over 2010. In the June quarter coking coal revenue surged 70 per cent to $A8.48bn, from the quarter before, while thermal coal exports rose 25 per cent to $3.26bn. The percentage gains in prices have been bigger than jumps in production, largely because coking coal and iron ore prices are being negotiated quarterly.

US$/A$ Exchange rate

The rise in metallurgical coal prices at least continued in the September quarter. However, preliminary company reports suggest prices for December eased. This was due to uncertainty regarding Chinese steel prices and by how much blast furnace production would be scaled back in response to weak margins. That said, while producers cannot rely on the exchange rate it is possible the Australian dollar could decline over the next six to 12 months given its value is significantly above average, protecting producers at least for another year or so if prices did come off. Australian coal prices This would fit with fundamentals as a softening in the commodities boom would most likely undermine the Australian dollar. Beyond this coal

Queensland coal exports in A$ - actual

Kate King Senior Economist Republished with permission from St. George Bank. For further information please contact Kate King on 02 9320 5892 or by email kingk@stgeorge.com.au

Australasian Mining Review 2011: issue 2.1


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Bambach Wires & Cables How does a company with a long, well respected history, remain a vital and energised part of the fast changing wire and cable marketplace?

I

t begins with our people and the pursuit of our Company Vision …. Bambach seeks to be our customers preferred partner in the manufacture and distribution of world class wire and cable products.

Simply put, your unique or changing need is our opportunity to grow and serve; your fundamental needs are our stock product lines. We have a flexible manufacturing operation with some of the shortest lead times and smallest minimum order quantities offered in the marketplace. We also have a fully developed network of local and overseas wire and cable manufacturers. Whether you need a new or unique wire and cable technology, or just someone you can count on to deliver the basics, Bambach is there for you. We realised early on in the game that our team needed the systems and tools to consistently deliver a world class product and a quality service. Because of our vision and our ability to deliver, we have grown. Bambach manufactures or sources approximately $10 million per annum of wire and cable products. Staff numbers total over 80 with offices in Sydney, Newcastle, Melbourne and Brisbane. The correct choice of cabling can save you time and money, potentially reducing the cost of equipment down-time and maintenance, as well as protecting valuable equipment in your system. The suitability of any cable is dependent on your application. At Bambach we specialise in working with our customers to develop cabling solutions to suit their specific environment. The composition of a cable can be altered in order to meet your specific requirements, or to meet local or international specifications, such as RoHS. Customisation does not have to be as complex as developing a new cable from scratch, it can be as simple as a modification or addition to an existing cable from our range.

As such their reactions are predictable and subject to some control. The presence of chemicals such as chlorine, oil and ozone can influence your choice of insulation or sheathing compounds. Our range of pump cable was developed over 10 years ago with a local council for use with their sewage pumps. Their pumps were expected to remain in service for up to 10 years with a zero failure rate. As opposed to traditional CSP insulation, we sourced a Thermo Plastic insulation (TPV) with superior resistance to acids, alkalis, sewerage and ozone. TPV is also resistance to swelling and compression aiding the sealing of glands and protecting their pump motors in this extremely harsh environment. Elevated conductor or ambient temperatures will accelerate the degradation of cable insulation. A basic law of chemistry states that the speed of a chemical reaction doubles with a 10°C increase in temperature. A customer, contracting to a Zinc/A luminium coating plant, was looking for a cable to replace an import which they found to break down after only three months service. The cable was for use in an environment where the ambient temperature was around 700°C. Working with our customer, a cable was developed with a 100% Nickel conductor and ceramic insulation, suitable for use in temperatures up to 1000°C Magnetic and static fields create electrical noise which can influence the desired stability of a cable; causing interference with data and control systems. An electrical and communications contractor had to ensure the integrity of data transmittance when working on an installation in a bank. As such they required additional screening on their EMC cables to ensure minimal interference. Upon their suggestion, we made adjustments to our range of EMC cables to offer greater coverage on the tinned copper braid.

A wide range of world class products and the best service in our industry is just the beginning Severe bending, compression, cutting and excessive of the Bambach partnership. We are committed to doing everything in our power to ensure your tension can lead to mechanical damage which satisfaction. Our dedicated and experienced staff affects the reliability of your installations. Working draws on over 70 years of industry knowledge with one customer who faced this same problem, and experience, the highest quality standards, and we tracked down a strength fibre which was water resistant and met the customer’s weight requirement continual monitoring of our performance to ensure the optimum product and service you require. and used a grade of polyurethane insulation to ensure resistance to abrasion. Established in 1936, Bambach Wires & Cables are proud to be a fully Australian owned and Cable components are essentially chemical operated company. compounds or mixtures of chemical compounds.

Coal


Bambach Bambach Bambach Bambach Wires Wires Wires Wires & & &Cables & Cables Cables Cables Specialist Specialist Specialist Specialist Industrial Industrial Industrial Industrial Cables Cables Cables Cables

With With With your your With yourknowledge knowledge knowledge your knowledge and and and our our our and know-how, know-how, know-how, our know-how, we we weoffer offer offer weyou you offer youaaayou a range range range of range of ofoptions options options of options for for forcustomized customized customized for customized cables. cables. cables. cables. The The Thecomposition composition composition The composition ofof ofaacable acable cable of acan cable can can be be be can altered altered altered be altered inininorder order order into order to to meet meet meet toyour meet your yourspecific specific specific your specific requirements requirements requirements requirements oror or toto tomeet meet or meet tolocal local meet localoror local or international international international or international specifications. specifications. specifications. specifications. We We Westock stock stock Weastock arange arange range aof range of ofcables cables cables of suitable cables suitable suitable suitable for for for for mining mining mining mining applications applications applications applications ininin our our ourvarious in various various our various warehouses. warehouses. warehouses. warehouses. Call Call Call Call your your yournearest nearest nearest your nearest Bambach Bambach Bambach Bambach office office officefor office for for more more more forinformation. more information. information. information.

QUALITY QUALITY QUALITY QUALITY ASSURANCE ASSURANCE ASSURANCE ASSURANCE As As Asan an an AS/NZS As AS/NZS AS/NZS an AS/NZS ISO ISO ISO 9001:2008 9001:2008 9001:2008 ISO 9001:2008 certified certified certified certified company, company, company, company, you you youhave have have you have the the theassurance assurance assurance the assurance ofof ofprofessionalism professionalism professionalism of professionalism and and and expertise expertise expertise and expertise ininin the the thein the development development development development and and and manufacture manufacture manufacture and manufacture ofof ofthe the thehighest of highest highest the highest quality quality quality quality specialist specialist specialist specialist industrial industrial industrial industrial cables cables cablescables Email: Email: Email:Email: Sydney: Sydney: Sydney: Sydney: (02) (02) (02)9938 9938 9938 (02)5622 5622 9938 5622(Head (Head 5622 (Head Office) (Head Office) Office) Office) sales@bambachcables.com.au sales@bambachcables.com.au sales@bambachcables.com.au sales@bambachcables.com.au Newcastle: Newcastle: Newcastle: Newcastle: (02) (02) (02) 4956 4956 4956 (02)1983 1983 4956 1983 1983 Web: Web: Web:Web: Brisbane: Brisbane: Brisbane: Brisbane: (07) (07) (07)3277 3277 3277 (07) 5811 5811 5811 3277 5811 www.bambachcables.com.au www.bambachcables.com.au www.bambachcables.com.au www.bambachcables.com.au Melbourne: Melbourne: Melbourne: Melbourne: (03) (03) (03) 9335 9335 9335 (03)2600 2600 9335 2600 2600


ALS shows commitment to burgeoning coal industry Work will be completed on our new, state of the art, bore core testing and analysis facility early in 2011. The Queensland based facility, located in the Brisbane suburb of Richlands, will be three times the size of the current Ipswich laboratory and greatly improve the current bore core offering. The new facility will further enhance ALS’ position as an industry leader, as well as demonstrate the company’s commitment to the coal sector.

Coal

Industry leading technology The new facility, implementing industry leading technology, will allow for the processing of samples in parallel, reducing turnaround times significantly whilst ensuring quality, reliability and accuracy are not foregone. ALS understands the importance of attaining rapid turnaround time for its clients. The design and layout of the facility has been designed to ensure that processing of a greater volume of samples is achieved whilst also achieving industry leading turnaround times. We are committed to ensuring you get the desired results within the quickest time frames.

Personalised Service ALS is committed to top quality, personalised service. We will be augmenting the bore core program offering with the introduction of dedicated project managers. A qualified and experienced and experienced project manager will be assigned to you to assist in developing a bore core program specifically tailored to your needs and desired outcomes. Your dedicated project manager will work closely with you to ensure that your program is managed in an efficient, reliable and productive

manner. ALS is committed to constant, consistent and reliable service, and will be doubling the current coal staff force over the next two years.

About ALS ALS provides a broad range of sophisticated, state of the art services to six main market segments; Mining, Mineral Exploration and Mineralogy, Environmental Analysis (biological, air, water, soil, sediment, electronics), Coal Analysis (Exploration and Export Superintending), Lubricant Analysis and Condition Monitoring, Food & Pharmaceutical Analysis and Industrial Services (Non-destructive testing, Materials Testing, Mechanical Testing). For further information on the new facility or ALS coal services please contact us on 07 3810 5200 or by email alscoalrichlands@alsglobal.com.


Update to the Australian Guidelines for estimating and reporting of inventory coal, coal resources and Coal Reserve Clause 37 of the 2004 Edition of “The Australasian Code for Reporting of Exploration Results, Mineral Resources and Ore Reserves” (The JORC Code) specifically refers to the 2003 Edition of the “Australian Guidelines for Estimating and Reporting of Inventory Coal, Coal Resources and Coal Reserve” (Coal Guidelines) for guidance in estimation of Coal Resources and Reserves. The JORC Code and associated Coal Guidelines are being used by many organisations as the basis of publicly reporting Coal Resources and Reserves on the global stage, and has for many internationally based companies become the defacto standard.

S

ome Competent Persons, with little thought as to the intended meaning, apply from the Coal Guidelines, default distances (i.e. 500 m, 1 km and 4 km) from a Point of Observation to classify Measured, Indicated or Inferred Coal Resources. Coal basins throughout the world are unique in terms of their formation, and the use of such for classification is now seen by many in our industry with a large degree of scepticism. The basis of their use in classifying deposits located in Indonesia, Southern Africa, or Europe may not be valid when one compares their age, formational environment and structural complexity with that of the Sydney and Bowen Basin coals upon which these distances were originally founded. Over November to December three meetings were held, one in Newcastle and a two in Brisbane directly relating to estimation and reporting of Coal Resources and Reserves. Organised by local sub branches of the AusIMM and the latest event by the GSA/AIG each has been well attended by industry professionals. The guest speaker, Mr. Peter Stoker (Chairman of The Joint Ore Reserves Committee) provided information on application of The JORC Code in Coal Resource and Reserve reporting,

which at two of the events was then followed with a public forum in which discussion about the application of the Coal Guidelines in today’s reporting environment was debated and examined further. The discussion was lively, and highlighted a broad consensus on a need for change. Given that the JORC Code is currently being revised and is planned to be republished in 2011, now is also seen as a perfect opportunity to make changes to the Coal Guidelines. Our industry is based on scientific observation and interpretation of both qualitative and quantitative data, so we need to consider the most appropriate methods for estimating and reporting Coal Resources and Reserves. In order to achieve this, a Guidelines Revision Committee has been established with the support of Peter Stoker, and lead by Snowden’s David Arnott. The Committee hopes to enlist input and support from not only coal mining companies (large established mining houses, mid tier and juniors) but also relevant professional bodies, government authorities and industry consultancies. People or organisations with a vested interest in this process should contact David Arnott directly at darnott@snowdengroup.com.

rd Australasian edition AustralasianMining MiningReview Review2011: 2011:3issue 2.1


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SICK – Collision Avoidance System Proximity Detection Technology SICK is the world leading producer of sensor systems for industrial use and is a technology and market leader in factory, logistics and process automation. SICK’s measuring scanners provide solutions for demanding applications worldwide, e.g. preventing collisions, automatic positioning of heavy equipment, vehicle classification in moving traffic, the control of vehicles, profiling of bulk material and rolling stock, as well as for guarding in building security and access control.

I

n terms of robustness and outdoor performance, especially under harsh environmental conditions, laser technology with its advantages in precision and the high degree of detail has made the breakthrough. The multi echo technology is one of the key features for outstanding performance in rain, dust, fog and snow. SICK is a world leader in time-of-flight technology. This principle forms the basis for many successful products and systems from SICK. Pulse time-of flight and phase time-of-flight scanners measure areas with a rotating laser beam – and thus determine the profile of a plane. The laser pulses emitted from a laser scanner are reflected by the objects in the surrounding environment. The measuring scanner collects the laser pulse reflections, processes the information and issues the data via the Ethernet interface. The distance is calculated from the time-of-flight of the laser pulse and the speed of light. The rotating mirror deflects the laser pulses. The angular position of the mirror during deflection yields the direction of the detected object. The combination of these values builds the basis for a complete profile of the surroundings in the radial scanning range of the laser scanner.

a network based interface to mine operation systems and can be configured to fit existing mine operation processes for safe operation. SICK’s systems enhance and speed up operator training and education. Up to four laser scanners constantly observe the vehicle’s surrounding environment. The system knows the scanners position and the physical dimensions of your equipment. Three warning zones - green, yellow and red – can be defined to suit the individual mine operation safety process for your shovel, excavator, haul truck or dozer. Upon the detection of a warning zone violating obstacle, an alarm is raised with optical and sound feedback for the operator. All events are also provided on the network interface for external logging. SICK uses compact sized, advanced multi-beam and multi-echo technology laser scanners, scanning with high resolution for long range and a large field of view. The system then offers a comprehensive description of its environment in the form of: objects with relevant dynamic characteristics like, position, velocity and object type (trucks, utilities, people).

The vehicle’s pitching motion poses a challenge to sensors installed in a vehicle. An incorrect reading can easily occur, for example, if a measurement is taken as a tyre hits a pothole, the system could lose sight of relevant objects as a result. However no SICK high performance Collision Avoidance System object remains undiscovered using the unique four (CAS) - the turn key retrofit solution that offers a layer technology of the SICK laser scanner. The solid value proposition for your surface mining scanner measures simultaneously with four layers – operation utilises this same field proven technology. important to compensate for the pitching movement Reliable prevention of incidents and accidents is of your equipment or to detect slopes, cliffs, holes the key to reducing your repair costs, downtime potholes, table drains, rocks and ditches. and maintenance effort. Operator performance improves, because the human focus lies on tasks at The scanner splits the laser beam into four vertical layers. Distance measurements are taken hand. For monitoring and analysis purposes SICK independently for each of these layers with an collision avoidance systems provide aperture angle of 3.2°. This allows any pitching of the vehicle, caused by an uneven surface or driving manoeuvres such as braking and accelerating, to be fully compensated. This builds the basis for the complex driver warning strategy SICK CAS performs. This technology gives rise to absolutely reliable proximity detection, which entails not only the exact evaluation of relevant object data, but also, the exact classification of data points received from ground or road surface, which is used for an accurate slope detection and pitch compensation. Elimination of irrelevant data, typically arising from dirt, dust, heavy rain, fog or snow are removed by filtering and/or reported to the driver, so that flawless operation is ensured.

Coal


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Powerline Construction and Maintenance

Substation Construction and Maintenance

Electrical installation services

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Electrix can provide proven and cost effective solutions for all your high voltage and low voltage power supply and electrical installation needs. To find out more, contact us at: Head Office Electrix Pty Ltd, 208 Hall Street Spotswood Vic 3015 Tel: +61 3 9399 4688 Fax: +61 3 9399 4730

www.electrix.com.au a subsidiary of McConnell Dowell Corporation Ltd Branches throughout Australia and New Zealand

Electrix Powering ahead in the resources Sector Faced with major capital investments and high operating costs, mining and resource asset owners are heavily reliant on reliable power supply and electrical systems to keep facilities operating in a cost effective manner. With over 50 years experience, a strong commitment to safety and a strong track record in service delivery to the electrical supply industry, Electrix brings proven capabilities, systems and solutions that provide added value for our customers.

E

lectrix provides a range of complementary, end-to end capabilities to assist asset owners reduce construction risk, maintain production and maximise the return on their substantial investments. These services include: •

Condition assessment, testing, monitoring and reporting on electrical assets;

and New Zealand, Electrix is a fully owned subsidiary of the McConnell Dowell Corporation, a leading international construction company with annual revenue of over $2 billion and a strong track record in the resources and infrastructure sector. Our customers say that Electrix stands out because: •

Our people demonstrate a “can-do” attitude in every facet of their work;

Overhead and underground power supply design and construction – High Voltage and Low Voltage;

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Electrix - one of Australasia’s premier specialist electrical contractors – ready to meet the needs of the mining and resources industries.


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N

ovember 2010 saw the Australian dollar overtake the US dollar for the first time in 28 years since June 1982, adding a new meaning to passing the buck. This was an astonishing event in the career of any broker, analyst or financial adviser under the age of 50, who would never have seen this in their entire working life. We Baby Boomer oldies, as usual, have seen it all before – when I started work one Aussie dollar bought US$1.49 and Australian students spent their gap year in Los Angeles and San Francisco because travel in the US was so cheap. In December 1983, Prime Minister Bob Hawke and Treasurer Paul Keating floated the dollar, hastening its demise to the Pacific peso nadir of 49 US cents in September 2001, coinciding with the September 11 terrorist attack on the Twin Towers in New York and John Howard was swept back into office with an increased majority. Maybe the conspiracy theorists were right! Our major gold competitor, South Africa, has seen the Rand appreciate strongly over the last three years as well, but African gold companies are doing well, as South Africa manufactures much of their own mining equipment internally and produces oil products synthetically from coal. The appreciating Rand is usually a healthy sign for South Africa. Christopher Hart, the chief economist of Investment Solutions, told the Washington Post, “In the last 10 years, when the rand has strengthened, we’ve experienced higher economic growth and lower inflation,” said Hart, adding that a stronger currency also helps to attract skills. A strengthened currency does hurt exporters, getting less of their own currency for the same product, but many exporters also import so the effects are tempered. Those businesses whose revenue, supplies and costs are based in the local currency are unaffected by exchange rates, although stock exchange listed companies are affected by market sentiment. So how has this career highlight for the average 20-something analyst impacted on the Australian gold price, market sentiment, gold explorers and producers, and what are the implications for the future price? The flood of annual reports from the gold sector companies show that while fundraising was difficult for some, most had a reasonably good year as speculative investor interest was

kept alive by the steadily rising gold price in US dollar terms. Dogged resistance by Australia’s Reserve Bank and currency traders pushed our exchange rate the opposite way, keeping the Australian dollar gold price suppressed but still at enjoyable levels for Australian producers. For gold producers, depending on their ratio of employees to contractors and whether they are open pit or underground, their main operating costs are wages (around 40 per cent to 50 per cent), contractor labour (10 per cent), electricity (eight per cent) and consumables such as explosives, diesel, blast-hole drilling consumables and repairs and maintenance parts. Diesel, strongly affected by the exchange rate, usually is less than four per cent of cash costs. Electricity may be from the state grid or privately generated, but if from the state grid, it is independent of exchange rates. Heavy equipment is usually imported, but lasts three to five years, and is a capital item amortised over the equipment life, and so impacts little on cash costs. Wages for employees and contractors are in Australian dollars so most local producers’ cash costs are relatively unaffected by the exchange rate.

Gold

All things considered, gold has a bright future for at least the next two years, writes Chris Towsey.

passing the buck

[Gold review]

Commodity prices are controlled by supply and demand, and gold behaves partly as a commodity, partly as currency and partly as a store of wealth and a hedge against inflation. Demand for gold is driven largely by the jewellery sector and influenced by cultural factors such as the Indian wedding season in the auspicious time of the year around Diwali, the Hindu festival of lights. This is a lunar festival based on the full moon and falls between mid-October and midNovember. In 2010 it was 5th November. Gold is a traditional store of wealth in India, and the country currently has one of the highest saving rates in the world, estimated at around 30 per cent of total income, of which 10 per cent is already invested in gold. According to a recent World Gold Council report on gold in India, in 2009, total Indian gold demand reached US$19 billion, accounting for 15 per cent of the global gold market. Over the past 10 years, the value of gold demand in India has increased at an average rate of 13 per cent per year, outpacing the country’s real GDP, inflation and population growth by six per cent, eight per cent and 12 per cent respectively. Based on the World Gold Council estimates, India owns over 18,000 tonnes of above ground gold stocks

Australasian Mining Review 2011: issue 2.1


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worth approximately US$800 billion at today’s gold price and representing at least 11 per cent of global stock. This is equivalent to nearly half an ounce of gold ownership per capita, a figure which is significantly below consumption in western markets, representing scope for additional future growth.

is 10 years, and the bottom was 2008, make sure you are out of the share market well prior to October 2018 because that will be the next recession. This always happens in SeptemberOctober as this is the end of the financial year in Europe and bad results can no longer be hidden or disguised when the annual figures come out.

Significant cultural interest in gold, acquiring gold as a store of wealth and high domestic trade in jewellery are an integral part of life in China and the Middle East. Robert Zoellick, president of the World Bank, commented recently: “The soaring price of gold reflects the international unease about the strength of large developed economies”. He stated that, “Gold is now being viewed as an alternative monetary asset. It has become a reference point because holders of money see weak or uncertain growth prospects in all currencies. Gold is appealing to people who ask - where should I put my money? It is a hedge against uncertainty.”

So the gold price will continue to rise for a year, maybe two, until there is a boom run again, but interest in the gold sector will wane after two years as competing speculative buying opportunities arise in the next bubble. Depending on how the politics of carbon goes, these new bubbles will be carbon trading, carbon capture and storage, new battery technology to store electrons from renewable but intermittent energy sources such as wind, solar and tide, energy-efficient appliances and new electricity generating options. Speculators will bail out of exploration mining into these areas in late 2012 onwards to the next demise in 2018.

The pundits are projecting a rise in the US dollar gold price for the next year, with some seeing US$2,000 per ounce being achieved in 2011, driven by investment uncertainty, concern about rising inflation and a weakened US economy still staggering from the Global Financial Crisis of 2008. Realistically, all booms end. The commodity cycle is a regularly occurring event on a seven to 10 year cycle, with the last downturn prior to October 2008 being September 1997 continuing into 1998. However, fund managers in 2008 with less than 10 years’ experience had never encountered one before, yet we saw it happen before in September 1987 and in 1972 when the nickel boom of 1968-69 crashed.

Local gold explorers and miners are making their golden hay while the sun shines. The smaller stocks have the best potential for significant price jumps, so let’s look at some of those rather than the big guys.

The commodity cycle is supply and demand driven, with interest rates a key component. Consistently rising interest rates creates expensive borrowings, cutting back borrowing for major construction projects such as supermarket complexes, dams, power stations, highways, tunnels and bridges. These construction projects are major consumption markets for resources commodities in metals (steel, copper, galvanizing zinc, aluminium, alloys) and non-metals (petroleum products, plastics, clay, cement and gravel). Lack of demand drives these commodity prices down, taking market sentiment for investment in the exploration and mining sector along with it. Gold is always partly affected by this, and will go down along with the other metals. Given that this cycle

Greater Bendigo Gold Mines (ASX: GBM) has developed a new mineralisation model for its Inglewood Goldfield. The company has said a realistic near surface exploration target has been defined of two million tonnes for several deposits up to 50 meters deep, with grades ranging from 2g/t up to 5g/t. The new mineralisation model has a range of 160,000 to 300,000 ounces of gold in near surface deposits. It’s Goldquest work program was first looked at when the gold price was less than US$400 per ounce, and the low-grade mineralised haloes were considered sub-economic at the time. The current jump in gold prices and interest in the sector may make these halo areas more attractive. Eleckra Mines Limited (ASX: EKM) was listed on the ASX on 4 July 2006. The company owns 100 per cent of the Yamarna Gold Project, a sizeable tenement package totaling approximately 3,200km2, covering the majority of the Yamarna greenstone belt 140km east of Laverton, Western Australia. The updated resource for the Yamarna Gold Project was announced on the ASX on 1 September 2008, totaling 749,000 ounces of gold (13.1 Mt at 1.78 g/t Au). In


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the first half of 2010 the company completed over 11,000 metres of reverse circulation (RC) drilling at its Central Bore project area, where the high-grade intercepts were confirmed over an 800m strike length, and down to a depth of 300m. The highest grade intersected was 3m at 136g/t Au from 192m, incl. 1m at 404g/t (~13oz/t). A further 7,000 – 10,000 metres of RC was started in October 2010, focusing on the Central Bore and Justinian prospects. The highest grade intersected so far in this drilling program was 5m at 146g/t Au from 226m, incl. 1m at 676g/t (~21oz/t). The maiden resource for Central Bore is expected to be announced early in 2011. High grade gold intercepts have been announced from the maiden RC drilling program at its Justinian Trend within the Yamarna Gold Project. In the current RC drilling program at the Justinian Trend, Eleckra has completed 19 RC holes (10EYRC0107 to 10EYRC0125) for 2,338 metres. The results from the first 10 holes, 10EYRC0107 to 10EYRC0116, have been received. The best intercept of seven metres @ 27.21 g/t Au including one metre @ 102 g/t Au was recorded from hole 10EYRC0107. Three gold zones; three metres @ 7.43 g/t Au, five metres @ 2.50 g/t Au and eight metres @ 4.05 g/t Au; were intercepted in hole 10EYRC0116. Gold Anomaly Limited (ASX: GOA) is certainly a goer, having announced that the company’s maiden drilling program at the potentially world class Crater Mountain porphyry style gold project in PNG commenced in November 2010. Following their November $2.3 million capital raising, the drilling program has been expanded from 1,500 metres to 2,500 metres. The program will target the most advanced of the four gold bearing areas identified to date, the Nevera prospect. Drilling at Nevera will focus on proving the geological model of diatreme-breccia hosted mineralisation indicated by two separate zones of mineralisation defined by previous drilling namely the Eastern “Main Mineralized Zone” and Western “Artisanal Mining Zone”. The drill intercepts to date in each zone are as follows; East “Main Mineralized Zone”: NEV 02: 121 metres at 1.77 g/t Au NEV 05: 151 metres at 1.38 g/t Au NEV 08: 178 metres at 1.30 g/t Au NEV 10: 129 metres at 0.61 g/t Au

NEV 11: 205 metres at 0.86 g/t Au West “Artisanal Mining Zone” NEV 04: 106 metres at 0.50 g/t Au NEV 09: 18 metres at 1.94 g/t Au Previous work has indicated Nevera is a huge alteration system with evidence of a porphyry deposit at depth. By contrast to Wafi Creek and other similar deposits in PNG, there has been much less drilling at Nevera and many anomalous zones, both at Nevera and other prospects at Crater Mountain, remain to be tested. The Nevera complex outcrops at the end of a ridge approximately 400 metres above the drainages to the east and west. The topography could facilitate either large scale open cut or high-grade underground mining. The area has previously been explored by Esso/City Resources, Macmin Mining, Triple Plate Junction and BHP Exploration who drilled the first three holes at Nevera aimed at a buried porphyry copper target. BHP’s plans to extend the drilling were curtailed by the company’s withdrawal from all projects in Papua New Guinea in 1997. Sixteen holes have been drilled at Nevera to date and all have intersected gold mineralisation. Nevera is interpreted to be the top of a large Au-Ag-Cu-Pb-Zn hydrothermal mineralising system but the 16 holes drilled to date are insufficient to have delineated the extent and geometry of the mineralisation. Ord River Resources (ASX: ORD) planned a percussion and diamond drilling program that commenced in December 2010 at its Suplejack Gold Project in the Northern Territory near the WA border, following completion of a low level airborne magnetic and radiometric survey across the entire tenement area. Frank Zhu, head of corporate development at Ord River said the company “believes there is a high probability” for defining significant gold mineralisation with its tenement area. The Suplejack gold project is in elephant country located approximately 650 km north-west of Alice Springs, Northern Territory, approximately 80 km north of the Tanami mine and 40 km north of the Groundrush mine. There is an extensive spread of soil, drainage and rock chip anomalies that has been outlined over a distance of approximately 25 km along the Old 8 Mile Fault. This fault intersects the highly prospective Dead Bullock Formation and is overlain by a thin cover of Supplejack Sandstone, Australasian Mining Review 2011: issue 2.1


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Antrim Volcanics and possibly some Nanny Goat Volcanics. All of these units except for the Antrim Volcanics are known to contain gold mineralisation within the tenement area. ORD interprets that there is over 200 km strike length of untested or under-explored structures that are often associated with gold anomalies. ORD is partnered by China Nonferrous Metal Group, one of the largest mining companies in the world. It is a leading mining company in the nonferrous metal sector. NT Resources Ltd (ASX: NTR) announced that reconnaissance rock chip sampling and mapping has been completed over the De Monchaux Creek gold occurrence in the Pine Creek Geosyncline, located 10 kilometres southeast of its Frazers prospect in the Acacia Project, approximately 60 kilometres south of Darwin in the Northern Territory. Regional sampling confirmed high grade gold to 21.8 g/t Au and has also identified encouraging anomalous gold and base metal values, suggesting there is a large mineralised system with good regional potential for further discoveries. The anomalous gold samples are located in the highly prospective Whites Formation of the Pine Creek Geosyncline, host to uranium and base metal mineralisation. Gold mineralisation at De Monchaux Creek is associated with sulphidic gossans along faults and shears within the De Monchaux Creek anticline. Northern Star Resources’ (ASX: NST) Paulsens Gold Mine in Western Australia resumed operations at full capacity on 11 November, following a power outage earlier in the month, with the company saying the impact on production will be significantly less than anticipated. This follows the earlier stellar run at Paulsens, with gold poured totaling 9,906 ounces in October, some 30 per cent above budget. The result continues the pattern set throughout the September Quarter, when Paulsens posted record production of 30,602oz. The bumper October results mean Paulsens has again exceeded all budgets set by Northern Star, including the key benchmarks relating to gold mined, poured and sold. The performance at Paulsens has translated to an outstanding financial result for Northern Star, with revenue of $13.2 million generated in the month. Northern Star acquired Paulsens gold mine from Intrepid Mines for $40 million and has reduced the debt to just $9.8 million thanks to the mine exceeding production and financial targets.


[Gold review: continued]

Exploration at Paulsens continues, with drilling underway to identify further extensions to the Voyager One lode as part of the push to increase the Stage Two mine plan. A second rig is drilling for the Voyager Two lode, which has the potential to extend the mine life well beyond 2011. Citigold Corporation Ltd (ASX: CTO) announced its maiden profit at its Charters Towers Gold Project, with gold production up 36 per cent on 2009. Even though the profit was modest at $73,000, Citigold has proven it can mine the difficult narrow vein field profitably even at a low total output of 16,000 ounces. Revenue and gross profit both increased by 50 per cent demonstrating the company’s ability to grow revenue whilst keeping the costs under control. It was not just profitability that saw solid gains during the period. EBITDA increased almost 350 per cent, cash flows generated from operations up almost 150 per cent to $6.7 million and net assets up six per cent to $174 million and gold production grow 36 per cent. The company retains its low debt status with a gearing ratio of just 3.08 per cent. This augurs well for the future as negotiations with one of its Top Ten shareholders, Zhaojin Mining, continue with a view to further funding the advancement of the project. Citigold announced it is seeking $70 million to develop the City project and an additional $40 million to expand its Imperial Project which includes the operating warrior Mine. Zhaojin is listed on the Main Board of the Stock Exchange of Hong Kong Limited (Stock Code HK1818) and operates an integrated large-scale gold production business. The company is one of the leading gold producers in the People’s Republic of China with mine production for the 2009 calendar year of 360,000 ounces of gold. Institutional funds are also showing interest, and Citigold announced in September it had successfully completed a capital raising of $3.5 million principally from Australian and European funds. The funds raised from this share placement at 10 cents are to be used towards expanding Citigold’s mining operations at Charters Towers and for working capital. Mark Lynch, the Managing Director said: “The recent interest shown by institutional investors I believe reflects a broad confidence in Citigold’s strategy for the future growth of the Charters Towers gold operations.”

being a cornerstone investor in the Australian company China Yunnan Copper Australia (ASX: CYU). CYU will offer a share purchase plan, with A$1.5m underwritten by Patersons Securities to help fund domestic and international projects. In September, China Yunnan announced the potential for a tenfold increase in target tonnage at the Stanley’s Hope Gold Project in Queensland, located at Pentland, 100km west of Charters Towers. The Stanley’s Hope Mining Lease (100 per cent CYU) – hosts epithermal gold Pajingo style mineralisation. Drilling included 1,016 metres drilled in two diamond holes on granted mining lease ML1631. An extensional drill program has been proposed based on the results and will take place in 2011. Advantages of the Stanley’s Hope project are: shallow mineralisation, a granted mining lease and close proximity to infrastructure. Also in Queensland, Paradigm Metals (ASX: PDM) has commenced a 2,000 m air core and percussion drill program at the Toolebuc project, targeting iron oxide-copper-gold mineralisation. The company’s 50 per cent wned Toolebuc project is a joint venture with Exco Resources and is located 40 km southeast of Cloncurry northwest Queensland. Paradigm is the manager of the joint venture, which is targeting mineralisation under shallow cover believed to be 20-50m thick. Drill holes will initially test several previously undrilled magnetic anomalies to total depths of up to 100m. All things considered, gold has a bright future for at least the next two years, and even if the US price retracts if the US economy improves, the Australian dollar exchange rate will probably reduce to maintain the Australian gold price in a band between A$1,000 to $1,200 per ounce. This will still give most Australian producers a strong profit margin on cash costs, and few businesses are fortunate enough to see a margin of 50 per cent of revenue.

Chris A J Towsey, MSc, BSc(Hons), Dip Ed, FAIMM, MAIG, MSME, CP, MMICA, MAICD Chief Operating Officer, Citigold Corporation Limited Chris Towsey is an experienced mining and exploration geologist with expertise in narrow vein gold deposits. He is currently Chief Operating Officer and Site Senior Executive for Citigold Corporation, having originally joined the company in July 2002 as General Manager Mining. Citigold is an ASX Australian Top 200 company and operates underground gold mines at Charters Towers. Chris is a qualified OH&S auditor and was General Manager Australia for the National Occupational Safety Association (NOSA) from 2000 to 2002. He was formerly Chief Geologist and Executive Manager Exploration for Emperor Mines Ltd at Vatukoula gold mine in Fiji from 199498, and General Manager Minerals for Century Resources Ltd in 1998. He operated a consulting geology business as Managing Director of Pathfinder Exploration Pty Ltd for 12 years. He holds Honours and Masters Degrees in geology from Sydney University and is a Chartered Professional geologist. He is a Member of the Australian Institute of Company Directors, and a former Director of the Queensland Resources Council and Great Mines Ltd. He has worked in 26 countries around the world. This editorial has been presented in association with Minecap Solutions Pty Ltd.

Other Chinese companies are active in Australia, with Yunnan Copper Industry (Group) Co Ltd rd Australasian edition AustralasianMining MiningReview Review2011: 2011:3issue 2.1


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A golden future A proven gold project in the Murchison District of Western Australia forms the focus for this active explorer and developer which also holds nickel and phosphate interests.

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ragon Resources Ltd (ASX:AAG) is intent on re-starting and expanding one of the Murchison region’s better known historic mining centres at its key asset, The Central Murchison Gold Project (CMGP). Targeting an initial 100,000 ounces of gold production per annum over 10 years Aragon is set to reinvigorate mining activity in this exciting proven gold district. In January 2010 Aragon seized the opportunity to advance toward production by acquiring the region’s Murchison Bell, Day Dawn and Cuddingwarra Goldfields and 33,000ha of contiguous tenements including 1.5 million ounces of total identified JORC compliant mineral resources. In just ten months Aragon has grown this solid foundation to 2.0 million ounces of gold and in December 2010 has announced a Probable Mining Reserve Estimate of 614,000 ounces of gold. The CMGP has proven past production of five million ounces of gold being sourced from both open pit and underground operations across each of the goldfields. In addition to the mining opportunities there remains exciting exploration upside for additional new discoveries. The tenement package covers some of the most prolific greenstone rocks of the Murchison and is host to multi-million ounce gold deposits such as the world class Big Bell Deposit and the high grade Great Fingall Deposit. Aragon’s strategy is to establish a multi-mine gold operation sourcing sustained gold production from the Big Bell Underground Mine being complimented by high grade production from the unified Golden Crown / Great Fingall Underground Mine. Remnant open pit production across the Project could potentially add early production during the development phase of the overall operation. In 2010 Aragon completed a resource estimation at the Big Bell deposit resulting in Total Identified Mineral Resource Estimate (JORC) of 5,161,000 tonnes @ 4.5g/t Au for 748,000 ounces and after a successful drilling campaign has increased the combined underground Total Identified Mineral Resource Estimate (JORC) of both Golden Crown and Great Fingall to 1,947,000 tonnes @ 9.2g/t Au for 581,000 ounces. Highlight gold results from diamond drilling during 2010 at the Great Fingall Reef include 2.9 metres @ 26.55g/t Au from 728.1 metres, including a

Gold

bonanza un-cut assay of 0.35 metres at 212g/t Au; and 2.7 metres @ 5.15g/t Au from 643.3 metres, including 0.4 metres @ 18.15g/t Au. In addition results from drilling at the Golden Crown Reef includes 9.3 metres @ 14.65g/t Au from 712 metres, including 3.4 metres @ 37.54g/t Au; and 5.0 metres @ 10.36g/t Au from 714 metres, including 0.85 metres @ 37.95g/t Au. Importantly these two deposits are located just 500m apart which allows for Aragon to consider these as a unified production source being accessed by a single decline. Past production from the historic Great Fingall and Golden Crown mines is recorded as 1.2 million ounces at an average of 19.5g/t (1500 ounces per vertical metre) and 288,000 ounces at and average of 13.8g/t Au (780 ounces per vertical metre) respectively. 2011 will see Aragon continue to explore for new gold discoveries and further develop the gold resources across each of the goldfields, utalising the additional drill data into feasibility studies during the year. In addition to a compelling grassroots nickel target at Lake Lefroy in Western Australia, Aragon also maintains an interest in the Barrow Creek 1 phosphate prospect in the renowned Georgina Basin in the Northern Territory where Rum Jungle Resources Ltd is earning up to a 70% interest by spending $3,000,000 over five years to earn a 60% interest with an option to earn another 10% interest by spending an additional $2,000,000 over two years. Rum Jungle has announced a new phosphate discovery with the first phase of drilling in 2010 returning shallow high grade phosphate results. Aragon’s core focus is the development of the Central Murchison Gold Project and as the Company continues to de-risk the project into 2011 investors will once again become aware of this prolific mining district and the unique opportunity that Aragon has achieved.


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2011 The year for Queensland LNG? The Chinese zodiac may have 2011 designated as the Year of the Rabbit, but following a string of new project approvals Queensland’s $50 billion liquefied natural gas (LNG) industry may well have claims to the title, writes Anthony Fensom.

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hile Chinese tradition holds that the rabbit brings a year to catch the breath and calm the nerves, it seems the flood-drenched state will be doing anything but once the rains subside and planned development works resume. January’s move by energy major Santos Limited to give the final investment decision (FID) to its US$16 billion Gladstone LNG project (GLNG), following last October’s FID for British group BG’s US$15 billion Queensland Curtis Island LNG project (QCLNG), has kick-started the Gladstone LNG industry. The LNG projects will convert coal seam gas (CSG) into export LNG, and independent CSG companies such as Bow Energy are moving to meet an anticipated gas shortage. Other beneficiaries of the LNG boom include providers of infrastructure, housing and labour.

for Queensland, while also marking a significant milestone in the Adelaide-based company’s history. A joint venture between Santos (30 per cent), Malaysia’s Petronas (27.5 per cent), France’s Total (27.5 per cent) and Korea’s Kogas (15 per cent), GLNG entails the development of CSG resources in Queensland’s Bowen and Surat Basins, the construction of a 420-kilometre gas transmission pipeline from Roma to Gladstone, and two LNG trains on Curtis Island. First exports are scheduled for 2015, with GLNG having already signed up its partners Petronas and Kogas for 7 mpta in gas sales. The project will also nearly double Santos’s revenue, generating US$6 billion a year during production, or more than US$120 billion over its first 20 years.

Queensland Treasurer Andrew Fraser noted that the project was the second major LNG investment decision in a matter of a few months for the state. The state government is eagerly eyeing the The Queensland LNG projects add to the giant forecast $850 million a year in royalties and an Pluto and Gorgon projects under development in economic boost of $3 billion a year from a 28 Western Australia, forming part of the $200 billion mtpa LNG export industry. worth of LNG schemes proposed nationwide in response to growing energy demand in the AsiaWhile some eight CSG-LNG projects have Pacific region. With the addition of the Santos FID, been slated for Gladstone, BG was the first to more than $100 billion has been committed to achieve FID with its October 31 approval for the LNG projects in Australia and Papua New Guinea QCLNG, a two-train 8.5 mtpa project operated during the past three-plus years. by its subsidiary QGC. The project entails the construction of a liquefaction plant on Curtis Currently the world’s fifth largest producer of LNG, Island off Gladstone, together with associated the Australian industry is targeting the number two upstream and pipeline facilities, including a spot with a goal of boosting production to 60 540-kilometre underground pipeline network million tonnes per annum (mtpa) by 2020, up from linking its Surat Basin CSG fields to the plant. the 16.7 mtpa produced in 2009. QGC managing director Catherine Tanna Queensland Premier Anna Bligh welcomed described the decision as “the single-biggest Santos’s January 13 announcement on its 7.8 investment ever undertaken by BG Group.” mtpa Gladstone project as a huge boost to the “Three years ago when BG Group set up state’s economy. in Australia we had an idea. Today, we “This project worth about $120 billion in exports have a project,” she was quoted saying by over 20 years, and others like it, will inject billions PetroleumNews. into the Queensland and regional economies,” the First LNG exports from the project are anticipated in premier said in a statement. 2014, backed by sales agreements with customers “Construction of the project will commence in Chile, China, Japan and Singapore for up to in 2011, and will create around 5,000 9.5 mpta of LNG, including with China National construction jobs plus a permanent workforce Offshore Oil Corporation and Tokyo Gas. of around 1,000.” While two trains are planned, BG also stated that construction of a third LNG train was already Santos CEO David Knox said the investment covered by existing state and federal approvals. approval was an important economic stimulus


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[Oil and gas review]

The project is projected to boost Queensland’s gross state product by up to $32 billion between 2010 and 2021, adding $4 billion a year to Queensland exports. It will also generate 5,000 jobs during construction and 1,000 jobs during its operation from 2014. “The plant will be half the size of the whole [Western Australian] North West Shelf project and that will go in place in four years,” Federal Treasurer Wayne Swan was quoted saying. “The North West Shelf was put in place over 20 years and it will produce a third of Australia’s LNG, and that’s just stage one.” Yet LNG project approvals have been subject to increasing bureaucratic scrutiny, slowing the investment decision-making process for their major corporate backers. The third major LNG project touted for Gladstone, Australia Pacific LNG (APLNG), failed to achieve its goal of reaching a FID by the end of 2010 due to government delays. The fifty-fifty joint venture between Origin Energy and US major ConocoPhillips was planning a two-train, 14-15 mtpa project on Curtis Island, with first production slated for 2014. After announcing plans to secure offtake agreements and FID by year-end, on December 21, Federal Environment Minister Tony Burke postponed his decision on the project’s approval to February 22, citing the need for further information. The project had already received Queensland government environmental approval. Nevertheless, a slate of LNG projects remain planned for Gladstone. Another advanced project is the Shell and PetroChina project (originally proposed by Arrow Energy), which in December invited tenders for initial design and engineering work. Targeting FID in 2012, the project will include the construction of up to four trains on Curtis Island.

Other projects include those proposed by LNG Limited, Japan’s Sojitz Corporation and Impel. Queensland’s position as Australia’s largest holder of onshore CSG reserves has driven the industry’s growth, with sufficient reserves to power the state reportedly for 500 years. Flood damage Industry observer and environmental lawyer Tim Hanmore described the recent FID decisions as an enormous “shot in the arm” for the Queensland and Australian economy. “The January floods have had an enormous impact on the Queensland CSG/LNG industry, and these decisions by the energy majors to push ahead with their projects is key to reviving the local economy,” said Hanmore, special counsel at McCullough Robertson Lawyers. Heavy rains in central Queensland during the latter end of 2010 had already disrupted the exploration activities of companies such as Bow Energy, but the January 2011 floods took the crisis right to the companies’ head offices. More than 75 per cent of the state was declared a disaster zone, with drilling in the Surat and Bowen Basins effectively halted and corporate headquarters in Brisbane shut down. Origin Energy reported to PetroleumNews that only 12 of its 300 producing wells had been inundated with floodwaters, while one of Canadian drilling and well servicing company Savanna Energy’s drilling rigs employed on the APLNG project was extensively damaged. However, Santos along with BG and Arrow Energy reported only limited impact on their CSG production, with the flooding hampering access to well sites and rigs. Bow Energy also reported only minimal damage to infrastructure, but recognised the broader community impact of the crisis. Australasian Mining Review 2011: issue 2.1


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“While the impact of the Queensland floods has been minimal to Bow, the impact on our communities has been significant so we will continue to support local businesses as much as possible,” CEO John De Stefani said. The company announced its donation to the Queensland Premier’s Flood Relief Appeal, a move taken by others in the industry. On the environmental front, the CSG industry’s reputation was damaged prior to the floods with the discovery by APLNG and Arrow Energy of cancer-causing chemicals known as BTEX (benzene, toluene, ethylbenzene and xylene) at a number of CSG exploration wells. The findings sparked calls from farmer and environmental groups for a ban on further CSG exploration activities, including fraccing (fracture stimulation to increase gas production). While governments have resisted such demands, the industry is now subject to some of “the most stringent environmental conditions ever imposed on an industry,” according to the Queensland premier. More than 300 conditions were imposed by the federal environment minister on the QCLNG and GLNG projects, adding to the 1,200 conditions prescribed by the Queensland Coordinator General as part of the state’s own approval process. Describing the conditions as “extremely comprehensive,” McCullough Robertson’s Hanmore said the right balance needed to be struck between development and the environment. “We need to be careful that operational conditions don’t go so far so as to restrict progress, without necessarily delivering significant environmental benefit,” he said. Labour pains The fast-growing Queensland industry now faces resourcing issues as it competes for labour and other services with Western Australia. Santos’s Knox said the company would be targeting fly-in, fly-out workers based in the eastern states which otherwise might be employed in the WA LNG projects. Around 15,000 jobs

will be created in the Queensland LNG projects alone, and with companies including Woodside Petroleum, Chevron and others already facing labour shortages in the West, the demand for skilled labour is set to escalate. Knox told the Australian Financial Review that Gladstone could prove more attractive for eastern state workers compared to industrial towns in WA such as Karratha and Port Hedland. According to Hays Oil & Gas, service providers are already scrambling for talent to meet the anticipated demand. “There’s no doubt that we’re very quickly returning to a state of candidate shortage, and will continue in this direction as more organisations experience growth,” director Simon Winfeld told PetroleumNews. The Queensland floods may aggravate the labour shortage, with potential LNG workers diverted to the reconstruction effort, according to Macquarie Research analyst Adrian Wood. “There was already going to be a massive constraint for tradespeople of any kind in the next five years and the more of them that need to be used in residential housing, the less available for other things,” he was quoted saying by the Australian Financial Review. Tax time Industry fears of an investor strike caused by the federal government’s proposed new 40 per cent resource super profits tax (RSPT) were abated somewhat by the move to instead place onshore CSG under the existing Petroleum Resource Rent Tax (PRRT) regime. The December 2010 release of the Policy Transition Group’s (PTG’s) report on the new regime was met with “cautious optimism” by industry group Australian Petroleum Production & Exploration Association (APPEA). The PTG recommended that most costs associated with production be deductible under the PRRT, including native title payments related to upstream


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operations, the cost of water treatment and other associated facilities. It also suggested that existing treatment of exploration expenditure under the PRRT be extended to “unconventional” gas projects such as CSG and shale gas. “Overall, we consider the PTG has taken a balanced approach in determining the treatment of a number of key transitional issues, recognising the underlying philosophy of PRRT allows for the full and immediate deductibility of all costs,” APPEA CEO Belinda Robinson said.

can get access to these offshore concessions when you can meet the relevant tests and get government to approve an area as a designated frontier area.” Murray said the real impact of the new taxes would be felt in the next 10-20 years, with the industry shape in broad terms already having been mapped out for the next decade with the raft of new projects planned in Western Australia and Queensland.

However, APPEA and other industry players expressed disappointment over the report’s refusal to recommend incentives for exploration, with Robinson saying that “today’s exploration is tomorrow’s production.”

“The iron ore, coal and oil and gas industries in Australia have taken a backward step. The government is going to take substantial sums of money out of the industry and there’s no clear indication that it’s going to be spent back in the industry,” he said.

“The continuing decline in petroleum exploration and the associated challenges that continue to confront many of our smaller companies in funding their exploration efforts must also be addressed by the government,” Robinson added.

“There are countries like Malaysia offering all sorts of tax incentives to encourage foreign investment into their oil and gas industry, and what’s Australia doing? It’s not providing incentives; it’s increasing the tax take.

McCullough Robertson Partner Hayden Bentley said the industry was “disappointed that the prospects for the introduction of exploration credits or flow through shares are bleak.”

“The problem is that it could take a substantial period of time before we feel the impact of the new taxes. It could be that we start to see a material decline in money being spent in these industries once the current projects have been brought on. It will be fascinating to see what new projects in these industries will emerge say, after 2020.”

He said that irrespective of the PTG report, the government should introduce exploration incentives to level the playing field between small and large companies. BDO tax partner John Murray agreed, saying that the government had drawn a distinction between mining and petroleum on such issues as the $50 million revenue threshold for the Minerals Resource Rent Tax (MRRT). “While $50 million may not be big for the LNG industry, I’m not sure why the government should draw that distinction and give concessions to one industry and not the other,” he said. “You need juniors exploring and analysing and identifying these new projects, and I would have liked to have seen more thought given to encouraging unconventional gas exploration. “There’s some rules in the existing PRRT rules in relation to designated frontier areas. It would have been nice to have seen some acknowledgment where you have someone who’s doing the hard yards in an unexplored area, you

Despite the industry’s environmental and tax concerns, there is no sign of a slowdown in the LNG industry either on the east or west coast. A string of new LNG projects planned for Western Australia, including Chevron’s Gorgon and Wheatstone projects, Woodside’s Pluto project and Inpex’s Ichthys project, have shown that the state is not about to quickly surrender its crown to Queensland as the nation’s LNG leader. Recent forecasts that Australia could overtake Qatar as the world’s top exporter by 2020 indicate a bright future for all domestic producers, regardless of their origin.

Anthony Fensom, is a communications consultant and freelance writer, with more than 10 years’ experience in the financial and media industries in Australia and Asia.

“Gas is already part of Australia’s cleaner energy future, and we as a company and industry are in an excellent position to capitalise on the rapidly growing international demand for lower carbon emitting fuels such as natural gas,” Bow Energy’s De Stefani said.

Based in Brisbane, Queensland, he has a keen interest in the growth of the state’s energy and resources sector as it seeks to meet Asia’s demand for cleaner energy.

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Going back to nature The mining industry has seen a shift back to nature as site and operation managers attempt to improve occupational health, safety and environment performance while simultaneously reducing their operational costs.

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ining sites around Australia have been reviewing their above-ground operations and with the help of the natural ventilation industry have been finding ways to not just improve working environments but also reduce operational costs, improve building life and improve OH&S standards.

temperature that employees are working in by a certain degrees, reduce structural corrosion in the building improving building longevity and even outline the carbon footprint and energy savings is unparalleled. And to have this all in a report, it shows them that we are serious about the tangible and quantifiable benefits we can offer to mines and processing facilities across Australia.”

The benefits that mining sites were gaining from natural ventilation have been clear. Stories of reduced humidity and corrosion in building structures, improved conditions for workers, reduced maintenance and energy costs, and cost savings in the building phase are common.

It is not just this detailed and tailored approach to every project which has made companies such as IVR Group, Arcadia and Lowline popular contacts for mining organisations. The ability to innovate has also been ever present in their development. Being able to design systems to automatically or manually open and close all or particular sections of the ventilator according to the season, weather, wind, temperature, CO² and other particulate levels, and operating specifications has given mining operations total control of their systems to achieve what they require.

This reemergence of natural ventilation as a real benefit to mining operations has been attributed to companies such as IVR Group, Arcadia and Lowline. Not only being able to provide the mining industry with effective and efficient products, these companies have also provided the expertise, technology and science that have lead to some remarkable outcomes. With natural ventilation industry leaders now offering tailored detailed design to meet project specific requirements, design consultancy and CFD modeling, site and operation managers have been finding it as easy as ever to not just gain the benefits of natural ventilation but also be able to show quantifiable results for their investment. “With advances in computer modeling and our history of expertise in the natural ventilation field, we can show the real benefits that a system can provide and even present a tailored site proposal for them,” IVR Group Managing Director Stephen Bird explained. “For an operations manager to know that they are able to impact on a buildings humidity by a particular percentage, reduce the

Innovation in the natural ventilation industry has not just stopped there it seems with IVR Group at a recent mining conference unveiling the incorporation of its unique roof fall arrest system into its high capacity roof ventilator range. Designed and engineered to Australian Standards, it has given sites the capacity to deal with roof access safety and natural ventilation simultaneously in one package. Combining this with the ability for ventilators to be acoustically treated, the focus on the needs of mining and heavy industry by natural ventilation providers has come just at the right time. Natural ventilation has been around since the sun started to shine and the wind started to blow but it seems that today, companies such as these are now helping the mining industry finally make the most it can out of it.


l REDUCED MAINTENANCE l IMPROVED WORKING CONDITIONS l INCREASED BUILDING LIFE l REDUCED OPERATING COSTS l SMALLER CARBON FOOTPRINT l LESS STRUCTURAL CORROSION l IMPROVED OH&S l REDUCED BUILDING COSTS l BETTER ENVIRONMENTAL PERFORMANCE l IMPROVED ROOF SAFETY l COOLER OPERATINNG ENVIRONMENTS l REDUCED HUMIDITY l INCREASED NATURAL LIGHTING l HEAT REMOVAL...

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calls for urgent exploration development initiatives

AMEC

48

An Exploration Tax Credit (ETC) model is an effective means of encouraging investment in junior exploration companies, particularly those looking to undertake greenfields exploration, writes Simon Bennison.

T

he minerals exploration sector underpins the sustainability and growth of the mining industry, which has developed to the point that the resources industry is considered by many to be the ‘engine room’ of the Australian economy. As the peak national body representing hundreds of mining and mineral exploration companies operating throughout Australia, The Association of Mining and Exploration Companies (AMEC) considers that it is in the national interest to promote future exploration activities which provide significant wealth creation and revenue generating opportunities. AMEC continues to be of the view that a healthy and developing mining and exploration sector provides significant social and economic dividends, particularly in regional and community areas throughout Australia. To provide some context, the general structure of the resources industry is similar in Australia and around the globe. In Australia it is made up of approximately 2,500 companies, comprising: •

A handful of major conglomerates that dominate market share;

A relatively small number of mid-tier and emerging miners in the middle; and

Thousands of junior exploration companies at the other end, representing a significant proportion (in numbers) of the industry.

Based on a report commissioned by the Australian Institute of Geoscientists, recent trends indicate that there has been a decline in success rates and in the average size and quality of mineral deposits discovered in Australia. Brownfields exploration continues to outpace greenfields exploration by a significant margin. Australia’s share of global exploration is declining. Most of our nation’s current mineral production is from deposits found 20 or more years ago. Unfortunately, the current incentive structure for minerals exploration discourages investment in greenfields exploration, and leads to market failure where market forces have resulted in an inefficient allocation of resources.

This market failure has subsequently lead to declining discovery rates in Australia; and the need to ensure a level playing field for the after tax cost of exploration between those companies with ‘assessable income’ and those without (tax asymmetries) provides a strong case for the Federal Government to take urgent action in the national interest. The current treatment of tax losses puts small exploration companies at a competitive disadvantage relative to larger, more diversified companies and to business investments in other sectors. This situation is further exacerbated by the fact that Australia’s sovereign risk and reputation as a safe place in which to invest has been severely damaged, with the result that a significant proportion of capital investment in mineral exploration is being directed towards overseas projects, particularly in Africa. To reverse these trends, AMEC has therefore proposed that a broad policy framework that seeks to grow the resources industry in Australia should be employed. This framework should seek to restore Australia’s reputation as a mining and exploration investment destination and stimulate much needed greenfields exploration. Such a framework would comprise a package of initiatives including the introduction of an Exploration Tax Credit model which would promote exploration expenditure by junior exploration companies in Australia; remedy market failure; and address tax asymmetries. The ETC model proposes that accumulated losses that are incurred by companies with ‘no assessable income’ could voluntarily pass those losses, by way of a tax credit, through to their shareholders at the company tax rate by using a system that is based on Australia’s well known franking system. Shareholders would therefore receive a benefit, rather than the losses being ‘trapped’ in the company for many years or never used at all. AMEC was therefore extremely disappointed with the Federal Government’s recent announcement that exploration development initiatives will not be pursued at this time. AMEC maintains that an ETC model is an effective means of


49

[Exploration Review]

encouraging investment in junior exploration companies, particularly those looking to undertake greenfields exploration. In the absence of such a scheme, shareholders are likely to continue investing in larger mining companies with identified revenue streams or brownfields explorers that represent a lower risk. Junior explorers looking to undertake greenfields exploration will continue to have difficulty in accessing equity finance. Greenfields exploration will continue to lag well behind brownfields exploration which is uncovering the smaller, lower grade mineral deposits. AMEC will however continue to call for the implementation of an ETC model in order to ensure a pipeline of resource projects for future generations and in the national interest.

Simon Bennison is Chief Executive Officer of the Association of Mining and Exploration Companies (AMEC), based in Perth, Western Australia. AMEC is a national organisation representing over 300 mining, exploration and service industry companies. He has over 13 years’ experience in the Australian mining and exploration sector. Bennison’s earlier career in the mining industry involved environmental management in open pit and underground mining operations. He has been a director on a number of companies and Statutory Authorities in Australia over the past 20 years. He has spent 15 years as the CEO of various State and National organisations and has been responsible for policy development across a number of primary industry sectors. Australasian Mining Review 2011: issue 2.1


WestSide – Australia’s newest CSG producer

Now supplying gas from the Meridian SeamGas CSG fields in the Bowen Basin: • Large certified reserve position • Supply contract in place • Infrastructure with ample capacity for growth • Operator in partnership with Japanese major, Mitsui • LNG export potential targeted • Assets strategically located near existing CSG projects Aggressive growth planned: • New Galilee Basin targets • Expanded appraisal programs underway in Bowen Basin Entry point to the booming CSG sector www.westsidecorporation.com

Phone: +61 7 3020 0900

ASX Code: WCL

Westside focused on Meridian reserve & production upgrades WestSide Corporation will continue an aggressive twopronged drilling program at the Meridian SeamGas Coal Seam Gas (CSG) gasfields near Moura during the first half of 2011 to increase reserves and demonstrate the Company’s capability to be a long term supplier to major markets such as LNG.

The Company, which operates Meridian SeamGas in joint venture with Mistui E&P Australia Pty Ltd, launched a 16-well reserves expansion exploration program in November 2010 targeting a gross increase of 200 Petajoules (PJ) of 2P reserves in 2011.

Up to four rigs have been deployed on the program which has also involved upgrading roads and drill pads to enable work to continue whenever possible during the wet season.

“We are fully committed to demonstrating the untapped value of the Meridian SeamGas CSG fields in terms of latent reserves, production capability, strategic location and connectivity to Gladstone and other east coast markets via the Queensland Gas Pipeline,” Dr Beeby said.

Chief Executive Officer Dr Julie Beeby said the Meridian SeamGas joint venture, in which WestSide has a 51 per cent operating interest, aimed to prove up additional 2P gas reserves while simultaneously ramping up field production.

WestSide launched its production drilling program in July 2010 to establish a series of new dual-lateral well sets, in conjunction with a well work-over program to lift field output toward 25 Terajoules a day by late 2012. The reserves expansion program, involving seven pilot wells and nine exploration core or chip holes, has potential to more than double

WestSide’s present 94 PJ share of Meridian SeamGas’s 2P reserves. “Our aim is to complete this reserves expansion exploration program and capture sufficient production data from the pilots to achieve a reserves upgrade for Meridian as soon as possible,” Dr Beeby said. The company will also be testing production from two new pilot sites within ATP 769P (Paranui, adjacent to Meridian SeamGas) and ATP 688P (Mount Saint Martin) during 2011 and conducting exploration in previously unexplored areas including its Galilee Basin tenements. The Meridian SeamGas fields comprise a range of CSG assets including a petroleum lease, gas rights in mining leases and gas compression and pipeline infrastructure connected to Queensland’s commercial gas network and with significant capacity for expansion.

Julie Beeby


No Need To Dig Deep. SAP is now within reach. As you move from pre-feasibility into production and beyond, you need the industry expertise of Extend Technologies and the flexible, affordable power of SAP. • Minimise costs - utilise fully hosted systems and software for a fixed cost monthly fee • Set Up Fast - get your financials and asset management underway within only 3-4 weeks • Flexible Progression – grow your ERP solution in step with your business and control your costs • Low Risk with the proven industry track record of Extend Technologies and the world’s most powerful ERP application at your disposal From the start up management through to a full scale operation, there is a start-to-finish, flexible, affordable SAP solution within reach for your business.

Contact us today to discuss your options on (02) 8908 4200 or contact@extendtec.com.au www.extendtechnologies.com.au/industry-based-solutions

Valuing your most precious resource just got easier ERP roll-outs in the mining space are plagued with war stories from the past; big budgets, big teams, big timeframes, questionable returns and only within reach of large mining organisations. This is a far cry from the flexible, affordable and rapid roll-outs of ERP projects today, which place an absolute premium on time as the most precious resource of all.

T

he growth of the mining industry over the past decade and SAP’s focus on securing its position as the major player in this sector, from blue chips to startups, has seen a dramatic change in the way the systems are now configured, implemented and deployed. Gone are the huge timeframes and even bigger budgets. Today’s ERP implementations are more likely to only take a matter of months and innovative hosted solutions put the technology within reach of any business, no matter what the scale of operation. Moreover, Extend Technologies has indepth industry knowledge, which means solutions are designed around an understanding of mining processes, not software modules. It is this progression that has delivered Ensham Resources very positive outcomes and bankable results from its SAP implementation.

considering the options, Ensham engaged SAP Gold Partner, Extend Technologies, to deliver the SAP All-in-One Mining Solution. The company progressed from operating numerous disparate systems to a centralised approach for maintenance, purchasing and finance, inclusive also of HR and payroll. In selecting SAP All-In-One for Mining, Ensham now focus on their business operations and growth knowing the underlying platform has the functionality, scalability and affordability to support their business into the future. Other leading resource companies that have made the shift to SAP and utilised Extend Technologies’ industry expertise include QLD Nickel, ERM Power, Coote, RCR Tomlinson and Idemitsu Australia Resources, where an implementation across three mine sites was completed in under five months.

Faced with production levels that were outstripping the ability of the company to monitor, manage, plan and compliantly track its assets and activities, Ensham’s management knew that an ERP system would help them address the issues. After

Australasian Mining Review 2011: issue 2.1


52

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53

[Climate change]

Keeping your head above water Mining in a future climate

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ost of Australia’s mining areas can expect hotter, drier conditions and more extreme weather events, such as flooding rains, as our climate changes not just in the distant future but during the operating life of an individual mine. As Australia’s climate changes, mines will need to adapt their operations, with the production stage being most at risk. CSIRO is working with mines, mining stakeholders and communities across the mining value chain to figure out the likely impacts of climate change, explore the risks and start developing climate adaptation strategies. “The mining industry is of huge economic importance in Australia and is quite vulnerable to climate change,” said Dr Kieren Moffat, who leads CSIROs research into mining and climate change through the Climate Adaptation Flagship and the Minerals Down Under Flagship. Climate change will lead to knock-on effects beyond the obvious impacts of extreme events like floods. For example, a greater number of hotter days could lead to tarmac damage and interrupt access for mine workers and for transport, meaning mines and mineral processing plants will require more on-site storage for materials and processed ore. And as droughts become more frequent with hotter, drier and more variable climate conditions, there may be conflict between mines and other water users like local communities, farmers and other industries. “We expect the mining industry will be impacted by climate change in diverse ways,” Dr Moffat said. “We want to understand how mining companies and communities are thinking about and planning for climate change. Our goal is to help them get on the right track and make climate adaptation part of their normal risk management planning and thinking.” The importance of early planning for climate change shouldn’t be underestimated. The knock-on effects of climate change mean that climate adaptation is a whole of industry issue. Climate adaptation will need to involve all parts of the value chain and bring together mining companies, water and power providers, state and local governments, education providers and local communities, just to name a few. “Put simply, it is just critical that mining companies, mining communities and other stakeholders in

the mining value chain start planning early for climate change,” said Ray Ciantar, Manager Infrastructure and Planning at Goldfields Esperance Development Commission. “Research has shown retrofitting to be very expensive and time consuming. The reality is that all players in the resources sector need to do their bit. For example, it is of little value if a mining operation plans and implements a strategy for dealing with climate change if its suppliers do not do likewise. Climate change planning needs to be viewed as a total risk management strategy and embedded in all the company’s thinking and processes,” Ciantar said. “In addition, companies that do not take on climate change planning and adaption seriously and early enough, might find themselves at a distinct competitive disadvantage compared to those companies that do.” Exploring the expected impacts of climate change in Western Australia’s Goldfields CSIRO held a workshop in Kalgoorlie-Boulder last August to explore the mining industry’s perceptions of climate change and the industry’s climate adaptation requirements in Western Australia’s Goldfields-Esperance mining region. The region supports both mines and an extensive network of mineral processing, utilities and transport infrastructure. Climate change in this region will be felt by many interdependent stakeholders, from mining companies, to infrastructure providers, local government agencies and local communities. The impacts of climate change are likely to have shared implications among all stakeholders. CSIRO’s climate projections for 2030 and 2070 in Australia’s key mineral provinces point towards a hotter and drier climate for the WA Goldfields region. This will put additional stress on water resources in an area that is already described as hot and dry for most of the year. The region will also experience more extreme weather events, including high winds (10 to 15 per cent increase by 2030) and intense rainfall (20 to 30 per cent increase by 2030).

Dry bed of a tailings dam, South Australia.

Hotter, drier conditions and more extreme weather events will have an impact on working conditions and safety for mine workers, writes Andrea Wild.

The workshop provided the industry with climate projections and concepts of climate adaptation and gave different stakeholders the opportunity to reveal what the potential impacts of climate change mean for each of them. A range of issues arose from the discussions, such as access to water Australasian Mining Review 2011: issue 2.1


54

Mine workers in a changed climate What will life be like for mine workers in Australia’s future climate? The Kalgoorlie workshop revealed skills and safety of mine workers are high priorities for climate adaptation. Hotter, drier conditions and more extreme weather events will have an impact on working conditions and safety for mine workers. In fact, research by CSIRO suggests that mine design and operations in our future climate may be impacted more by the effects of heat on people than by the effects of heat on equipment and machinery. Participants in the workshop raised the issues of attracting staff to inland areas with rising temperatures, and the potential impact on the workforce and mine community of changed mining practices in response, such as increased automation. Mining companies may need to deal with high turnover of staff due to unpleasant working conditions. They may also face skills shortages due to a lack of education and training for the new conditions and situations arising. Mine workers may have difficulty reaching work if transport options are disrupted by weather events. Safety issues for mine workers are related to extreme weather events, such as cyclones, storms and flooding, and health risks due to changes in the geographic occurrence of disease. These issues will also have an impact on the wider communities in mining areas.

and energy, impacts on the environment and communities, implications for mine planning, and workforce issues such as safety of mining staff. Mining companies themselves were most concerned about the effects of extreme weather events, such as damage to infrastructure and safety issues including flooding, slope instability and wind-blown debris. Belinda Bastow, an environmental manager with AngloGold Ashanti Australia who attended the workshop, pointed out the potential impacts of extreme weather on mines in remote locations. “Remote sites rely on a combination of dirt roads and often unsealed airstrips and extreme weather puts more pressure on them,” she said. “If we lose our airstrip we have trouble getting staff in and out and there are implications for safety, particularly if there is an emergency, which has implications for the design criteria.” Bastow noted that the potential implications for design criteria under climate change are a major consideration. “Our design assumptions are based on a certain amount of rain, for example. If climate change comes are those design assumptions reasonable or should we be changing them?” Despite much overlap and interdependency, the difference between issues for different stakeholders at the workshop was clear. Utilities providers mainly focussed on impacts on infrastructure, including location, damage from extreme weather events and design requirements. Industry services were focussed on issues to do with business analysis and reporting, complying Gold mine in Western Australia

with regulations and attracting workers to mining communities. Government agencies were concerned about the impacts on the mining industry, the community and the environment of big picture issues like increased water costs and national economic and population health impacts of climate change. “Across the different stakeholders we see a need for developing infrastructure and technologies that can more efficiently use resources, such as water and energy, as they become increasingly scarce or costly under a warmer and drier climate,” said Dr Moffat. “Overall, participants felt that climate change would require adaptation within both the mining industry and its communities to more efficiently use scarce resources, upgrade or modify infrastructure, improve mine designs and operations, and to safeguard employees, surrounding communities and the environment.” Moving toward change The workshop in WA’s Goldfields region also asked industry members about the drivers of future change and prosperity in their sector. Their answers related to the economics of doing business and the costs of adaptation, societal pressures and uncertainty around government policy on climate change. Increasing pressure from society around the environmental and social impacts on communities and the use of resources like water and energy by the mining industry is viewed as a challenge.


55

[Climate change: continued]

Salt mining lakes, South Australia

For mining companies, economic drivers revolve around future commodity demand and prices and the cost of water and energy. For the utilities sector, economic drivers include both demands by industry and economic regulation by government. Economic factors also emerged as a key factor influencing vulnerability to climate change due to the costs, risks and returns associated with climate adaptation options. “When we asked about the resources each sector has to draw on for adapting to climate change, we found that while many sectors of the mining industry don’t have large pots of money to throw at climate adaptation, the industry has a huge resource in terms of its human and social capital,” Dr Moffat explained. “We are hearing that a key barrier to dealing with climate change impacts is uncertainty about which direction government policy will go in on matters such as carbon price and environmental regulation,” said Dr Moffat. “This makes it difficult for individuals to make a solid case to industry decision makers. What we are bringing to the table is the science, which many stakeholders considered to be well enough known to start planning and implementing climate adaptation options today. And some of the climate adaptation options would help anyway, such as by providing water efficiency and energy security. The mining industry has the power and the resources to adapt and we want to help all components along the value chain feel confident enough to make the decision to adapt, and adapt together.” In the coming months, CSIRO will hold similar workshops in the North West minerals province of Queensland, the Pilbara and the Hunter Valley to gather information from representative mining regions around Australia as well as provide climate data and adaptation options of benefit to the industry. “CSIRO is providing relevant information for our region in WA,” explained Kalgoorlie workshop attendee Bastow. “Our region tends to be sparse in data. What CSIRO provides us is not just theoretical and is very targeted to the regional sector, away from coasts. It’s our sector, our regions.” Australia-wide surveys Two online surveys by CSIRO are underway, one of mining companies and one of local governments, to find out how they think they might be impacted by climate change and by the knock-on effects of climate change on mines. See

details at the end of this article to take a survey or get involved other ways. Preliminary survey results show that among weather events, mining companies reported floods and intense rainfall as currently having the greatest impact on mining operations (see table) and expect them to be the greatest threat to mining operations in the future. Mining companies also reported reduced groundwater availability as a top threat expected in the future, possibly due to the indirect impacts of drought. They nominated mine site drainage and production as activities they expect will suffer greatly from weather events in our future climate, but which hadn’t necessarily suffered greatly from weather events in the past. “This tells us that adapting to flooding and heavy rain is a key area for us to focus on as we work with the industry to adapt to climate change, literally to keep heads above water,” said Dr Moffat. “Mine site drainage and production may also be important areas for us to focus on because mining companies may have had less experience in the past at dealing with them being impacted by weather or climate. “The survey results are starting to show us that industry members know what they need to focus on, but very few have said that they have taken steps to adapt to climate change. Not many are actively preparing for change yet.” “The industry is already involved heavily in risk planning and we believe now is the time to bring climate projections into this planning. Then expanding this risk planning across the mining value chain will be the next step. The effects of climate change will reverberate through the whole industry and a collaborative approach to climate adaptation is essential.” The top five weather events reported by mining companies to impact mining operations both in the past and in the future Top five experienced today

Top five expected in the future

intense rainfall/flood

intense rainfall/flood

storm events

reduced groundwater

cyclones

storm events

drought/water shortages

cyclones

heatwaves

drought/water shortages

CSIRO is Australia’s national science agency and one of the largest and most diverse research agencies in the world. As part of the Climate Adaptation Flagship and the Minerals Down Under Flagship, CSIRO is researching future sustainability challenges of the Australian minerals industry and exploring the implications of future climate variability and climate change on the minerals industry and mining communities.

Stakeholders across the mining value chain are encouraged to get in touch with CSIRO to discuss their needs and interests in climate adaptation or register interest in upcoming workshops in North West Queensland, the Pilbara and Hunter Valley mineral regions. Contact Dr Kieren Moffat at Kieren.Moffat@csiro.au or on 07 3327 4724. Individuals from local governments and mining companies can take part in surveys on vulnerability to climate change and adaptation planning at: www.csiro.au/science/ adapting-mining-climate-change

Australasian Mining Review 2011: issue 2.1


56

Energy Efficiency in the mining industry an opportunity to cut costs and reduce carbon emissions Bruce Rowse With both a mining tax and a carbon tax being considered by government, now, more than ever, measures that reduce costs and carbon emissions provide benefit to miners. Energy efficiency reduces energy wastage cutting costs, and improving the bottom line. And it also reduces carbon emissions.

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ining accounts for around 6% of Australia’s total energy use. According to a report released by the government’s Energy Efficiency Opportunities (EEO) program last year there are significant opportunities for miners to reduce energy costs and carbon emissions through energy efficiency. The “First Opportunities in Depth: The mining industry, a look at results from: 20062008” report shows that miners participating in the EEO program – including amongst others Rio Tinto, BHP Billiton, Xstrata Coal - identified opportunities to save $233 million with energy saving measures with a payback of two years or less. Opportunities were identified in the areas of: •

Process control (41.1% of savings identified)

Maintenance (15.5% of savings identified)

Energy measurement (14.0% of savings identified)

Retro-fitting (12.8% of savings identified)

New technology (8.4% of savings identified)

Management systems (4.8% of savings identified)

Staff operation (2.5% of savings identified)

Research and development (0.8% of savings identified)

win management support and then implement selected opportunities. Some energy saving opportunities miners can consider include: •

Identifying energy waste by undertaking a energy mass balance. A energy mass balance analyses energy flows in a process to identify wastage. Once the wastage is identified solutions can often be easily generated. This is particularly well suited to complex processing operations.

Ensuring that motors and pumps are correctly sized, and that variable speed drives are used as appropriate on pumps and fans if the load varies. The opportunities from optimising pump operation can be significant. At one site energy efficiency consultant CarbonetiX undertook a careful assessment of pump operation and identified savings of 8% by installing a midsized pump at a pumping station. Operating a mid sized pump specified to operate at a flow rate of 80-110 litres per second was more efficient than running the larger pumps at reduced speed to supply the same flow. Data from the SCADA system was invaluable in identifying this opportunity.

Practices to minimise vehicle diesel use. Trucking company Linfox has achieved a 27% reduction in greenhouse emissions per kilometre via a range of measures largely focussed on cutting diesel use. These include - amongst others - driver training, careful monitoring of tyre pressures, and effective matching of vehicles to loads. Much of what Linfox has done would be applicable to mining vehicles.

A number of case studies have been developed from the EEO program. •

Theiss’ mining business unit investigated the use of mobile equipment, and identified opportunities to save around $3.7m a year in diesel costs with a payback of less than two years.

Xstrata Coal has identified nearly 50 energy saving measures that it is implementing and has appointed site energy champions to assist in identifying energy saving measures and implementing them.

Similarly Xstrata Copper ran an opportunity identification workshop at its Townsville Copper Refinery, and identified measures with the potential to reduce energy use by over 3%.

These case studies illustrate the importance of following a systematic process to identify energy efficiency opportunities, develop a business case, [Banner change Climate position]


57

We make saving energy easy! Tel 1300 311 763 info@carbonetix.com.au www.carbonetix.com.au

Maintenance regimes that take energy efficiency into account. Air handling systems in particular benefit from this, as they can easily lose efficiency but with little noticeable loss in performance. Effective filter maintenance, regular checking of dampers and actuators, and ensuring that sensors operate correctly can all yield large savings. Installation of energy measurement systems and acting on the information provided. For example the “real time” metering of electricity consumption can be used to very quickly identify and quantify out of hours wastage. You can’t manage what you don’t measure. I’ve seen savings as high as 23% of total electricity consumption identified as a result of the installation of real time electricity monitoring on major electrical loads.

Bruce Rowse is director of CarbonetiX. CarbonetiX provides energy efficiency services through a three pronged process of evaluate, measure, reduce. CarbonmetriX is a online tool for tracking electricity, gas, water and fuel use for organisations operating multiple sites. Carbon Real Time is a web based system for monitoring electricity/gas/water consumption “real time” and identifying wastage. CarbonetiX Consulting provides mechanical, electrical and environmental engineering expertise in energy and water efficiency and carbon measurement and accounting.

There are four elements needed to realise the significant benefits from energy efficiency. Leadership and management support come first. Second, you need to allocate time to identify the opportunities, win management support, and implement those measures that don’t require much capital but do need changes to the way things are done. Third, you need capital funding for measures that require significant investment. Finally you need a measurement system in place to monitor savings, provide feedback, and enable the optimisation of scheduling and control. The EEO program has now prepared a guide “Driving Energy Efficiency in the Mining Sector” developed by the Department of Resources, Energy and Tourism in collaboration with the Minerals Council. It has a focus on actions that can be taken to win management support and resources for energy efficiency projects. Energy efficiency saves money and reduces carbon emissions, and typically there will be many opportunities available with a payback of two years or less. Australasian Mining Review 2011: issue 2.1


CRC CARE, with more than 250 researchers, is Australia’s largest and best networked research organisation dedicated to the assessment and remediation of contaminated sites.

CRC for Contamination Assessment and Remediation of the Environment

no. 10

technical report

Health screening levels for petroleum hydrocarbons in soil and groundwater Summary for NEPC consultation E. Friebel and P. Nadebaum

Remediator

Engaging thE community: Winter 2010

Newsletter of the Cooperative Research Centre for Contamination Assessment and Remediation of the Environment

a handbook for professionals managing contaminated land L. Heath,InS.J.T. thisPollard, issue S.E. Hrudey and G. Smith Engaging the community handbook 1 The Director’s Chair Contribution to UN document on arsenic

2 2

Risk Assessment Bridging maths and chemistry in sensor development 3 Using the body’s early response to contamination as a signal 3 Remediation Technologies Charactising sites impacted by petroleum hydrocarbons CRC CARE wins CRC STAR Award CRC CARE delivers to NEPC Prevention Technologies Revegetation - how do plants cope with toxic metals?

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Other Program News Social, Legal, Policy and Economic Issues Program China Program

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Demonstration Programs BHP Billiton Program Petroleum Program

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CleanUp 09

9

News and Events Adelaide as the centre of an Asia-Pacific clean up industry Training workshops

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Industry exhibits PhD student presents at national CRC conference Publications

11 11

ARIC

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New handbook on engaging the community Communities affected by land contamination find the science and regulatory processes associated with risk management decisions problematic. The historic ‘decide-announcedefend’ philosophy offers few meaningful opportunities for community engagement, and people may often feel isolated from decisions. Assessments of risk that fail to consider issues important to the affected (or potentially affected) parties have little credibility, and usually no amount of ‘sales effort’ after the fact succeeds in persuading communities that they have nothing to worry about. The upshot of this lack of resolution can be a long and expensive period of repeated legal challenges, delays and lost opportunities. In collaboration with Cranfield University in the UK, the CRC has now produced ‘Engaging the community: a handbook for professionals managing contaminated land’. The 90-page document is in five parts, dealing with: 1. Principles of community engagement - ten are presented and discussed 2. International best practice in risk communication - examples are taken from the UK, the USA, Canada and Europe 3. Procedures expected under Australian law in various jurisdictions, and assistance and materials offered in support 4. Australian case studies with both good and poor outcomes 5. A structural framework for involving the public in environmental decision making.

The aim of the handbook is not to replace existing guidelines, standards or codes, but to complement them by providing practitioner perspectives and practical guidance through each stage of community engagement. It covers an array of topics pertinent to professionals working in the field of site contamination and remediation. Methods are provided that enhance learning skills, confidence and professional development, and encourage organisational involvement in effective risk communication. Reference is also made to the research and practitioner literature and to other more general sources of guidance on effective community consultation. The readership of this guide is expected to include: state and local authority officers, site planners and environment agencies land owners, environmental consultants, contractors others involved in the management of contaminated sites.

■ ■ ■

A final draft of the document was reviewed at a workshop at CleanUp 09 in September 2009, and it was published in mid April 2010. For details see http://www.crccare.com/ working_with_industry/contaminated_sites_ handbook.html. Contact Roel Plant Program Leader UTS roel.plant@uts.edu.au

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Its 24 partners include BHP Billiton Iron Ore, Department of Defence, the EPAs of South Australia and Victoria, Department of Environment and Conservation (WA), the Australian Institute of Petroleum, HLM Asia Group Ltd, 6 universities and 3 consultants. With 55 current research projects and 66 PhD students in Australia and China, CRC CARE provides national leadership in areas from risk assessment and remediation science to issues of social inclusion and regulation.

Winner 2010 STAR Award Convener of CleanUp 2011 – www.cleanupconference.com

CRC CARE – Australian science creating a cleaner, safer future for all Visit us at www.crccare.com Cooperative Research Centre for Contamination Assessment and Remediation of the Environment

CRC Care Research by the CRC for Contamination Assessment and Remediation of the Environment (CRC CARE) covers a range of assessment, remediation and regulation issues. Mines and mineral processing sites can have their own legacy of environmental contamination, which explains why the CRC’s clients for clean-up research and solutions include Rio Tinto, Chevron Australia and BHP Billiton Iron Ore.

O

ne solution of special relevance to the minerals sector in 2010 was the work by CRC CARE PhD student Jason Du, based at the CRC at the Mawson Lakes campus of UniSA in Adelaide. Jason was one of 15 young Australian finalists to present their research work at the national Fresh Science event in Melbourne in June 2010.

By analysing scanning electron microscope (cryoSEM) images, he found that large amounts of water were still locked in fine honeycomb structures. Traditional ‘raking’ was found to break down the structure into smaller self-supporting structures, but these still trapped a large amount of water. The breakthrough for this research was the finding that Putting the squeeze on tailings ultrasonics could help release much more water Mineral processing typically needs 500 litres of fresh from these closed structures. water for every tonne of ore. However, it is widely recognised that the processes used to separate The final results showed that this treatment increased liquids from solids are low in efficiency. This also the density of output from the thickener process means very large disposal sites are needed. by 4% (weight). It was estimated that this could increase water recovery at one site in NSW by Tailing streams with kaolinite (clays) contain loose, over 400ML/year, worth $5.57million every year water-holding materials which lead to slow settling to the company. rates and poor sediment density. By applying ultrasonic energy to a tailings stream before the Considering that mining accounts for 3% of thickener, these loose structures can be re-arranged Australia’s total water use, the mine’s location in into denser forms that retain less liquid, enabling the water-stressed Murray-Darling Basin adds extra water savings. The subsequent use of flocculants significance to this finding. enables these new denser materials to settle 40% faster, but no further water is saved – until now. Jasons’ research set out to determine whether ultrasonic energy applied after flocculant addition

Climate change

could compact the waste materials further and thus release more water.

Image: Jason Du demonstrating his tailings squeeze process using ultrasound at the CleanUp 09 conference in Adelaide, 24-30 September 2009


Miners dig Hydrosmart Hydrosmart water conditioning is being used more often by bore drillers and their customers as a simple and sustainable method ofreating water high in calcium, salt or iron levels. Domestic, agricultural, industrial users and councils now use it for irrigation and water softening/scale prevention.. Hydrosmart has been used to treat entire townships’ water supplies; and in mining communities around Australia want to get away from chemical methods of dealing with hardness and problems caused by mineral compounds in their bore water. The Hydrosmart System harnesses research from an aerospace project in Europe which wanted to prevent corrosion at high pressure in high heat.

I

n its early days, Hydrosmart set about assessing the wider impacts of bond-breaking by solving problems for local commercial growers: hundreds of vineyards including Pikes, Grant Burge, Geoff Hardy and d’Arenberg’s have been using the system for almost a decade. In successfully treating problems to do with salinity, scale hardness and oxidised iron, the Hydrosmart team applied the technology to new and different markets such as golf courses and council irrigation projects. Currently, approximately 15 Golf Courses (Bunbury, Manly, Cromer) and 25 councils (Walkerville, Rockhampton, Exmouth, Ararat, Pittwater) are successfully utilising the approach and solving diverse bore water or recycled effluent issues in each instance. Based in Adelaide, Hydrosmart’s ability to solve water issues for both domestic and corporate clients at a fraction the price of comparable older treatments using membranes, filters or chemicals is beginning to get noticed by results. By using a unique computerised ionic bondbreaking approach, Hydrosmart utilises virtually no power, needs no consumables and costs under $10 annually to run. The no-maintenance, no-operational cost approach now has mining companies such as Rio Tinto, BHP and Crocodile Gold utilising it as a tool with which to treat various water issues. The Hydrosmart System is being used to soften calciumrich bore water at one mine site’s 600-person village while protecting Rio Tinto’s camp’s kitchens and ablutions. It’s also protecting BHP’s new housing development against bore water scale, hardness and corrosion issues.

Meanwhile, Crocodile Gold uses it to protect dewatering pipe work, where a slurry of salts and compounds well above 100,000 ppm (nearly 3 x seawater) in the water, caused swift lining and blockage of the pipes, regardless of the preventative chemicals in use. Applying Hydrosmart technology meant the company was able to pump the slurry without the problem recurring or the need to use expensive additives. Algae and bad odour management was achieved by Theiss mining using mineralised water in its truck wash-down bay sump after years of issues using chemical treatments which did not satisfactorily meet their needs. The product is increasingly finding acceptance in the commercial world based on a range of potential sustainable outcomes obtained from 13 years of wide-ranging applications. Hydrosmart is currently undertaking further research with papers to be published on the mechanisms by which beneficial changes are made as they recognise the requirement for chemists, engineers and corporate policy-makers to be more confidently able to embrace their technology’s application for larger scale projects where removal of consumables and toxic reject streams offers both exciting environmental potential and large financial long term gains. Maybe it’s time for a healthy change. More information: Paul Pearce – 08 8357 3334 www.hydrosmart.com.au

Right: Truck wash in NSW using hydrosmart on high mineral washdown water Far right: BHP on blue green algae management in QLD

rd Australasian edition AustralasianMining MiningReview Review2011: 2011:3issue 2.1


calls for urgent exploration development initiatives

Hearing Protection

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Aging causes a natural hearing decline in almost everyone, however with noise damage, even a 30-year-old can have trouble listening, writes Ian Paterson, Vice President, Tinnitus Association of Victoria.

T

he aging process causes a natural hearing decline in almost everyone, particularly those living in a westernised society with its many sounds that are heard each day such as machinery, cars and television etc. This decline in our ability to clearly hear affects mainly high pitched sounds such as children’s voices, rustling leaves and some musical instruments. Although ‘age effect’ hearing loss up through the age of 60 does not usually impair one’s ability to hear and understand speech, problems occur when noise induced loss is added to the age loss. With noise damage, even a 30-year-old can have trouble listening when background sound is present, such as in restaurants or crowded social environments. You do not ‘get used to noise’ Noise does not have to be uncomfortably loud to be damaging. You may even think that after working or living with a certain level of sound, your ears are ‘used to it’, but what has happened is that hearing loss has already begun. How quickly hearing loss takes place depends on the intensity of the noise, its duration and how often the exposure occurs. When you need to shout to be heard when you are one metre away, the noise levels are probably above 85dBA and hearing protection is recommended. Noise damage indicators If sounds seem muffled or softer after noise exposure, your hearing has been affected by a temporary threshold shift, which warns that your hearing has been overexposed. If you repeatedly do this without protection, the shift can become permanent and untreatable. For those of us with tinnitus, even temporary exposure to loud sounds can be the equivalent of ‘sunburn of the hairs in the cochlear’. This means that your tinnitus will be elevated either for a short time (minutes to weeks) or result in a permanent elevation of your tinnitus level. It is critical that you protect your hearing whenever you are doing anything that exposes your ears to any sound louder than a domestic vacuum cleaner. There are four main types of hearing protection, they are: Formable Plugs, Premolded Plugs, Semiaural Devices and Ear Muffs.

When selecting any hearing protection device, make sure you purchase quality products only; selecting something on price alone could cost you your hearing. It is best to purchase these types of products from an industrial safety supplier where you can get quality products and expert advice. They are listed in the Yellow Pages under that classification and available in most metropolitan and country regions. Always check the dBA rating of hearing protection products. As sound is measured logarithmically, be aware that when comparing two products of say, 30dBA and 33dBA, that the 33dBA product is not just 10 per cent better than the 30dBA product, it is twice as effective. Most earplugs are about 25 dBA and good ear muffs start at about 28dBA and go up to 34dBA. A good practice is to have a couple of pairs of disposable ear plugs in your car and/ or handbag as well as at home and at least one pair of ear muffs where you would normally expose yourself to loud noise such as in the garage. Good quality hearing protection devices allow you to hear conversation around you, but cut out the harmful peaks of sound. Fitting hearing protection For hearing protection devices to be effective, they must fit correctly and be worn correctly, i.e. formable plugs must expand to fully block the ear canal and must be in the ear and not just sitting on the outside. To correctly insert earplugs, slowly roll and compress the plug into a thin cylinder or to the


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[Don’t risk hearing loss}

shape of a golf tee without inducing creasing. While the plugs are compressed, insert it well into the ear canal and hold it there while it begins to expand. Fitting is easier if you reach around the head and pull the ear outward and upward during insertion. Some earplugs can be washed in warm soapy water and reused, however do not re-use plugs that are cracked, hard or do not readily expand to their original size. If the plug bends, creases or deforms during insertion, remove it, reform it and then re-insert it. When fitted correctly, the outer edge of the earplug should be flush with or slightly inside the Tragus with at least half of the plug being inside the ear canal. A rough test of whether an earplug is inserted correctly can be applied by cupping your hands over your ears while listening to a steady noise. If the plugs are fitted correctly, the noise levels should be almost the same whether or not you are covering your ears. Earmuffs must fully enclose the ears and seal against the head. Adjust the headband so that the cushions exert an even pressure around the ears making sure that hair is pulled back from under the cushions. If you wear glasses, make sure that you choose earmuffs that have deep soft cushions that will mould around the stem of the glasses to form a firm fit against your head. At what noise level should I use hearing protection? As a guide, a motor mower is about 80dBA and this is about the threshold above which a person with no auditory problems must protect themselves, particularly as the duration of the exposure lengthens. The higher the level of sound, the shorter the time that you can be exposed before damage occurs. Someone who has tinnitus should always protect themselves from sounds of 80 - 85dBA or above. It is better to err on the side of safety and protect your ears in all situations that you think may exacerbate your tinnitus; such as using a power tool, hammer, mowing the lawn, a noisy vacuum cleaner etc. The few seconds that it may take to put on a set of ear muffs may save you many hours of discomfort. Australasian Mining Review 2011: issue 2.1


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Is hearing loss making your life difficult? Help is available! With the world becoming louder, many people are losing their hearing earlier in life. In Australia, around one in six baby boomers have a hearing loss, and there are more people aged 45 to 64 with a hearing loss than those over 65. Despite this being a serious health issue, many are understandably reluctant to seek help.

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oise induced hearing loss results from continuous loud noise over an extended period of time- loud music, personal stereo systems, factory noise, home power tools, lawn mowers and the roar of construction sites can all be to blame. Research has shown that hearing loss left untreated can cause irreversible damage to hearing. In a study conducted by Harvard University, more than eight in 10 subjects with hearing loss who ‘put off’ being fitted addressing their hearing loss, permanently lost their ability to process sound and speech, leaving them untreatable with hearing aids. Wearing hearing aids ensures that the brain is stimulated and does not lose the ability to process sounds over time, greatly improving the wearer’s lifestyle now – and problems they would otherwise experience in years to come. For Baby Boomers, the realisation that hearing is no longer as good as it once was can provoke feelings of anxiety. As a result of this apprehension, the majority take many years before they actually take the step to arrange a hearing test – and, by that time, the damage to their hearing could be irreversible. According to HEARINGLife’s Chief Audiologist, Jan Pollard, “many people would find their lives improving dramatically if their hearing loss was treated. We find that individuals with hearing loss experience problems such as not being able to follow conversations, turning the TV up louder and louder and in some cases, declining social invitations.”

In addition to FREE hearing tests, the company provides FREE “Home Trials” of the latest hearing solutions so that people can hear for themselves the difference that sophisticated and discreet hearing solutions may make to their lives. Russel Greene, former AFL football player says; “My hearing was definitely not as sharp as it once was but I was burying my head in the sand. It wasn’t just my wife nagging me, the whole family were getting fed up with me missing whole conversations or having to repeat things and they were also getting deafened by the volume on the TV. So I went and had a hearing test and they were right – my hearing was rubbish. But the worst was to come, or so I thought. The dreaded hearing aid. Well I can honestly say I was pretty self conscious at first and despite being an active outdoor sort, I grew my hair long so no-one could see the aid. Actually it was pretty small so you would have been pushed to see it anyway! After a while though I noticed how many other people wear hearing aids and quite a few my age as well. So I stopped growing my hair and now I don’t worry. I see it as a positive gain, I have my hearing back so what does it matter if you can spot the tiny tube in my ear? I will never forget that first day, walking out of the HEARINGLife clinic where I had my hearing aid fitted and hearing sounds I had forgotten about for many years. I could hear birds and a range of little noises I hadn’t heard in ages. Most importantly though I could now follow aconversation, even in noisy places like pubs and restaurants. I have been wearing my hearing aid since 2009 and it is just fantastic, no going back now.”

The improvements in technology mean that hearing To make an appointment for a free hearing test, call 1300 134 097 or visit www.hearinglife.com.au aids are highly sophisticated, able to reduce background noise, don’t whistle and are so small they are virtually invisible. They are more effective and smaller than ever – some are so small that only you will know you’re wearing hearing aids and they can be your little secret!

Russell Greene

Hearing protection

A hearing test is the only way to establish whether hearing loss is adversely affecting your life. That’s why HEARINGLife ensures that there is no cost or obligation for anyone who wishes to have a hearing test.


Could you be suffering from industrial hearing loss? The single greatest cause of permanent hearing loss in Australia is industrial deafness, caused through prolonged exposure to loud noise. If industrial hearing loss is detected, you may be eligible for financial assistance. So, if you believe that exposure to loud noise at work has contributed to your hearing loss, you should make an appointment for a FREE hearing test.

your hearing, you’ll be able to hear the difference yourself by taking the latest digital aids home for a no obligation FREE home trial.

Come along, take a FREE hearing test and discuss your options with our experts, who will answer all your questions. And, rather than us simply telling you how modern solutions may benefit

HEARINGLife has an enormous amount of experience and expertise with assessments under the WorkCover scheme and providing the necessary information for claims.

Call HEARINGLife now on 1300 134 097 to arrange your FREE hearing test and an obligation-free discussion.

Over 160 permanent and visiting clinics throughout Australia.

Call 1300 134 097 to be connected to your nearest location. www.hearinglife.com.au


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The question arises as to what type of ear protection is better: Earplugs, ear muffs or Otoplastics? No type of ear protection can be suitable for everybody at all times. What are the best combinations if other personal protective equipment is also worn? There are certainly no standard answers that can claim to be correct in every case. For the selection of such equipment there can only be helpful criteria.

I

t is necessary to know the specific noise situation in order to be able to select the correct form of noise insulation for the individual workplace: not so much that the individual is unnecessarily isolated from his or her environment, with the result that verbal communication and the perception not only of significant sounds but also of warning signals is considerably impeded. But certainly not so weak that there is a risk of hearing damage. It is also important to take into account the period in which someone is subjected to the relevant noise levels. Anyone who does not wear ear protection because it is too warm, too heavy or uncomfortable in some other way can cancel out the protective effect and suffer irreversible hearing damage.

Otoplastics The Otoplastics (Elacin) is a reusable protective earplug made of unbreakable, anti-allergic material which is produced in an Otoplastics laboratory and shaped according to the individual’s external auditory canal. However, made-to-measure ear protection does not represent an unnecessary luxury, but is in line with the requirements placed on high-performance ear protection and is therefore state-of-the-art. A filter is inserted into the Otoplastics, which is produced manually. This filter represents a so-called “open connection”. Depending on the producer, there are various filters available which are selected according to the noise situation.

Hearing Tech services mine industry requirements across Australia through: Hearsafe P/L, tel: 0404 485 441, 0407 528 926 and such partners as the national brand of Hearing Life who will make imprints.

Hearing protection

The Otoplastics, which is produced specifically for the wearer, plays a decisive role in the wearing comfort of the ear protection while taking into account the individual’s workplace. The “open” connection ensures not only ventilation of the auditory canal, so that there is no accumulation of heat in the canal, but also pressure equalisation, which therefore guarantees verbal communication in the noisy area.

Fields of Application •

Various noise situations can be covered by the selection of different filters.

Suitable for use in all workplaces where there is prolonged and permanent noise, as well as

at high temperatures. •

Can be used in combination with other personal protective equipment.

Advantages •

Optimum fit and wearing comfort.

Easy to handle.

High level of protection over all frequencies.

Insertion into the auditory canal is unproblematic, safe and unambiguous.

Good verbal communication and perception of signals.

Long serviceable life (up to four years).

Conclusion In terms of noise insulation, ear muffs and protective earplugs are as good as one another. With Otoplastics (Elacin) the wearer always has the correct, safe type of noise insulation. A decision should therefore be made according to the work situation and the acceptance of the devices. However, ear muffs have a poor insulating effect at low frequencies. Wearing comfort is a significant factor in the willingness of the wearer to wear ear protection in noisy areas. Ear protective devices should fit correctly, should not put pressure on the wearer’s ears and should not cause itching. In the case of ear muffs the weight, pressing force, adjustability and material that is in contact with the skin have an effect on the wearing comfort. With protective earplugs the material used, the ease of insertion and removal and adaptation to the size of the auditory canal are determining factors in the wearing comfort. In general, protective earplugs are found to be more pleasant to wear than ear defenders. For those individuals who only work occasionally in high noise levels, individual ear protection is a high-priced solution. People who have problems inserting disposable earplugs correctly into the auditory canal should give preference to other products (Elacin). For those who work in areas where it is possible to get caught, models with exposed clips or straps should be avoided.


Comfortable Hearing Protection Solutions Hearing is one of our most refined senses. Reduced ability makes communication considerably more difficult and can have significant implications for both safety and productivity of mine site operations. Damage to hearing and the subsequent costs incurred both economically and socially, to the individual and the organisation are irreversible. This provides every reason to put hearing protection at the top of the agenda.

Six Reasons for choosing Elacin: • Every Elacin hearing protector is custom made for comfort and maximum efficiency • Flexible by design, Elacin boasts comfort and hearing protector for every occasion • Your personnel’s hearing will receive the correct protection around any machinery • Personnel can still communicate normally with other people, however are protected from harmful noise levels • No interference: useable in combination with all communication equipment • Choice of filter: adaptable for your needs, a range of filters can be fitted depending on noise levels to be contended with For further information or to discuss your site requirements, please visit our website or contact Jan van Kooten for direction on the most suitable products for your application needs.

Superior protection can only be achieved through the use of superior products. For this reason, all HearingTech products carry the ELACIN brand of hearing protectors. Advantages of the Elacin hearing protectors include: • Custom-made, a perfect fit every time • NO protrusions: fits entirely into the auditory canal and is easy to insert and remove • Made from soft, light-weight material • Ventilation of the auditory canal • No feeling of pressure in the canal • Quick and easy to clean

Address: 15 Hoban Avenue, Montmorency, Victoria 3094 | Tel: 03 9444 9636 | Fax: 03 9432 2616 | E-mail: info@hearingtech.com.au | Web: www.hearingtech.com.au Hearsafe Australia Pty Ltd agents can be contacted via Address: PO Box 503, Mount Lawley, Perth, WA 6929 | Mobile: 0404 485 441 | 0407 528 926


The future of automation technologies in the Australian resources industry

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he report, titled Automation for Success, warns that the resources industry is “on an inescapable and unstoppable march towards automation� and that many organisations are not prepared for the impact automation will have on their businesses. The report is part of a Skills Formation Strategy funded by the Queensland Department of Education and Training. The research was conducted by the Mining Industry Skills Centre, in partnership with the Cooperative Research Centre for Mining (CRC Mining). An excerpt of the report is printed here with permission of the Mining Industry Skills Centre.

Australia’s resource industry is being transformed by the increasing use of automation technologies. At one end of the scale, this revolution is happening organically and unassumingly, leveraging off-the-shelf technologies to incrementally improve the control of various mining processes in line with best industrial practice. At the other end are some strikingly bold initiatives currently in progress to implement fully autonomous mines. Between these extremes is a spectrum of innovation that stands to profoundly change the industry over the next 15 years.

The rise of automation in the Australian resources industry will cause a major skills shortage in the next decade unless it invests in specialist training, a new industry report has revealed.

The resource industry is on an inescapable and unstoppable march towards autonomy. The forces driving this change act at several levels within the resource companies, and are so pervasive across the industry that they will persist under all economic outlooks. The mix of skills and knowledge required to support automation in the resource industry is distinctive and is not catered to by an existing training program. There is already a skills gap associated with automation that will widen with time. A systematic training framework is required to bridge this gap. Rio Tinto is currently implementing automation on a scale not too far from this at West Angeles iron ore mine in the Pilbara region of Western Australia. This mine operates a fleet of autonomous haul-trucks and blast-hole drills.

On less ambitious scales, the equipment manufacturers are actively developing and deploying operator-assist technologies that are tangible stepping-stones towards full automation. A major manufacturer of mining excavators is currently field trialling a technology at two Queensland mines that stops their equipment selfcolliding (having two independently manoeuvred parts collide with each other) reducing one of the major sources of machine damage. The truck manufacturers are experimenting with driver assist technologies to better position trucks in preparation for loading. Most drill manufacturers are currently developing automated blast-hole drills. Additionally, a number of third party suppliers are developing technologies that enhance situational awareness to improve mining safety. Much of this development is taking place in Australia through partnerships between the established research organisations and the mining equipment manufacturers. The whole enterprise is surrounded by a healthy community of small to medium enterprises developing and providing supporting technologies and services. Shadowing this very visible emergence of new and exciting automation technology is the pervading influence that flexible programmable logic controllers (PLCs) are having on the industry as replacements for relays, timers, counters, and sequencers and as enabling tools for improved process control. Their capabilities make them attractive to adopt, and once installed, their flexibility leads to an organic growth of automation capability as they are reprogrammed to improve the control of processes across the full spectrum of industry activity. Although usually not part of a systematic automation strategy, the diffusion of automation related technologies at the site level through a range of smallscale incremental initiatives decidedly affects requirements on the sustainable skills base at mine sites. The rapid pace of technological change in the resource industry brings a significant challenge. The industry needs to ensure that its workforce has the skills and knowledge to support these new technologies.

Driverless trains transport ore some 300 kilometres to port. The control of mine operations is gradually The Mining Industry Skills Centre is in the process of implementing an Automation Skills being transferred to an operating centre 1300 Formation Strategy (ASFS) to address future skill kilometres away in Perth.


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[Automation]

   needs across the metalliferous, coal, export and processing sectors. The ASFS covers the identification of present and future automation skills requirements and the subsequent formation of an appropriate training framework. The desired outcome of the ASFS is a training framework capable of supporting the future of automation in the resource industry with highly skilled and effective personnel. Definition of automation For the purpose of this study, automation is broadly defined as the intelligent management of a system using appropriate technology so that its operation can occur without direct human involvement. This intelligence is realised through computerbased systems that might be as small as embedded microcontrollers or as large as a distributed network of tens or hundreds of computers communicating across a mine site. The systems under automation range between component systems, which may simply involve control of a valve up to complete systems such as a dragline or a coal preparation plant. The tasks performed by these systems might be as basic as switching a lubricant pump when required or as complicated as the autonomous operation of an entire mine. The automation skills shortage is a classic instance of insufficient people with the required technical knowledge, skills, and abilities. It threatens to worsen due to anticipated growth in demand and the present lack of a consolidated training framework. Where is the skills shortage? This skills shortage exists at all layers of engineering activity in the industry, but it is most acute at the trade level. Bachelor-to-Doctorate level engineering staff are also critical to the support of automation technologies for the resource industry, but the nation is reasonably well positioned to meet these demands. Over the last decade all of the major Australian universities have introduced so-called ‘Mechatronic Engineering’ programs developing knowledge, skills and abilities related to control and automation, building capability in the critical overlaps between mechanical, electrical, and software engineering. These programs are

strongly supported by students, and graduates are enthusiastically taken up by industry. Many graduates from these programs go on to complete research higher degrees. The University of Queensland, by way of example, introduced a Bachelor of Engineering (Mechatronics) in 2002. This four-year program graduates approximately 50 engineers per annum, of which 20-25 go on to work in the resource industry. Programs at the other universities are of similar size. The most likely candidates to fill the automation skills shortage will be electrical mechanics or technicians trained to a Certificate III or IV level, although we expect that it will also be partly filled by university educated engineers with aptitude for and interest in supporting this technology. As we move closer to 2025, and technologies mature, we believe the burden will be carried increasingly by electrical mechanics and technicians. Quantification of workforce demand to 2025 Any skilling framework created to solve the automation skills shortage must be achievable and attract demand from industry. While the quantitative demand industry would have for such skilling is beyond the scope of this study, it is very relevant to identify what industry would consider desirable in a training implementation and whether this is achievable. Based on the following assumptions, 190 new automation support staff will be required each year to deliver 1500 staff within 15 years: •

There are approximately 500 resource industry sites1 that will employ higher level automation Australia wide over the next 15 years.

Each site will require a minimum of three to five staff to give 24 hour coverage and meet service demand across the operation.

The attrition rate of staff with appropriate skills is 10 per cent.

This is typical of the electrical profession2.

The industry could absorb 150-200 people immediately.

The resource industry must support skills development around automation The resource industry must recognise that the Australasian Mining Review 2011: issue 2.1


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  emergence of automation must be accompanied by preparation of the workforce. If engagement with automation is to be safe and sustainable then relevant skills and knowledge must be developed. This is most critical for those who will be directly responsible for the technical support of automation.

(ii) The OEM force

Automation support staff require a unique and broad skill and knowledge set. The uniqueness of this skill and knowledge set means that automation training available in other industries does not meet all of the needs of the resource industry. Workers supporting automation must be supplied with resource industry focused training. However, there is little incentive among training providers to develop such training (even if they were capable of doing so) for such a limited market.

Demand for these products, equipment and services arises from the ongoing imperative of resource industry companies to improve their operational efficiency and is supported by OEMs looking to provide product differentiation to increase market share. As these products are taken up by the industry, the industry in turn becomes more reliant on them.

There is an urgency to bridge this skills gap as the strongest growth in automation is anticipated to take place over the next decade. Consequently, if the industry is to see the full advantages of automation then the companies poised to benefit must take a leading role in skills planning and development. Indeed, it is difficult to foresee the success of automation skills formation without direct industry involvement and financial support. Forces driving automation in the resource industry The key forces driving automation fall into four categories: i.

the corporate force;

ii.

the OEM force;

iii.

the site force; and

iv.

the R&D force.

The pervasive nature of these forces and their far-reaching scope means that increasing use of automation is inevitable. (i) The corporate force The corporate force describes the company-wide strategic push for automation. This top-down force is typically fuelled by an organisational imperative to optimise operational efficiency. This type of automation engagement can happen on a grand scale and is typified by Rio Tinto’s activities at its ‘Mine of the Future’ operation in Western Australia. BHP Billiton have a similar program for large scale automation at the Olympic Dam site in South Australia.

The OEM force is the second key force driving automation in the resource industry. The automation product market is fed by Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs) and Small-to-Medium Enterprises (SMEs) commercialising automation related products, equipment and services.

New advancements coming onto the market enable further penetration of automation and generate still greater demand. (iii) The site force The third force driving automation comes from the sites. Implementation of automation technology is driven at this level by technicians and site engineers, who as part of their routine work seek the most efficient, reliable and least expensive solutions to their problems. Automation components increasingly provide the most suitable option. PLCs and microcontrollers, for example, are now routinely installed as the need arises to replace logic previously provided by relays, timers and sequencers. They are also used to implement better control over various aspects of the mining system. In this way, automation related technology grows organically within sites from the bottom up. The resource industry’s movement towards automation is inevitable. Automation advancement is driven at multiple levels, each with its own foci and concerns. For an industry sometimes characterised by its conservatism (companies pride themselves on being first to be second), the pace of automation uptake has been surprisingly rapid. There is also a general willingness to engage with new technology on even the largest scale. (iv) The R&D force The R&D force is applied by the industry collaboratively seeking advancement of technologies through research, development, and demonstration. The Australian Coal Association


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[Automation: continued]

    Research Program (ACARP) is a good example of how the industry works collaboratively to solve its problems through innovative research and development. A second aspect to the R&D force is individual companies engaging with R&D organisations on a fee for service basis to address company specific problems.

2.

Requirements specification: The characteristics of the technology are defined.

3.

Design and implementation: The technology is implemented to realise the identified requirements.

4.

Prototype testing: The prototype is tested in some limited context and HAZOP analysis is completed.

5.

Field trialling: The technology is tested on site. Deficiencies are identified and redesigned for as necessary.

6.

Initial deployment: The technology is deployed in production context. It is usual for members of the development team to stand in support of the technology. This state is sometimes referred to as the babysitting phase.

7.

Product release: The technology is made available to the market.

8.

Operation and upgrade: The technology meets its requirements and is improved incrementally through ongoing experience.

9.

Decommissioning: The technology is superseded.

Automation applications and the people supporting them The degree of technical complexity and magnitude of scale varies significantly across the four identified forces driving automation advancement. The representative examples of automation uptake and development listed below provide a perspective on the diverse modes in which automation is being adopted in the resource industry and how it is currently supported. Rio Tinto’s ‘Mine of the Future’ – Automation driven by the corporate force Rio Tinto has embarked on the most ambitious implementation of automation technology seen in the resource industry so far. The ‘Mine of the Future’ program has already lead to the establishment of a full-scale trial of autonomous and remotely operated equipment in the Pilbara region of Western Australia. Key automation technology components include the Komatsu FrontRunner autonomous truck dump system and autonomous blast-hole drill system. Driverless trains transport ore from the mine to the shipping port. Equipment will be managed at Rio Tinto’s Remote Operations Centre 1300 kilometres away in Perth. This corporate strategy is founded on the drivers of ‘greater efficiency, better management of risk and lower production costs.’ Rio Tinto has the potential to obtain outstanding returns from this ambitious program but the next few years hold an appreciable level of risk. A major component of this risk is ensuring that the staff responsible for supporting the technology has the knowledge, skills and ability to do so. The life cycle of an automation technology Automation technologies irrespective of the force hat delivered them have a well defined life cycle. The key points in this life cycle are: 1.

Technology Conception: This is usually driven by an identified business need.

Issues facing employers as they move towards greater automation There is a common set of skills and knowledge required to work with automation despite the fact that the specific technology employed may be vastly different and the drive for its implementation may come from several levels. It is significant to note that these skills share common elements with automation in other industrial contexts, e.g. the manufacturing and automotive sectors, but also have some unique elements. The pressures that companies, OEMs and sites face in supporting automation are all subtly different but the underlying problem is obtaining sufficient people with the right skills. The company driven introduction of automation necessarily includes consideration of staffing needs and change management practices. Any staffing inadequacies can be largely overcome with sufficiently determined and organised skilling programs. Appropriate numbers of staff must be trained for the specific activities forming part of the wider strategy. Australasian Mining Review 2011: issue 2.1


70

 matter of business reputation. These staff become critical to the performance of the product on site. Their depth of knowledge in the equipment and their wider advanced skills make them highly valuable. The ‘poaching’ of OEM and SME staff by sites, in order to claim their rare skills and knowledge, is a frequent hindrance to the effective servicing of new technology. There is an emerging trend among OEMs to encapsulate and protect the ‘intelligence’ built into their equipment. At present, the grand-scale automation initiatives (e.g. Rio Tinto’s West Angeles mine) are at a proof-of-concept stage so wage and training costs are not inhibiting factors. Companies seek to provide the necessary skilling by the most rapid means available. This can result in an over reliance on engineering graduates when adequately trained tradespeople might suffice. At the other end of the scale, the bottom-up introduction of automation to an operation on a project-by-project basis is often attempted without considering the full implications in terms of staffing to sustain the technology on a long term basis. Champions of a particular technology may encourage its propagation throughout a site. When the champion is capable and motivated, the technology can deliver excellent performance. However, unless there is wider staff capability to support this technology, the necessary development of standard operating procedures and documentation practices is neglected. The sustainability of such technology in the face of critical staff departure is commonly ignored. Sites may also come to rely heavily on contractors and OEM support staff to perform the more specialised tasks associated with automation. By externalising these skills, sites attempt to avoid the difficulties and risks associated with attracting and skilling suitable personnel. However, sites can still struggle to find OEM and contract staff who are fully capable of satisfying their needs. OEMs and Technology SMEs are challenged by their need to support their products in the field. Significant investment of training in staff is required as the effective support of products is a

Once upon a time, site employees were able to make modifications to PLC logic associated with equipment operation. Nowadays, only OEM personnel can implement changes on their proprietary systems which are password protected. This increases site reliance on OEM support staff and OEM dependence on a sustainable and skilled employee base. All employers experience their own unique staffing pressures and seek to relieve them by the most expedient means available. At present, staff without a background in automation are trained to perform specific tasks with a narrow scope of expertise. There is little incentive for companies to invest training in people to provide generalised automation skills when only a small and specialised skill set is required for a specific application. There are no formal avenues for trade-level staff skilling in automation for the resource industry. Training as it stands is internalised out of necessity. Often training is not provided and staff must learn what they can from manuals, data sheets and experience. This situation is unsustainable in the face of the anticipated growth of automation in the resource industry. Safety New technology brings new safety risks and hazards. The introduction of automation across resource industry sites must be accompanied by processes and procedures that are focused on minimising the likelihood of harm. Automation presents a real challenge for those in charge of safety in that it will bring a major change in the way equipment is viewed and the roles of those supporting it. Also important to safety is the effective support of equipment such that it performs its required


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[Automation: continued]

   function in a predictable and harmless way. Trends towards de-engineering the workforce and unchecked reliance on external contractors have the potential to increase the likelihood and consequences of failure of automated equipment. Identified organisational structures being used to support automation The character of automation support staff and their place in the wider workforce is relevant to determining the level and type of skills and knowledge they require. This study has identified three organisational structures currently being used to support automation technologies: 1. Dedicated engineering support Engineers are given complete responsibility for automation support and closely direct trade staff for any practical work required. The critical skills and knowledge associated with automation are possessed by these engineers and they perform the majority of tasks. These engineers may be placed on site or directly linked to site by an advanced communications network. When necessary, tradespeople can use so-called wearable computers that provide bilateral augmented reality that allows the on- and off-site engineering staff to interact by proxy in information rich environments. 2. Qualified site layer backed up by a ‘College of Experts’ Selected personnel are up-skilled to function at a level between the engineer and the conventional tradesperson. They provide the first layer of support in the field for automation applications. In this capacity, they perform standard commissioning and maintenance work as part of the predictable support cycle. Outside the predictable support cycle such as when an automation application is under development, being trialled or failing due to nonstandard faults, the site automation support staff provides the link between the application and the off-site engineering support team or ‘College of Experts’. The site personnel provide application data and results in exchange for solutions and recommendations from the ‘College of Experts’. Trends in automation

automation in the resource industry; the increase in distribution and scale of automation. The first major trend relates to widening penetration of automation. Currently, automation is engaged on a small scale relative to the number of mines, processing plants and export facilities in Australia. There are close to 500 sites associated with the resource industry and while some may be engaging in automation through the site force, only a handful of pioneering trials can claim automation as an operational concern. The movement of all sites towards automation as an operational concern is foreseeable and the rate of uptake is likely to be greatest over the next 15 years. This expansion will demand a similar increase in the number of people attached to the support of automation. The second major trend relates to the growing scale of automation. Currently, most automation effort is concentrated on the component or subsystem level providing semi-autonomous operation. In five years, the integration of semiautonomous subsystems will likely allow for increasing focus on automation at the equipment level. As the reliability of autonomous equipment is enhanced, there will be a gradual shift of focus to the automation of unit operations. The integration of multiple pieces of equipment will lead to fully autonomous operation cycles such as dig, load, haul then dump. Development engineers will necessarily be at the forefront of each of these scale progressions. They stay to babysit new technology through its commissioning and robustness improvement phase then move onto the next project.

The Mining Industry Skills Centre works with the resources industry to identify and solve the challenges associated with training a modern workforce. It develops solutions to help industry plan and develop their workforce, and provides opportunities for organisations and individuals to improve safety and productivity on-site by implementing high quality training. The Skills Centre receives no government funding and all profits from products and services are re-invested into the industry. The Mining Industry Skills Centre will be running a series of regional workshops to discuss the findings of the report with industry and to call for industry involvement in the development of new training pathways. To receive a copy of Automation for Success, or to express interest in participating in the workshops please contact the Mining Industry Skills Centre on 07 3872 8500, or info@miskillscentre.com.au.

Once the development engineers move on, the spread of technology they were previously involved with must become the responsibility of others. What was once considered high-tech and the sole domain of engineers slowly filters through to become the responsibility of technicians and eventually trade personnel. In response to this trend, there must be some preparation for those who follow behind the development engineers. Importantly, this preparation must respond to the subtly changing technology focus that the different scales of automation will bring.

The issues faced by employers now threaten to be exacerbated by the future trends predicted for Australasian Mining Review 2011: issue 2.1


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Innovative automation systems from ABB can assist mining customers improve performance ABB’s automation solutions are helping some of the worlds leading mining companies in today’s challenging market.

A

BB is a major provider of automation solutions to the mining and minerals processing industry, whether in base metals, precious metals, coal, or industrial minerals. Our global capabilities coupled with local resources offers integrated power, control and information solutions. A customer needs only to specify the requirements once and we take the responsibility for creating a fully automated solution that works smoothly and efficiently for the whole plant. Above all, it is a solution based on our solid, worldwide experience in the mining industry. For over 100 years, ABB have been meeting these challenges and have helped mining and mineral processing operations worldwide increase productivity and profitability. An area proving pivotal is assisting mining customers to set up joint focus groups to tackle these challenges head-on. These working groups bring together ABB and the customer to deliver operational excellence and innovation within both organisations. This ‘working together’ approach is proving constructive long-term solutions, rather than short-term, un-sustainable price setting others are requesting of their suppliers. The groups focus on two specific areas: operational excellence and innovation. The operational excellence groups (OEG) have a simple strategy to investigate what could improve the productivity of existing assets by fine tuning the way they operate.

through a single window to the process, production, quality and business information platform from the most remote site location to the head office. It can be tailored into an automation solution that uses realtime data, enabling constant process monitoring and analysis, combined with improved asset availability. Working on the functionality of the 800xA system the OEG developed a fully automated “Ventilationon-Demand” (VOD) solution for use in large hard rock underground mines. Using the 800xA control system, coupled to the VOD solution, provided a 50 percent reduction in electrical energy consumption and improved operational and personal safety. The VOD solution cleverly identifies where individuals and equipment are within the underground mine and ventilates air to those areas, as and when needed. With most underground mines having their operations five to 10km from the main shaft and 1.5 km deep this was no easy task. One of the innovation groups investigated the use of ABB robots and the impact they have on industry and their processes. They found the robots productivity nothing short of revolutionary as they performed the same sequence of tasks at speeds and precision unmatched by humans. ABB pioneered the world’s first electrically powered industrial robot and the world’s first industrial paint robot almost 40 years ago. ABB remains a market and technology leader in robotics with more than 160,000 robots currently operating globally, which is the largest installed base of any robotics manufacturer.

The innovation groups (IG) are asked to look From their investigation the group developed two outside-the-square of the mining industry and investigate ways to tackle issues that historically had fully automated solutions to be used on the 200 tonne mining trucks on mine sites. The first was an quick fixes applied within their industry. automatic robotic truck-washing system and the The objective of both focus groups is to look second was a fully automatic robotic tyre changing closely into ABB’s extensive automation portfolio machine. These automated solutions will achieve to understand what solutions, products and huge increases in output, productivity and safety technologies that are used in other industries and and similarly huge reductions in maintenance, see if they could be applied to their own. The operating costs and downtime. The manpower overall goal is to strive for significant differences previously used for these tasks can be re-deployed in the four pillars affecting their company’s future: into other areas on the mine. productivity, energy efficiency, remote operation These examples show just how truly innovative the and health, safety and environment. solutions can be when ABB is fortunate to be able The following extracts are two outcomes from these to work with these mining companies that have groups: the foresight and vision to work together with their suppliers. It also shows when times are tough what One of the operational excellence groups incredible strengths can be found within our each of investigated the ABB 800xA control system because of its proven ability to provide easy access our organisations.

Automation


From mine to market. ABB in mining and minerals processing.

Whether you are mining base metals, precious metals, coal, or industrial minerals, the key is to manage operations and information more productively. From the mine to your markets - availability of your equipment is crucial for your process. For more than 100 years we have been meeting these challenges head-on. ABB’s experienced engineers help you increase productivity and profits in mining and mineral processing operations worldwide by providing solutions in: - Underground mining - Open pit mining - Ore concentration www.abbaustralia.com.au

ABB Australia Pty Limited Tel. 1300 782 527

- Processing and refining - Process optimisation


74

Automation success The Global Innovator in Automation. Providing a Quantum LEAP in Global Competitiveness Since the introduction of refrigeration in the 1880s, enabling the exportation of frozen meat from Australia, little innovation has occurred within the red meat sector. For more than a century, there has been only two other significant industry game changing events. The first, after a hiatus of 90 years, was the introduction of the inverted chain. The second quantum leap, after an additional 30 years, has been delivered by Scott Technology Ltd.

S

cott Technology have now succeeded in automating the lamb boning room, one of the most challenging industries to automate due to the variable nature of the raw material, strict hygiene/ food safety requirements and a corrosive working environment. Focus has been on adding value through integrated automation, rather than isolated stand-alone solutions. Scott’s vision of a fully automated boning room was founded in a confidential collaboration with a leader in the lamb processing industry. Keith Cooper, CEO of Silver Fern Farms (SFF), New Zealand’s largest multi-billion dollar turnover meat processing company, stated that… “Having both Scott’s 100 years of mechanical automation experience combined with our company’s 60 plus years of production experience, culminated into a holistic innovation team that delivered impressive results that others in the past have not been able to achieve.” “Not only have the resulting suite of technologies ensured our company remained global industry leaders, the solutions, enabled by advanced sensing systems, are providing whole of supply chain benefits never before imaginable. Although there have been frustrating times during the development process, strong foundations created a synergistic relationship, ensuring that the end result has and continues to make a significant positive impact to our company’s bottom line,” Cooper added.

Scott focuses on delivering solutions , achieved through targeting key industry challenges including throughput, yield, OH&S, quality staff turnover and absenteeism. Scott has a global presence, with offices located in Australia, New Zealand, Asia, Europe and The Americas.

Industrial Automation Incubator (IAI) IAI, a dedicated business unit within the Scott Group, is strategically structured to evaluate new client’s needs and undertake mutually beneficial rapid conceptualisation, R&D proof of concept and prototyping. The plethora of successful developments across numerous sectors and ties to leading Universities acknowledged for their specialist insights into various sectors, allows IAI to draw ideas and concepts and know-how from mutually exclusive sectors.

Approach to Innovation Scott’s approach to innovation commences with the identification of a multi-party cross-functional working group, followed by a thorough, balanced appreciation of your company’s current process and pain points, along with an understanding of future aspirational targeted state(s). Scott operates at both ends of the development spectrum. From identifying single opportunities underpinned by a detailed cost benefit analysis, to the development of high level growth strategies supported by an indicative cost benefit analysis for delivery of a suite of opportunities.

The collaborative partnership has been so successful that solutions are developed and administered through Robotic Technologies Ltd (RTL), Discussions of flexible funding options are also a 50:50 Joint Venture between Scott Technology considered and a mutually preferred approach and Silver Fern Farms. developed. Solution videos can be located at www.youtube. com/scotttechnologyltd.

About Scott

Scott is renowned for their ability to diligently identify the high risk areas of any development and implement effective mitigation strategies throughout the entire solution development life-cycle to control and minimise all party’s exposure to risk.

Sean Starling, General Manager – Australia,

Since 1913, Scott Technology, a publically listed company, has continued to evolve, remaining a world leader in providing commercially viable, innovative automated solutions that complement client’s strategic growth opportunities.

357-359 Military Road, Cremorne, NSW, 2090 +61 2 9927 0840 s.starling@scotttechnology.com.au

Scott supplies solutions to various processing and manufacturing industries, including the mining sector, Scott also has the means to attract competitive rates through the Group’s Rocklabs division for full finance of solutions removing the cost of (www.rocklabs.com). ownership from your balance sheet.

For more information please contact:

Automation

Solution Ownership & Financing Scott also encourages ‘fit for purpose’ ownership models of resulting commercial solutions, including Build-Own-Operate.


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What’s important to my mining business? Your Team The right information, the right way, the right time Your Process Flexible, scalable and integrated Your Mine One solution to report, plan and optimise

Achieve business sustainability and operational improvement with PITRAM. It is often difficult to step back from the day-to-day job of mine production and assess what is really important to the business. Where can we make ourselves more efficient? Is it material movement, fleet efficiency, shift planning or optimisation? An answer may lie in mine production management and control systems that provide the tools you need to make informed production and safety decisions and run shifts more effectively. However, it’s very easy to be daunted by the prospect of implementing a mine production control system; to know where to start and how to define what you really need to report on. Key considerations include ensuring the right technology fit for individual operations and guaranteeing solution scalability that avoids nasty growing pains in the future. Unfortunately, many systems are too cumbersome for current mine requirements and the issue often remains: can we implement a system that reduces risk and capital cost but has the flexibility to grow with our mine? Fortunately, Micromine’s PITRAM solution is the right answer to that question. PITRAM comprises intuitive asset, personnel and material real-time tracking; planning and optimisation; plus reporting and analytics capabilities. It offers mining operations of all sizes a scalable and flexible solution for maximising profitability and driving improved performance. The PITRAM philosophy is simple. PITRAM provides options in data collection methodology and then turns that data into knowledge and opportunities for sustainable business improvement.

Maximise operational productivity and performance PITRAM: easy to use, simple to deploy and fits your budget. For further information please feel free to contact us at sturner@micromine.com, visit the website www.micromine.com or call 08 9423 9033

Automation

The mining operation consists of more than equipment; there are also people, material, processes and systems. PITRAM consolidates all this information to generate a comprehensive real-time view of the mine and deliver actionable information to the right people. •

Achieve production quotas by continuously monitoring and optimising mining resources and promptly identifying poor performing assets.

Optimise ore extraction by understanding

material flow, accounting for material inventories and reconciling material movements from the mine to the plant. •

Save time for your managers and engineers by using a single validated data store and automatically generating management reports.

Continually optimise the fleet by analysing wait times and dispatching equipment to improve efficiency.

Centrally manage the hazardous mining environment The mining environment is constantly changing. Provide and maintain a safe working environment by ensuring that personnel always have a real-time view of the mine. •

Track personnel movement through a centralised control room which can provide assistance and direction in an emergency.

Monitor controlled and barricaded areas by limiting access to unauthorised personnel and tracking entry and exit by authorised personnel.

Only allow qualified personnel to operate equipment and perform hazardous tasks by tracking their qualifications, certifications, work permits and licences.

Comply with mining plans and regulatory obligations Personnel should be focussed on performing the right job, at the right time, in the right way. Allow managers to focus on people and real business issues by reducing administration and reporting tasks, and providing them with a tool to monitor conformance to plans and KPIs. •

Minimise plan variations by monitoring its progress in real-time. Supervisors can make better decisions by visualising the impact on the overall plan when it is integrated into the working environment.

Comply with obligations by tracking and monitoring critical tasks. Managers are informed immediately when thresholds are exceeded.

Manage costs by maintaining an accurate baseline of effort and materials against every activity. Feeding the planning cycle accurate information produces better plans, budgets and overall results.


Achieve business sustainability and operational improvement with Micromine’s PITRAM

Provide your team with a mine management solution that monitors and optimises your assets, personnel and processes.

Built on a highly flexible and scalable framework, Micromine’s PITRAM integrates into your existing systems to provide rapid return on investment and immediate answers to all your mining challenges.

The PITRAM suite of product solutions consists of an upgrade path from a simple timesheet to a fully integrated real-time planning and optimisation system. The product suite includes:

Maximise operational productivity and performance Centrally manage the hazardous mining environment Comply with mining plans and regulatory obligations

PITRAM as a Service is our hosted system. Providing all the business benefit of our PITRAM Reports system, this hosted service is available as a monthly pay-as-you-go solution, reducing the initial capital cost of a management system. PITRAM Reports system delivers management, material movement and asset performance reporting. Captured through the web platform, daily activity sheets and timesheets are used to derive reports. PITRAM Control system facilitates the real-time management of a mining operation. Centred on a control room, PITRAM Control provides a single environment for management and supervisors to make informed decisions relating to safety and production. PITRAM Optimum system integrates the production planning and optimisation processes into the real-time mining environment. PITRAM Optimum provides decision support tools to improve the execution of mining plans and maximise asset utilisation and efficiency.

PITRAM: More than fleet management.

MINING SOLUTIONS

www.micromine.com


Omron Automation & Sensing & Control Technologies Established in 1933, Omron now has over 35,000 employees in over 35 countries. Omron founded its Asia Pacific operations over a quarter of a century ago to meet the needs of the region’s rapidly expanding industrial markets. Our Asia Pacific network now consists of over 4,000 strategically located employees involved in sales, manufacturing and technical support as well as research and development activities.

M

ost major enterprises know Omron as a superior technological developer and innovator with extensive application expertise and worldwide resources to support any venture. We combine quality products and services with extensive knowledge and experience to deliver maximum customer value. As a leading global company, Omron relies on our Safety Solutions, Automation, and Sensing and Control technologies to produce innovative products and solutions to various kinds of industries. To provide customers with the products they need at the moment they needed them, Omron has also established a global network that encompasses North America, Europe, Asia-Pacific, China and Japan along with fully localised service systems. These complete systems allow Omron to provide full customer support covering every step of the product lifecycle, including development, production, distribution, sales and maintenance. This is why Omron can provide the most dependable support wherever our customers and associates are located. Greg Field is managing director, Omron Electronics for the Oceania region. Bringing a wealth of

Automation

experience and knowledge of the market, Greg has been with Omron Electronics for almost 20 years, beginning his career in sales, and more than 10 years of senior management experience. Omron functions as a partner to help innovate manufacturing. Through our expertise in Safety solutions, Automation, and Sensing and Control technologies, we enable manufacturers to operate with greater productivity and streamlined efficiency. Our application experts at Omron strive to be on the top of the technological development of your manufacturing processes. They can provide valuable expertise to further improve your processes. On top of that they can also draw on resources from our extensive global network and development center. Omron will work with you as a partner to continuously increasing efficiency and productivity, and improving quality that is crucial if you are to remain competitive with your production processes.


Site Monitoring Can Be Yours in Just Half a Day Benefit from easy-to-deploy wireless instrumentation ■ ■ ■

Save time and money Monitor status, level, pressure and temperature Improve site compliance

Let us prove it to you. Simply Works www.

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CONTROL MICROSYSTEMS

CMI+SE_AccutechAd_CMAP_July2010_V002.indd 1

7/9/10 8:34 AM

Accutech wireless instrumentation Mining operators are facing critical regulation changes, production challenges and cost increases as a result of demands for continuous monitoring to meet environmental and operational requirements.

C

ontrol Microsystems’ Accutech wireless instruments are self-contained, battery-powered field units designed to monitor critical parameters and send the information wirelessly to a base radio which can then be integrated with the SCADA software. These cost-effective and easy to install instruments provide an alternative to traditional, hardwired sensor sites. Accutech instruments can be installed on the plant floor or in remote locations with extreme temperatures and humidity ranges. The majority of models offer IECExd Hazardous Area Rating and an industry leading three year warranty. Featuring pressure, temperature and flow instruments, the units are designed to be deployed in minutes. No wiring or power sources are required.

Accutech wireless instruments have been designed with the focus on simplifying network deployment. Each instrument is equipped with an LCD that reports radio signal strength (RSSI). Operators can setup and deploy the network in minutes without incurring the cost of extensive engineering design and network analysis. Advanced power management algorithms built into the Accutech instrument optimises battery use to ensure uninterrupted operation for up to 10 years.

Satisfying the need of plant managers and remote field operators, Accutech wireless instruments can be easily deployed to monitor existing measuring points and provide visibility to pressure, differential pressure, temperature, level and flow status across the site. Accutech’s base radios support up to 100 field instruments and can seamlessly integrate with Accutech wireless instruments are typically installed existing plant control systems through Modbus up to 750m from the base radio or at a shorter serial communications. With up to 60% reduction in distance if obstructions exist. Utilising low frequency, deployment costs, relative to a wired solution, and license-free, military-grade secure radios, Accutech approximately 20% in potential savings in annual wireless instruments offer excellent propagation operational costs, resulting from energy savings through obstruction and foliage, resulting in a solid and improved efficiency, the business case for and reliable communication link throughout the installing Accutech wireless instruments for mining operational life-cycle of the network. applications is a viable one. rd Australasian edition AustralasianMining MiningReview Review2011: 2011:3issue 2.1


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Maximising capabilities of Geographic Information Systems

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ining, by its very nature, is based on location. Spatial (locationrelated) data used in the industry includes information typically seen on a map, such as contours, roads and rivers plus the location of infrastructure and plants (both planned and as-built), mine plans and the location of equipment – both fixed and mobile. The knowledge of where resources and infrastructure lie is critical to the successful operation of all mining companies. Many of the operational systems used in the resources industry rely on location-related data. Unfortunately, many of these operational systems produce silos of spatial data – data that is often difficult to access and extract despite the very critical role some of the data might play in other systems in the mine lifecycle. Despite the key role that location plays, most mining companies do not exploit their spatial data to anywhere near its complete potential. While Geographic Information Systems (GIS) are used by most mining companies as one of many tools to meet exploration or environmental and heritage requirements, the use of GIS in the resources industry often does not extend much further than this. However this situation is changing. More mining companies are increasingly looking to exploit the capabilities of location intelligence to capitalise on the ever increasing amount of location-related data generated, held and purchased by mining companies. GIS and location intelligence

as an environment for the delivery and analysis of information integrated from different operational systems – returning improved efficiencies in workflow and risk mitigation. In the various phases of the life of a mine from exploration to closure, considerable spatial data is generated and used for a variety of different purposes. This data is developed in a number of different systems. These range from CAD systems that are used in the design of plant and infrastructure, to mine planning systems used for designing and detailing how the ore body is to be mined. What is particularly important in the mining business is the distinction between: •

The software designed to meet a particular purpose (technical system) such as a Mine Planning System or a Plant Design System which generates, manages and uses spatial data; and

GIS software.

A GIS is designed as an information system that delivers information and data as required. A GIS is designed to not only capture, manage, analyse and portray spatial data in the form of a map view, but has the capacity and capability to manage considerable amounts of attribute data that may be pertinent to the location of the features represented by the spatial data. These include the identification of the features, such as the road name or tenement number, and extend to related documents, drawings, and photographs that may be important to the business.

Geographic Information Systems (GIS) enable the capturing, managing, analysing and displaying of Despite spatial data being a valuable asset in all forms of geographically referenced information. both investment and potential business advantage, it is generally extremely hard to get at because it A GIS is an information system, and unlike many resides in different business and system silos. of the operational systems, it is designed not The role of GIS lies in extending the use of spatial only for the management and storage of spatial data beyond purely the technical systems (such as information but, most importantly, the delivery Mine Planning) to providing a platform of spatial and analysis of this location based information. information that supports the wider mining business The intelligence derived from this location based throughout the mine life. This business includes information adds a whole new dimension to the the management of land, tenements and leases, decision making process. environment, heritage, and asset maintenance While its role as an operational system should not planning and extends to supporting emergency be underrated, the key role of GIS in the resources response measures. industry is its capacity as a critical information The challenge for the mining industry is to management platform to serve corporateprovide ready access to this spatial data such wide business requirements and systems. In the that it can be used more widely across the resources sector, GIS is increasingly being seen


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[Putting knowledge into place]

enterprise to provide greater efficiencies and the corresponding returns to the business as a whole. Business drivers The key driver for resources companies in extending their GIS capabilities across the enterprise is the aim to have a common and consistent view of where and what activities are planned or current across a company’s operations. By extending GIS to the enterprise, the benefits of location intelligence can be seamlessly integrated throughout an organisation’s business workflows. By making the implementation of GIS seamless and integrated across corporate business systems, the resultant location intelligence will deliver multiple flow-on benefits for all parts of the business. Opportunities The opportunities are boundless for resources companies looking to extend GIS capability across the enterprise and gain the location intelligence advantage. Situational awareness With access to GIS, staff can interact with corporate information in a map view, switching on and off themes of information and interactively querying the data. Typically, staff would be able to: •

Drill down to documents and drawings that relate to a specific feature of interest.

Access a range of integrated information from different systems including:

°

A basemap comprising topography – contours, rivers, roads etc.

°

Infrastructure and Plant

°

Mine Planning Designs

°

Environmental Constraints

°

Environmental Monitoring

°

Heritage Constraints

°

Sub-surface Infrastructure

°

Areas approved for activity such as mining, exploration or land clearing

°

Locations of equipment and hazardous material Australasian Mining Review 2011: issue 2.1


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Enterprise GIS access delivers efficiencies primarily through time savings and mitigating the risk of decisions being made on different versions (copies) of data.

Operating different information systems, including a system that could produce maps

Locating and extracting data from different systems to produce a map

Time savings

Dependence on an expert technician (e.g. in a mapping system), consequently relying on their availability and time

Staff will be able to readily answer: •

What is going on where – the location of an incident (e.g. safety, fire);

Risk mitigation

What are the constraints to development in a particular area- can we put an access road through here?

Ensuring that all decisions are made using the same version of spatial data guarantees that decisions are based on the most current and accurate corporate information.

Where is the equipment that is to be serviced over the next month, and how do we get to it? Field force enablement There are significant time savings and • Where have all the safety incidents occurred corresponding efficiency gains in enabling staff to over the last month? access maps in the field as and when they require • What is the status of the approvals for ground it. By accessing GIS capability in the field, staff will be using only the most current and authorised disturbance over this area? information. Without access to this information using GIS, Examples include: information would need to be collated from a number of sources. This would involve: • As part of orientation in the field (safety)


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[Putting knowledge into place: continued]

Planning and analysis Much of the planning and analysis requirements for a resources company rely on compiling data from many different databases, systems and other sources. With most of this data containing a location component, analysing this data from a location perspective adds a new dimension to a company’s decision making capabilities. Location intelligence can add a new dimension to: •

Compliance management

Approvals

Safety incident reporting

Chemical safety

Asset management and maintenance

Environmental management

Heritage management

Tenement management

Document management

Equipment, vehicle and people tracking

Near-real time environmental monitoring

Major influences •

Emergency services when responding to an accident or environmental threat such as bush fires

Assisting environmental officers monitoring sites

Community relations activities when required to brief or consult the public

Data and asset management The amounts of spatial data grow significantly over the mine life – particularly in the early days when the mine and the associated facilities are being planned. For operators involved in the development of spatial digital data representing plans, infrastructure, tenements, heritage and environmental constraints, significant time and money can be wasted in either finding spatial data – or indeed purchasing data - that the organisation may already have. Practices, procedures and systems can be put in place that will mitigate this occurring. The earlier this is done the better in terms of the business efficiencies that can be gained at later stages in the mine life.

The key issue in implementing an enterprise GIS platform is ensuring maximum business value from the investment in this capability. To gain maximum value, it is important that any influences that could affect return on investment are considered. Staffing with appropriate skills For the mining industry there are two interlinked issues with staffing – availability and mobility. Availability – As the commodity prices rise and fall, the availability of staff with appropriate skills fall and rise. This has a significant impact on the implementation and deployment of location intelligence capabilities to the organisation as a whole. Lack of staff with the correct skills can also have an impact on the integrity of systems, particularly the data. Mobility – The nature of the staff involved in GIS generally sees individuals remaining within an organisation for an average of four years. In well established mining companies, there is evidence that many of those dealing with spatial data have been there for a long time and carry an immense amount of knowledge that is not documented. Australasian Mining Review 2011: issue 2.1


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Mobility also comes in buoyant economic times in the mining industry and is a risk to GIS projects and implementations in that very specific knowledge walks out of the door. Regulatory authorities Mining companies exist within a highly regulated environment – failure to comply brings heavy penalties. Regulations governing the mining industry are continually exposed to the whims of the political environment. Changes to interest over land for example may impact the regulations either directly or indirectly and need changes to compliance reporting. Part of the regulatory framework within which the mining world operates requires reporting to ensure the company is meeting its obligations. These reports frequently involve gathering information from a variety of different sources – a time consuming task which can be alleviated by using the intelligence provided through location data. Commodity prices The rise and fall of commodity prices affect the capability of organisations to implement or extend location intelligence capability. High commodity prices bring a hectic environment whereby resources - in terms of both people and time - are not considered available, although financial resources are available. Low commodity prices generally bring lean times when financial resources (and possibly personnel) are not available despite there being the time for the development of the initiative. The net result is that over the years, despite there being the stated drive and business value in extending location intelligence capability, many resources companies still face the issues caused by business silos of spatial data that “just work” and meet the minimal business needs. The efficiencies and corresponding competitiveness in the market are not realised – the mining company remains “one of the mill” without any differentiator. Potential challenges While extending location intelligence across the enterprise can deliver wide-reaching business opportunities, there are a number of challenges that need to be addressed before implementation. Accessing spatial data The value of extending location intelligence

capability across the enterprise relies on accessibility to the most current spatial data that is generated in a number of different systems. Companies need to ascertain how best to make the corporately relevant spatial data in the different formats and systems readily available for consumption by applications and business systems. This issue can be addressed through providing delivering direct access to the spatial data in each system, or introducing a spatial data warehouse. The best approach will depend on individual business requirements. Sensitive data Some spatial data is highly sensitive for any number of reasons and should not be made readily available to all staff or contractors. However, knowledge of its presence in a place can be critical to the operations. To address this issue, access to sensitive data can be either restricted or made available in a generalised format. Governance If access to location related data is made available across different business units and from potentially different business systems, there is the issue of governance and assigning responsibility and appropriate procedures to ensure the success of the initiative. The success of the project relies on executive backing of the importance and potential of spatial data, the willingness by all business units to share access to their section’s data, and a project based approach to data and information management. Staffing and spatial staffing stewards As with any information systems required to deliver data and information across the whole enterprise, personnel with appropriate skills are required as part of the supporting infrastructure. For enterprise GIS this includes those with skills to maintain the hardware and database environments as well as GIS Professionals that can ensure the delivery of the spatial information that is fundamental to the business. This spatial data must be correct from both a technical and a business perspective before it is released for corporate use i.e. the data must be authorised for release. This fundamental and critical role should be filled by spatial data stewards. Discovery of spatial data A potential issue for operational staff is being able to easily discover what spatial data is


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[Putting knowledge into place: continued]

available for a particular area for a particular business task. This issue does become more pronounced with time and as spatial data sets become more prevalent. To resolve this issue, a standard logical mechanism for discovery of spatial data would be required. Integration and collation of business data With a significant onus placed on resources companies on reporting, whether it be compliance, regulatory or otherwise, a large amount of time is spent collating and integrating information and data that reside in different systems. The mining industry suffers from this issue in all phases of the mining life cycle.

This article was written by Natalie Ladner and Joseph McGehan of Esri Australia. Esri Australia is the source of astute professional services and Geographic Information Systems (GIS) technology. Esri Australia is experts in location intelligence; with over 33 years experience in implementing GIS solutions. www.esriaustralia.com.au

Key efficiencies and significant business value can be gleaned from providing an environment in which data can be readily collated – an “integration environment” in which data residing in different systems can be collated for specific business purposes. A GIS provides an excellent environment for integration, collation and reporting. The key GIS brings to integration is location and mining data has location. Conclusion With so much location-related data held by mining companies, exploiting this information to its full potential provides significantly greater efficiencies and the corresponding returns to the business as a whole. However, despite this spatial data being a valuable asset in both investment and potential business advantage, it is generally extremely hard to get due to the data residing in different business and system silos. A successful enterprise GIS requires cooperation across the entire business to overcome the challenges identified. These include a willingness to share services and information across departments, to balance the need for a sustainable and long-term solution against the desire to quickly show results, and gain agreement on a common set of standards and governance processes. By strategically implementing GIS across the enterprise, the results will also inherently extend across the enterprise. By seamlessly integrating the benefits of location intelligence throughout an organisation’s workflows, all parts of the business will benefit from streamlined data management, enhanced planning and analysis capabilities, field force enablement and an increased level of situational awareness. Australasian Mining Review 2011: issue 2.1


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A hard cat in a noble industy About Nobles: A. Noble & Son Limited (Nobles) is one of Australia’s leading manufacturing, supply and service companies in the field of lifting and rigging equipment. Following is a rundown of why they chose the Hardcat Asset Management System for their Tech Inspect Solution. About Nobles Tech Inspect: Known as Tech Inspect, the safety and technical inspection service offered by Nobles incorporates a complete lifting equipment data management system that enables customers to view their lifting equipment register online via a secure area of the Nobles website. Provided as a value-added option accompanying equipment sales, Nobles Tech Inspect service includes on-site inspection of equipment, management of an asset database including current test certificates and reporting of inspection details and actions required. Nobles go to a customer’s site, inspect their lifting and rigging gear to make sure that it is in a safe and serviceable condition and, if necessary, also repair and test. It also maintains an asset register (using Hardcat software) on behalf of clients which records all of the items that are managed under the Tech Inspect service.

The challenge: To ensure it was delivering the best possible technical inspection service, Nobles identified the need to upgrade the operational processes it had in place in regards to gathering inspection data and making that information available to customers. According to Ian Jongen, Products and Marketing Manager for Nobles. “We had been using a cumbersome combination of Excel spreadsheets and Access databases to keep track of equipment under our inspection services. Also we were using about four different systems across the various States, all of which we had developed internally. In most cases our technical inspection coordinators would give our field service guys a printed-out copy of the customer’s register and the inspectors would write the results of their latest inspection on the copy. Nobles process would then involve inspectors coming back to the office with the handwritten paperwork before handing it over to co-ordinators who would key the new data into the customer’s register.” Jongen said. “It was a complicated, labour-intensive system that was open to all sorts of human errors and misinterpretation. We wanted a single system that could be used to manage standardised processes across all 15 branches to help us deliver a better inspection and reporting of inspection service.”

The solution: Nobles customised the Hardcat Asset Management Software and Hardcat’s CatScan barcode scanning technology to suit the specific needs of lifting, rigging and height safety equipment. Nobles branded the new service ‘Tech Inspect’. Since its introduction, Nobles Hardcat based Tech Inspect register has grown to include close to 60,000 assets. Each item in the register has been allocated a barcode and has detailed specifications of the asset, its inspection history, and much more. “We now have all 15 branches using Hardcat to manage all of the inspection services they deliver. An agreed inspection schedule is defined in consultation with the customer based on the type of equipment, application and frequency of use. Relevant tasks are then associated to

Putting knowledge into place

the assets in Hardcat and work orders can be generated to facilitate the inspection process which is now fully computerised. The designated inspector then uses a PDA scanner to identify the assets being inspected, update the condition as appropriate and capture details of any new assets found during the inspection process. When that inspector returns to the office, the PDA is synchronised with the back-end Hardcat asset register and the data is available to all in Hardcat. At any time that a customer wants to see details of their Tech Inspect service activity, they simply log-in to the Tech Inspect Website. They can drill down to individual assets and check what assets have been inspected in the past as well as what assets are scheduled to be inspected in the future. They are able to search, sort and filter asset information based on barcode, ID number, test number, asset status, equipment type or by location. They then have total self-managed ability to generate and print PDF reports based on these search priorities.”

The benefits: Nobles has gained enormous efficiencies in its operating procedures by using the Hardcat Asset Management Solution as the backbone of its Tech Inspect service. Multiple manual processes have been automated including data capture, database updates, issuing of work orders and reporting to customers. “The key benefit from our point of view is that we have a uniform system for managing our inspection services throughout the whole company’s operations. At the end of the day, that creates great internal efficiency for us in terms of managing the 60,000 or so assets we currently have under our Tech Inspect service. Basically, we take a lot of the asset management, OHS and regulatory compliance headaches surrounding lifting and height safety equipment completely off our client’s plate. By outsourcing these management tasks to us, they lower their costs in this area; receive a better, more reliable service than they would if they undertook it in-house. That is the core value proposition that the Tech Inspect service delivers to our clients and that value is underpinned by the Hardcat-based asset management system we use. Hardcat allows us to offer a premium inspection service.” Clearly, the Hardcat Asset Management System is an integral part of Nobles Tech Inspect. If your Asset Management System is bordering on the archaic, give Hardcat a call on 03 9695 5400 or visit: www.hardcat.com


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Enterprise asset management software a top priority for CIOs in 2011 In a tough regulatory environment with stringent occupational health, safety and environmental requirements, progressive organisations are reaping the benefits of implementing an enterprise asset management (EAM) software system, such as Relegen’s baseLINE.

A

ccording to a recent IDC market intelligence report, EAM software is the fastest growing segment within the Enterprise Resource Management (ERM) applications market with Australia a key driver, registering an impressive 38.4% growth year on year. Being able to identify assets uniquely, associate employees and sub-contractors directly to individual assets and pull information from other company databases to get the complete asset picture, is key to simplifying compliance, minimising asset shrinkage, maximising depreciation and being able to accurately identify risks. With an EAM software system such as baseLINE, information stored across the company can be combined in one location to provide users with everything they need to know about an individual asset.

Whether this is calibration, certification, physical location, usage history, cost, inventory levels or maintenance details, every asset can be managed with relevant and accurate information. “The next step in best practice OHS & E management is being able to attach employee attributes such as personnel records, training, and certification directly to individual assets. Being able to then access all this information through mobile devices, the web or Cloud based architecture, truly closes the loop and this is where baseLINE is unique,” said Relegen managing director Paul Bennett. baseLINE is an integral part of Relegen’s endto-end EAM solution, which includes its unique tagging system assetDNA, consulting and managed services. Information: http://www.relegen.com.

To make the right decision, you need accurate information. baseLINE is the most advanced Enterprise Asset Management software available today.  lockedpipeinSection3 B Downtime: 6.5hrs Cost:

$645,000

It is the simplest, most flexible, reliable and cost-effective solution for any level of business. It takes the hard work out of asset management by giving you the full picture on the performance of your assets today for better business results tomorrow. It allows you to manage your assets your way. With baseLINE you can manage any type of asset from physical to digital including documents, personnel, plant and equipment; and view everything on one page. You can tag, track, audit and secure assets. Manage finance, maintenance, stock levels and spare parts. You can monitor and manage events, remote transactions, certification and safety. www.baselineassetmanagement.com

Australasian Mining Review 2011: issue 2.1


Does your organisation use contingent or contract workers? Do you need to increase your profitability while mitigating risk and administration costs? CXC Global™ works with organisations, like yours, to help optimise their workforce procurement program, mitigating risk, cutting costs and ultimately realising increased profits and a return on their HR investment. CXC Global™ solutions include: • • • • • • • •

Risk Mitigation (Tax, Insurance, Deemed Employment, OH&S … ). Increased business continuity, governance and compliance. Streamlining of recruitment processes. Online on-boarding, time sheets and management portals. Increased reporting and control. Consolidated administration and billing. Contingent payroll and salary packaging. Increase your HR and business focus, benefiting from global experience in contingent management.

CXC Global™ solutions also work to the benefit of the contractor, ensuring consistency of service, online information and time sheet portals, as well as financial benefits.

Isn’t it time you spoke to CXC Global™ about how they can help you

decrease costs, increase profits ... and make your job easier. The global leader in

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21/01/2011 9:59:43 AM

Managing your contractor employment risk As the economy continues to grow and put further strain on businesses there are a number of ways that an organisation can choose to grow their workforce. Permanent employment may not suit instances where specialised or project based skills are required. Contractors are the only logical option. There are three broad categories to be considered when selecting, engaging and managing contractors: • Risk Management; •

Control and reporting; and

Cost benefits and process efficiencies.

R

isk Management encapsulates the following risks: co-employment, taxation, fixed term contract, insurance, contract expiry, visa expiry, IR, budget overrun and potential Sarbanes-Oxley related risk, as well as statutory and company policy compliance. In a survey conducted by the CWMA on behalf of CXC Global approx 96% of organisations spoke to advised they had no contractors. The survey participants where specifically selected as they signed off on a CXC timesheet for contractors they currently utilised. An organisation with such poor visibility could be potentially blind sided by an audit and ensuing fines.

From the example the resulting penalty may be difficult to find in this year’s budget. Not to forget a potential Fair Work fine of up to $33,000, legal costs, soft costs and additionally the cost of retrospectively applying all of the permanent employee benefits which would now be required. … and that is for one contractor. How many contractors did you say you had? It is not all doom and gloom. The benefits of contractors can still be realised if an organisation correctly engages a contractor. Dependant on contractor type, a labour hire or contractor management company, like CXC Global, can mitigate risk (except historical and statutory risk) while also implementing systems providing greater visibility and reporting ... and in many instances increase a contractors take home pay.

As a guide and a worse case scenario of back payments and penalties for one contractor on $100 CXC Global™. The global leader in innovative phr for one year: Contractor Remuneration & Contingent Superannuation $ 16,500 Workforce Solutions. Visit www.cxcglobal.com.au for more information. PAYG tax $ 60,000 100% ATO penalty

$ 60,000 (non-deductible)

A potential total of

$ 136,500

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Products and Services

P&S Title page

Australasian Mining Review 2011: issue 2.1


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Fortress simplifies switchgear interlocking A specialist in switchgear interlocking, Fortress Interlocks has been protecting personnel and plant in mining operations worldwide for decades, ensuring that earth/ ground switches cannot be closed on live busbars, and isolation procedures are strictly adhered to. Fortress recognises that creating a simple interlocking scheme is critical; no one wants to work with a system that is too complex to follow, operators will simply look for shortcuts.

I

n many mining power distribution projects key interlocks are often left to the last minute to source and fit which can result in confusion onsite during final commissioning. Larger projects also have the added complication of multiple switchgear suppliers who, unless key interlocks are specified, often supply their standard product which can be awkward and unsuitable. Involving Fortress in the initial stages of designing the interlocking system saves time and money via custom built key interlock systems that are safe and, in many cases, very simple. Fortress translates project switching requirements into physical hardware that ensures a defined sequence of events, working closely with manufacturers of switchgear to ensure the correct products are utilised and systems can be integrated on-site. Fortress has a unique key coding capability that ensures locks and keys can be clearly identified with their associated equipment. By mastering and part

mastering, Fortress’ key coding actually helps reduce the number of keys and simplifies the system. Key coding is managed by Fortress to guarantee that there are not two keys the same on-site, which can compromise safety; unique key coding also allows Fortress to customise a solution for all applications. For more than 50 years Fortress has been at the forefront of switchgear interlocking in the mining industry and, with the addition of the new SL mini lock, offers a complete range of trapped key interlocks to suit all switchgear. Its interlocks can be found enforcing the correct sequential operation of switchgear all over the world, from 132kV switchyards at Worsley Alumina in WA, to medium voltage distribution systems in the Bowen Basin, from underground substations in NSW coal mines to HV interlock systems on shiploaders at Port Hedland. For more information, please visit www.fortressinterlocks.com

Experts in Sequential Logic Systems Let Fortress Interlocks save you time and money on your mining interlock applications. Project Design Manage Coding Simplify Complex Systems

Fortress Interlocks Pty Ltd t: 03 9771 5350 e: australia@fortressinterlocks.com

Protecting People - Protecting Industry www.fortressinterlocks.com Access and control safety systems


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Size does count when it comes to dragline maintenance It’s here – the WT 1000 elevated work platform with heights of up to 103 metres has arrived in Queensland. The WT 1000 is specially developed by Wumag for safe assembly and maintenance on windmills.

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hese days we are all looking for the most efficient and safe way to run our business and to maintain our assets. From arrival to site, the WT1000 can be set up ready to work in under 30 minutes, and with its incredible stability and precision manoeuvring, the WT1000 is able to work at full reach with winds of up 12.5 metres per second. The WT1000 will prove to be the safest way to carry out Dragline maintenance and inspections from here on in.

Size does count With a fleet of insulated and non insulated booms from 12 metres up to 103 metres. LinCon is also specialised in the hire and sales of underbridge units that reach down 27 metres and 22 metres

across. Our services include the mining industry, power line industry, construction industry, wind farm industry, maritime services, and any task or project that requires specialised access. LinCon Hire and Sales is an Australian owned company with our head office based in Brisbane. We are specialised in the hire and sales of Elevating Work Platforms (EWP’s) and operate in every state and territory throughout Australia. Contact LinCon Hire and Sales for details on 07 3712 0780 or Email us at craiglindores@lincon.com.au or Visit our website www.lincon.com.au

The Safest Way of The Safest Way of Reaching New Reaching New Heights! Heights!

www.lincon.com.au Address: 17 Westcombe Street, Darra QLD 4076 Phone: +61 7 3712 0780 Email: hire@lincon.com.au Fax: + 61 7 3712 0782

Access heights safely and easily

Australasian Mining Review 2011: issue 2.1


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Hard days, easy nights In the past 12 months Australia has experienced a major boom in the mining industry sector, with further developments to continue throughout the next few years. With high demand within the industry for experienced and highly skilled employees, there needs to be a shift in the way that we can attract and retain these valuable employees, and improve their accommodation options whilst living away from home for such lengthy periods of time.

D

ecorate by Design is a commercial company who specialise in the design and fitout of the accommodation and recreational amenities for remote accommodation facilities. With the ability to customise furniture, fittings and equipment (FF&E) to suit all criteria in terms of budget, durability, serviceability and aesthetics, Decorate by Design have built a solid relationship with numerous housing suppliers to the Mining Industry, the Australian Government, Indigenous Land Council and the Department of Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs. Their high level of service and expertise within the area of ‘donga shed’ accommodation means that they have the facilities to provide clients with full project management skills including plan and layout designs, sourcing, supply, installation and guaranteed lead times. With a firm belief that all employees who live in remote mining camps deserve comfort after a long shift, Decorate by Design are redesigning the donga shed concept. Increasingly, research is showing the benefit of a good night’s sleep, and some of the significant factors in the achievements of our staff are not only based on their skills and intelligence, but the surroundings in which they live and relax. If miners cannot get enough sleep and relaxation, then it is well known that productivity decreases and the risk of injury increases. So, what changes have Decorate by design made? Given spacial constraints, the aim in all of the projects is to optimise the practicality of the

Accomodation - portable and demountable mine site buildings

accommodation rooms and ensuites, and to provide a comfortable and convenient solution. To better understand the conditions and requirements, a number of Decorate by Design key personnel have themselves spent time staying in the camps and using the facilities. With this extra experience they were able to make an objective assessment as to where improvements could be made. A common complaint (and one experienced by Decorate by Design themselves) has been the noise created by the bar fridge whilst trying to sleep. By incorporating the bar fridge inside a ventilated wardrobe unit, they were able to decrease the noise level. It was also a useful way to utilise the space where the bar fridge typically sits in the corner of the room with merely a shelf above. The addition of a chest of drawers (lockable if necessary) alleviated the concern of not enough storage space left in the wardrobes due to the incorporation of the bar fridge, and after discussion with tenants it was ascertained that a chest of drawers would be more convenient and useful than the full height robe in any case. The chest of drawers also has the added benefit of bench top space which is often limited in these rooms. Depending on the style of accommodation required, there are many other space saving solutions offered by Decorate by Design. In some cases the desk is not used by the tenant as an office / work space, so in these cases the desk can be substituted with a comfortable armchair opposite the television (which should be wall mounted). A perfect way to relax and watch television in the evening, instead of on


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a plastic chair or on the bed. Decorate by Design also have a wall mounted removable desk system that can be used whilst sitting in the armchair if reading a book / newspaper or using a lap top. With storage space at a minimum in these rooms, Decorate by Design offer a storage bed system, in which the underneath of the bed frame has generous storage capacity, accessible from both sides of the bed if needed. This space will comfortably fit a suitcase, boots, hard hats etc; and comes with recessed legs to allow better access around the bed. The sturdy metal frame is covered with a bed base valance that has velcro lift up flaps on either side to access the space underneath and keep the living space tidy. But, most important is the mattress on top of the bed base frame. Using only mattresses that are developed with the International Chiropractic Association (with zoned support systems for postural alignment) Decorate by Design can offer a number of different mattresses to suit varying budgets.

to their clients and is just an example of some of the projects achieved, attesting their belief that no job is too difficult or too far away. Decorate by Design are also well aware of the logistical requirements involved in the fitout of these projects, and their skilled staff personally oversee all packing, transporting and installation of goods. With such a high demand in the mining sector for quality staff, why not provide these staff with quality living accommodation? A hard day of work deserves an easy night of rest. www.decoratebydesign.com.au

An affiliated company specialises in the manufacture of soft furnishings, ranging in all classes of bedding accessories, cushioning etc. Their range of custom made doona / bedspread fabrics are milled in Australia to your specifications and meet all Australian Standards in terms of fire retardancy and commercial wear and tear. Being 100% polyester it is machine washable, anti microbial, inherently stain resistant and fade resistant. Coordinating commercial blockout curtains not only insulate the room, but also help to absorb noise pollution from outside, all of which are concerning factors in the donga rooms. With all furniture having commercial guarantees and being suitable for the application, camp managers can rest assured that quality and longevity is not compromised with the upgrade in furnishings. And it doesn’t just finish with the accommodation rooms. Decorate by Design are also well equipped to fitout all common areas and recreational areas from the reception and mess hall, to the theatre room, bar and gym. With many years of experience supplying common / rec area furnishings for places such as Dunk Island Resort, Home Valley Station in the Kimberley and Government Department Representative housing in remote communities, they can equip you with everything that a camp may need. This experience with bulk commercial supply to remote locations demonstrates their dedication

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Contract Charter, Investor Tours and Cargo Flights take off across Australia With an enormous amount of growth in mining and resources projects and contract labour across Australia, there have been more frequent requirements for mining companies to procure contracted charter aircraft to get into remote locations. The use of Corporate Jets and Executive Turbo-Prop aircraft is also on the rise across the country. Aircraft such as Lear Jets, Cessna Citations and even the VVIP Global Express aircraft have been flying crosscountry on a weekly basis performing investor tours and site visits.

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hese Corporate Jets give the mines a chance to really impress potential investors and overseas management, and visit three to four different remote locations in just a few days, and sometimes include a stop-over at a resort destination. With the influx of Chinese and Japanese investment in the Mining and Resources sector, making sure these investors are being treated like royalty at all times is going to be important in getting them to support projects with investments in the operation. These corporate aircraft ensure that site visits are professional, quick, efficient, and most importantly they are effective in showing the investors the real potential of what is happening on the ground. Seeing the actual site and development of the operation is typically the deal clincher to secure funding from the all-important investors. Adagold Aviation has been applying some very unique aircraft to developing contracts in the region that are helping to solve a few of these transportation issues for the mines. A Civilian version of the C-130 Hercules is now flying in PNG for Adagold, uplifting shipping containers and around 21 tonnes of construction materials on a daily basis into the PNG highlands. Adagold opened a PNG office in Port Moresby in 2010 to support expanding operations in that region. And with a number of brand new Corporate Jets arriving in Australia recently, Adagold has been offering a unique capability to get into the more remote airstrips quickly. Doing it all safely is the key for Adagold. For an aircraft operator to keep its aircraft, passengers and crew safe they have to keep spending money on maintenance, upgrades and re-training on a regular basis. And it reflects in the cost of your charter flight. So if you want an operation that balances cost with the best aircraft and operating crew, and the most appropriate aircraft for the airports you want to go to, then Adagold are the ones to help you find that solution. Adagold can even provide a full turnkey solution that combines your charter with tickets on commercial airlines. So a commercial flight to Brisbane, with a transfer to Adagold’s Ground Handling facility – the Brisbane Jet Base, and a charter flight to the mine, can all be integrated for a Turnkey solution that is cost-effective and efficient for your staff.

Aviation services to the mining industry

Adagold also provides a wide range of Air Cargo Charters across Australia. With very few options to move heavy equipment quickly, the typical solution has been to move it to site by road from Melbourne or Sydney, which is timeconsuming and often a four to five day trucking journey. A Charter flight from Singapore, Jakarta or elsewhere, directly into the mine site, is going to save you a week’s time in road transport – potentially saving you a week of costs in downtime or breakdowns on-site. Adagold Aviation’s focus is on providing Safety and Flexibility for your operation - Providing a wide range of aircraft in remote environments, adapting contracts and aircraft to suit the changing conditions of the requirement. So whether it’s a FIFO (Fly-In-Fly-Out operation), Investor Tour, Heavy, Outsize or Urgent Cargo, or even a Medical Evacuation Jet, Adagold Aviation is The Intelligent Choice for Aircraft Charter. 24Hrs a Day, 365 Days a year – 1800 767 747.


The intelligent choice for aircraft charter The intelligent choice for aircraft charter

1800 767 747 charters@adagold.com

CONTACT US 24/7 Tel 1800 767 747 Intl +61 2 9667 4245 www.adagold.com


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MI Helicopters saw the need for a larger aircraft with increased capacity after reviewing flight records which showed they were often doing multiple flights in order to accommodate five or six passengers. The Longranger provides a safe, efficient solution.

MI Helicopters is forging ahead in 2011 with the establishment of another base of operations in Chinchilla. Combined with our Roma and Hervey Bay bases, MI Helicopters is well placed to provide helicopter services to much of Southern and Central Queensland.

MI Helicopters would also like to thank the businesses and communities that assisted them during the Queensland floods. Whether it be the hotel staff that took care of the weary pilots at the end of each day or the aircraft refuellers and engineers who worked into the night to prepare the aircraft for the next day, MI Helicopters thanks you for your assistance and patience during these trying times. We couldn’t have done it without you!

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lans for the additional base had been in the pipeline for some months, however the history making flooding in Queensland accelerated the launch date and MI Helicopters now has a permanent presence in Chinchilla in order to meet the demand for a helicopter in the region. MI Helicopters is utilising a Bell 206 ‘Jetranger’ for its Chinchilla operations. The ‘Jetranger’ is well known for its safety and reliability and will be a valuable addition to the community in the Chinchilla area. The aircraft is available for all type of flying including, scenic flights, general charter and ‘airwork’ (Photography, low level surveys, etc). MI Helicopters has also expanded its fleet yet again with the addition of a Bell 206L3 ‘Longranger’ to be based in Roma. The ‘big brother’ of the Bell Jetranger, the Longranger has seating for six passengers and provides increased power and speed with a smoother ride. MI Helicopters

B206 JETRANGER • ROBINSON R44 • SQUIRREL AS350 • Gas/Oil Support • Aerial Survey/Spotting • Powerline Surveying • Lift Operations

• Aerial Backburning & Fire Bombing • Photography/Filming • Feral Animal Control

Contact 1800 600 345

• Fitted with satellite tracking for added safety • External Audits carried out every 6 months

www.mihelicopters.com.au

24 HOURS - BASED IN THE SURAT BASIN

Aviation services to the mining industry

Should you wish to utilise the services of MI Helicopters please call the friendly staff on 1800 600 345.


ET Mining Solutions ET Mining Solutions is comprised of a small but diligent team whom are dedicated to achieving their goals and objectives. With the combined knowledge of the team, ET has over 100 years experience in the underground mining industry.

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T Mining Solutions has recently launched two new business units which reflects the strength and the tenacity of ET. The two new business units are;

our customers needs, service to customers is second to none. Dig Dog underground loader buckets are modeled on a design perfected by Australia’s leading contractors and are available fitted with the most popular brands of GET.

ET Electrical Technologies operate out of a modern • ET Dig Dog which supplies both underground workshop facility at 499 Great Eastern Highway Loader Buckets and Surface Loader and Excavator Buckets to the Mining and Civil market. Perth. ET Electrical manufacture a broad range of products in house, including: • ET Electrical Technologies which manufactures • 1000V Fan, Pump and Jumbo Starters. the full range of 1000V Starter Boxes, Skid Mounted Sub Stations and Refuge Chambers. • 1000V Distribution Boards. By launching these additional business units ET Mining Solutions is able to provide a fully comprehensible service to the mining industry with an extremely competitive price range of products. ET Mining Solutions recognised there was a need in the Australasian market for well built mining and construction buckets and attachments at affordable prices. ET partnered with UK based company DigDog to bring world class buckets and attachments to the Australasian market. Combining the vast experience and knowledge in the industry of DigDog and ET, together with new age technology and an unprecedented drive towards responding to

Underground machinery and equipment solutions

• 11KV to 1000V 1mva and 1.5mva skid mounted Sub Stations. • Step up, Step down 415V to 1000V Transformers. ET Electrical also now manufacture a range of Refuge Chambers including 4 person, 12 person and 20 person units, other sizes can be built to order. The chambers are built using high quality components and have been subjected to an independent Engineering Compliance Review by one of Australia’s leading companies. rd Australasian edition AustralasianMining MiningReview Review2011: 2011:3issue 2.1


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NSK - a partnership based on trust and trust based on quality

M NSK works with both global manufacturers of mining machinery and end users in the field, to co-develop a package of tough, highperformance bearings that offer a longer service life under demanding mining conditions. NSK’s innovative designs begin with market leading materials and unique heat treatment technologies that NSK develop in-house to produce both ball and roller bearings, that out-perform customers expectations.

ark Davies, NSK Australia’s Mining Manager says, “One of the key factors in the enhanced performance of NSK bearings range is the development of industry leading materials technology, in particular NSK’s Tough Steel™ range.” Bearings made from the varying grades of Tough Steel™ are designed to out-perform normal bearings in contaminated, high temperature or inadequate lubrication conditions. Surface orientated fatigue and material wear from contaminated lubricant is a common failure mode in the mining industry. As a key benefit from using NSK’s Tough Steel™, the fine particle wear resistance of the Tough Steel™ increases operational life substantially. As NSK’s Tough Steel™ technology can be used in any bearing design, NSK are able to tailor a solution to many mining application’s common modes of failure, providing an effective countermeasure to the operating conditions that are causing the reduced operating life. NSK have developed varying grades of Tough Steel™ for heavy industries and this technology is in common use throughout the world today, in applications such as Slurry Pump barrels, Vibrating Screen mechanisms, Longwall AFC sprockets, Dragline gearboxes and Coal Pulverizes In addition to Tough Steel™ material technology, another NSK development in standard material bearings is NSK HPS (High Performance Series). This technology originally developed in small to medium size Spherical Roller bearings has now been extended to the brass caged CA series large Spherical Rollers Bearings and Vibration Spec. Spherical Roller Bearings. Davies says, “It is expected that the new series of HPS bearings will give users large benefits such as reducing their maintenance cost, down-sizing their product design and saving energy. It exceeds the limits of conventional bearings in terms of a longer operating life and limiting speeds, helping to deliver the high levels of reliability required in mining projects.” Developed for applications with heavy or shock loads - of the type encountered in jaw and

cone crushers - NSK’s CA series of double-row spherical roller bearings are manufactured with a machined brass cage to combat the effects of vibration, operating fatigue, wear and corrosion. NSK have further extended the HPS range into harsh vibrating applications with NSK’s CAM-VS series of spherical roller bearings. The CAM-VS series bearings have been optimised for use in harsh vibrating applications. Their HPS vibratory specification builds upon the extended load and life benefits of the standard CA construction with an optimised design that provides improved fatigue strength against the vibration and shock-load conditions encountered on screens, feeders and compactors. Davies says, “With increased speed limits up to 20% higher than standard bearings, bore dimensions between 50 and 240mm and operating conditions up to 200°C, NSK’s HPS CA series spherical roller bearings are specifically designed for the tough vibrating applications in the mining, quarrying and construction industries.” Extra capacity Cylindrical Roller bearings also providing improved performance benefits in extending operating life and speed rating. NSK’s EW/EM series of cylindrical roller bearings lead the market in innovative design. The EW series features a pressed steel cage and the EM series a one-piece machined brass cage. These bearings are used in, industrial Electric Motors, Gearboxes, Dump Trucks and other Mobile Fleet. Both of these cage designs offer high-load ratings for standard-size bearings, in addition to a longer operating life - approximately twice that of a conventional CRB. Also benefiting from NSK’s focus on improving bearing life in mining and extraction applications is a range of fullcomplement cylindrical roller bearings for use in crane sheeves. These bearings offer advanced levels of ingress protection with a sealing system that minimises grease leakage and increases resistance to the entry of water and other foreign substances. Designed to provide maximum reliability and operating life in the difficult environments encountered in mines and quarries, the full-complement bearings are supplied with phosphate surface treatment to improve their resistance to corrosion. NSK welcome any communication to discuss how they can assist in getting the best bearing life outcome for your company. Contact NSK by telephone (03) 9764 8302 or email enquires to aus-nskenquiries@nsk.com

Bearings


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Save $$$$ with Rexel’s webstore In the modern business environment, more and more companies are beginning to understand the true costs associated with raising purchasing transactions from vendors. This is particularly true of often purchased, commodity lines where it is not uncommon for the transaction cost of raising the order to exceed the value of the order itself.

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ased on research performed by Rexel across our customer base, we have found that the cost saving available to the customer per line ordered can be as much as $12.50 when you purchase via our online store*. That’s a real cost saving in time taken to source the product, query price and availability and then place the order. What’s more, this cost doesn’t include costs arising from error corrections, pricing credits and other factors that can arise when processing transactions manually. Our research indicates, that based on our average order lengths, a customer can save nearly $40 per order, just by shopping in the online store! Does your business order frequently? Are you constantly searching for ways to increase your

Cables and mining components

efficiencies and reduce costs? It doesn’t take long for significant savings to mount up, for example: •

Customer X orders 100 times/month

That’s a potential $4000 a month saving

That’s $48k year in transactional savings alone!

It’s that easy, activate your account with Rexel Online today and start noticing the benefits immediately. Talk to your local Rexel Branch today about the savings you can achieve by shopping online with Rexel. *When using either Top20 or Saved List features available at Rexel Online Please visit our website www.rexel.com.au to find out more information or to sign up to our webstore.


Buy Online, Save Time, Improve Efficiency The Rexel online store showcases tens of thousands of enriched products to help you to save time on your purchase. “My Saved lists” feature enables you to save multiple lists of products. Using this device, you can easily recall items that you forecast for a project or that are ordered on a regular basis. For example, if you want to set up a list of 11 items in lighting such as CFL’s, Dichroic’s and fluoro lamps… that you are ordering frequently, you simply have follow this step by step guide.

 Login to the Rexel Online store and enter the product part number in the search box.  Add it to your cart and repeat this with the list of products required.  When you have finished, go in MY CART tab and click SAVE FOR LATER.  Enter your list name – for example “OSRAM_list1”.

 When you need to order this list, login and click on your saved list to add it to the cart, update the quantities that you want and click CHECK OUT.

Order Online Now!  Shop online 24/7 in your own branch  View real-time stock  Buy at your agreed price on all products  Fast and simple search tool  Browse high quality classified and enriched products

 List you regular purchased products  Build your own shopping lists  Access your invoices and account balance anytime

www.rexel.com.au

CONTACT US webservices@rexel.com.au 1300 310 512


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CONSULTING • SOFTWARE

Deswik mining consultants and software DESWIK.CAD DESWIK LANDFORM & HAULAGE DESWIK.SCHEDULER DESWIK INTERACTIVE SCHEDULER CUTTING EDGE PLANNING SOLUTIONS

COAL • METALLIFEROUS OPEN CUT • UNDERGROUND

www.deswik.com

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he aim of Deswik Consulting and Software is to simplify, automate and improve the processes used in mine technical services. Deswik achieves this with the application of practical mining knowledge to the development of software. Deswik Software delivers mine planning applications and customised software development services. Deswik Consultants use the Deswik suite of software to provide innovative technical solutions to the mining industry. Deswik believes in partnering with its clients to achieve the best mutual outcomes. The company draws on over three decades of experience in improving mine planning processes through software development and consulting in mine planning. This proven experience allows Deswik to assist clients in improving their mine planning systems and processes. Deswik software is developed using the latest technologies with no legacy. Deswik uses a rapid application development, testing and deployment approach, which results in fast turnaround in user requests. A web based enhancement request system is available to all customers and frequent releases of the software are made to those users who request them. Deswik is committed to providing the best customer service possible and has modelled its development approach around delivering this. Deswik delivers robust and innovative technical solutions to the mining industry. From cutting edge truck haulage modelling to integrated mine planning and scheduling applications for both open pit and underground operations, Deswik offers a refreshing and powerful alterative to the traditional packages and spreadsheet style planning.

Strategic Mine Plan

Consultancy services to the mining industry - exploration to production

Medium Term • 3-5 year op plans • Budget forecast

Operations Planning


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Deswik are actively developing tools to solve mine planning problems that are ill addressed by existing mine planning tools. By providing both traditional and innovative approaches to solving mine planning problems, incorporating process flows to assist end users and automating the repetitive parts of the planning process, Deswik offer software solutions that enable more scenarios to be examined by consultants and on site engineers to increase the value of a plan. By integrating our products with the data sources of other common mining software products, Deswik is able to implement its solutions either standalone, or side by side with other planning products and mine design tools. This flexibility ensures that the client is able to define their own best practice way of working with the tools that best suit the specific job. Adding detail to mine planning, simply

The next generation CAD engine for mine planning Deswik.CAD has been designed by mining engineers with decades of professional software development experience and a proven history of building technical mining applications. Written in the latest technologies to take advantage of the developments in computers, Deswik.CAD provides the user with a simple, modern and intuitive CADstyle interface. Deswik.CAD is effectively a spatial database combining the power of CAD with the ability to attribute, filter and report data visually and in tabular format. The file format is XML, so all data is open and transferable to other systems. The main features of Deswik.CAD include: •

Fully featured CAD engine with design and editing tools

Graphics engine designed to handle large mining datasets with excellent graphics performance

Integration with mining data sources – eg, Datamine, Surpac, Vulcan, AutoCAD, etc

Easy to manipulate user interface

Mine design tools and reserving capabilities

Powerful, yet simple plotting and graphical reporting

Plugin and scripting interfaces allow customisation and data manipulation

Arguably the best solids and polygon Boolean tools on the market

Deswik.IS (Deswik Interactive Scheduler) provides the consultant or mine planning engineer with all the tools required to produce detailed mine reserves and schedule mining activities. Utilising 3D spatial data (mine designs, survey and geological), the software provides a simple, work flow driven user interface to guide the user through the process of creating a long, short or medium term mine plan for either an open pit or underground mine. Deswik.IS produces a Gantt chart schedule which the mine planner is able to modify and update directly from the graphical environment. This allows the consulting engineer to create and update planning activities graphically and have the results updated in the Gantt chart immediately, this facilitates rapid schedule development. Consultants using Deswik software can spend more quality time creating and analysing planning scenarios rather than manipulating data.

Optimised high level plan

Assess strategic assumptions

Break overall mine into smaller, practical tasks

Consider issues with implementation of plan

Add detailed mining constraints

Generate mine plan

Australasian Mining Review 2011: issue 2.1


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A Commitment to Technology Provides Flexibility and Results As the country’s leading underground mining services contractor, Barminco prides itself on its preeminent reputation for the delivery of service excellence and production value to its clients. Established in the heart Western Australia’s gold fields in 1989, Barminco developed its industry standing through a willingness to test the boundaries of service provision. Investing heavily in the early pioneering days of decline mining and shoring up the company’s growth through this time of industry change in the 1990’, Barminco’s executives quickly realised it would be this commitment to operating at the forefront of technology which would see the company deliver the best results on behalf of clients.

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oday, as a full service underground mining contractor, Barminco operates from a unique position within the industry, which enables it to identify first hand any unmet requirements, as well as areas for improvement in available services. Recognising a requirement for a total underground service offering within the industry, in 1995 Barminco added a specialised Diamond Drilling division to its service offering with the view to ensure a seamless service to its valued customers. Since this time Barminco has drilled in excess of 4,000 kilometres of underground drill core and proven to be a leader in underground deep hole and drilling techniques. Barminco operates a large fleet of the latest electronic-hydraulic diamond drills for deep hole directional drilling as well as maintaining pneumatic drills and mobile carrier rigs for specialist applications, and geotechnical drilling, high pressure grouting and hole survey and core orientation. The company is also trialling electronic data loggers to ensure the highest quality geotechnical and production information is made available to clients. Through the company’s ongoing growth and its unique understanding of the requirements of its core client base, Barminco continually seeks to optimise the return on investment delivered from their services through the provision of state of the art technology. To complement its existing service offering, in 2006 Barminco identified the production and time efficiency benefits which could be gained on site through the short to medium term use of mobile crushing units provided to existing and new clients. From this the Barminco Crushing and Screening Division offers a complete crushing and screening service to the quarry, mining and civil construction industries. Operating with the same focus towards optimising the effectiveness of resources as is instilled throughout the broader business, the Crushing and Screening Division is empowered to produce optimum results and the delivery of value to clients. Providing the benefit of relocatable crushing equipment across a site, Barminco’s fleet of mobile crushers is self powered and set up on a unique track system. The inherent flexibility of this

Drill and blast showcase

technology allows mines to move the mobile units closer or further away from work areas across the life of a project, optimising the productivity of haulage distances as appropriate. Further, due to the mobile nature of the fleet, Barminco’s mobile crushing services can be deployed and established on site within just 24 hours, reducing production delays which can be experienced while waiting for traditional fixed crushers to be installed. As one of just a few suppliers of mobile crushing services in Australia, Barminco’s fleet of machinery and expert technicians assist in the production of: •

Road base materials

Stemming products

Mine backfill materials

Rail ballast

Shotcrete and concrete aggregates

Sample crushing

Mill feed ore crushing

Major clients currently operating under the benefits of Barminco’s mobile fleet include Francis Creek and Fortescue Metals Group’s Cloudbreak Mine. Barminco’s on site crushing and screening services are designed to support their underground mining contracts and suit a variety of mining and construction applications. Offering a full suite of underground mining services to Australian and international clients, Barminco takes pride in its proven reputation as the industry leader in safety and performance. The company’s record of achievement is backed by well trained teams, a state of the art fleet, proven methods and the latest robust technologies. Striving to provide its services safely, productively and without compromise, Barminco partners with clients to provide comprehensive underground mining services in Australia and internationally. To find out more about Barminco services visit the website at: www.barminco.com.au


USA

South Africa (Gold)

30

Australia

Barminco

Safe ty firs t. Safe ty fore mos t

25

20 15.9

LTIFR

15 10.4 10

9.0

8.0

7.5 6.0 4.3

4.2

2007

2006

2005

2004

2003

2002

2001

2000

1999

1998

GLOBAL MAJOR UG META LIFEROU

2008

2.6

0

1.2

1.0 2010

4.4

2009

5.0

5

YEAR

S MINING CENTRE SAFE Reference: Safety Perfo TY PERFORMANCE (LTIF rmance Report of the R/MILLION MAN-HOURS Australian Minerals Indus WORKED) try, Minerals Council of Australia 2007-2008

21 YEARS OF HISTORY. 21 YEARS OF EXPERIENCE. Barminco is an international leader in hard rock underground mining, setting industry benchmarks in safety, service and knowledge.

Barminco’s contract mining services include: • Jumbo Development • Production Mining • Diamond Drilling • Shotcreting • Vertical Development • Crushing and Screening

+61 (0)8 9416 1000

390 Stirling Crescent Hazelmere WA Australia 6055

BRANDONE BMAD227

Safety First. Safety Foremost. Critical to Barminco is its work safety performance which consistently exceeds those of the world’s major mining houses and is recognised through awards.


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Australian manufacturer announces new hazardous area focus Australia’s largest enclosure manufacturer, B&R Enclosures has established B&R Ex Systems Pty Ltd, a new division specialising in hazardous area electrical equipment. Any area where flammable liquids, vapours, gases or combustible dusts are likely to occur in sufficient quantities to cause fire or explosion has the potential to be classified as a hazardous area. Industries such as metalliferous mining, oil and gas infrastructure, automotive refuelling stations, chemical processing plants, printing industries and cement works often have hazardous applications.

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&R Ex Systems offers a range of IEC Ex certified electrical equipment for hazardous areas including general hazardous enclosures, cast aluminium enclosures, lighting, controls and glands. B&R Ex Systems is an Australian owned and operated business offering the local market customised products and value add services including provision for gland entries, component fit out, windows, and the complete wired solution. The manufacturing facility is currently in the process of being accredited to ISO9001 and IEC Ex QAR MP87. David MacAlpine, General Manager of B&R Ex Systems, is a qualified Electrical Engineer with over 36 years of hazardous area market experience and leads a team of qualified staff with more 100 years combined industry experience based at Riverwood in Sydney. The introduction of the B&R Ex Systems range of hazardous area products compliments B&R’s existing range of mining, industrial and infrastructure enclosure solutions. With the addition of the B&R Ex Systems hazardous area equipment B&R offers total solutions for mine infrastructure. Designed to meet the needs of Australian mining environments the range now includes switchboards and MCC’s, terminal enclosures, robust enclosures, communications cabinets, control stations, terminal boxes, lighting and sloping roof enclosures. Australian mining regions experience some of the most extreme weather conditions. These areas are often prone to high dust, strong wind and torrential rain. B&R Enclosures understand the stress these conditions can place on electrical enclosures and have designed their mining enclosures for longevity in such diverse environments.

Electrical, electrical engineering testing and safety

The Pilbara SP is one of B&R’s most successful mining enclosures and is the result of consultation with the mining industry. It is a robust enclosure with a specially designed sloping roof; originally designed to suit the Pilbara region in the north west of WA, one of the harshest environments in Australia. In this region an enclosure must be robust to withstand weather extremes, from harsh desert to periodic cyclonic conditions. However, it is well suited for many other locations requiring a robust enclosure solution. Rated to IP66 for total protection against the ingress of dust and strong jets of water, the Pilbara SP enclosure is constructed from marine grade 316 stainless steel with zinc coated option also available, to avoid any corrosion or safety hazards. Ben Bridges, Product Marketing Manager for B&R Enclosures, believes it is B&R’s focus on understanding the customer’s needs that makes their enclosures withstand harsh environments. “We have worked closely with our customers to find out exactly where the enclosure is going and create a solution that meets their project requirements. If our standard product range cannot meet these requirements then we can customise an enclosure to suit their needs,” he said. B&R Enclosures is an Australian owned company that has manufacturing plants in Brisbane, Adelaide and Sydney and employs over 300 people nationwide. They have a stringent Quality Assurance system in place to ensure that their enclosures offer the best protection for mining equipment. For more information visit www.brexsystems.com.au or www.brenclosures.com.au


Australian Made Solutions for Mining Infrastructure

Product Range: • • • • • •

Sloping Roof Enclosures Stainless Steel Enclosures Terminal Enclosures Control Stations Lighting Switchboard Building Systems

Solutions For: • • • • • •

Motor Control Centres Control and Marshalling Material Handling & Processing Robust Environment Dust & Fibre Filled Environments Gas & Vapour Filled Environments

www.brenclosures.com.au


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Choosing a gas detector The seven rules In today’s regulated safety environment the need for reliable, effective gas detection has never been so important. New players have seen the opportunity to generate cash by jumping on the confined spaces band wagon and making detectors leaving consumers with a bewildering array of choice. So how do you choose?

Robustness Strangely this is not the first thing that comes to mind when looking at gas detectors yet is critical to reliability. If a detector is not working then everything else is irrelevant. When choosing a detector you should think of it as a tool of trade. If the product performs like your everyday tools you will face less downtime, lost productivity and cost. The detector must be shockproof, waterproof and robust even out of any carry case. Ask your supplier to allow you to drop the unit on concrete a few times or knock it firmly on a hard surface when trialling. Drop it in water if water is an issue. Make sure this is done with the unit turned on and tested with gas before and after.

Warranty Always check the warranty offered and what is covered. Some companies view detectors as “delicate instruments” not tools of trade and generally that is reflected in the warranty.

Accuracy A gas detector should provide a warning to potentially save your life. It must be accurate every time. Watch for false alarms. We all know about “crying wolf” and the same applies to detectors. It’s really worth knowing how accurate and repeatable the detector is. Test the detector regularly with known gas and calibrate if needed. This is indicated in all international standards but also is the only way to verify ALL sensors read gas. Zero reading does not tell you the sensor is detecting gas. There is a cost for gas but it is a lot less than a life and probably less per week then most people spend at the pub. Remember when the chips are down if the detector does not respond then the outcome could be dire. MSA Altair series detectors have a check mark to confirm they have been tested and met MSA standards of functionality. Simply to activate when gas is applied and passes a confidence tick is issued to the screen. It’s your tick from MSA that the detector response is assured.

Speed Speed does matter! Many detectors respond quite slowly in higher ranges and can take up to a minute or more to respond. You can walk a long way in a minute. Recently safety notices Gas detection

were issued by several authorities warning of the risk of slow response. The slow response people experienced resulted in near injury as falling oxygen levels went undetected. Just because products meet a standard doesn’t mean there are not differences. Make sure your detector meets your standard. It’s your life. The slower the response the less time you have to take action or the further you need to go to reach safety. MSA Altair 4X takes less than 15 seconds to reach 90 per cent of reading. That is up to four times faster than average and eight times faster than the slowest alternatives.

Alarms All gas detectors have basic alarms, normally at least visual and audible. You should at least also have a vibration alarm. You will likely be using these in noisy environments with other tools. A vibration alarm will greatly improve the chances you won’t miss an alarm. Exclusively MSA have a special alarm mode in Altair 4X. This alarm when started detects when the detector remains still for 30+ seconds. Typically these are called Mandown alarms and are standard issue for Fire Fighters. They aim is to detect and activate when the wearer is not moving and potentially unconscious. This may be the most critical alarm, activating when you are in real trouble. Since it relates to movement it covers many potentials and is more than just a gas alarm.

Functionality A gas detector is your tool to assist you do your job safely. Like any good tool it should be simple and easy to use. That includes accessing all standard functions used daily. Having to push multiple buttons or sequences to access everyday functions is not helpful. Ease of use must be backed with interactive visual detector simulators. If you need to train someone or change something you don’t want to rely on the supplier or expensive training.

Innovation Look for innovation in design. That assures you the company is thinking, not just copying. MSA recently introduced a “glow in the dark” case on Altair 4X. This is a world first and assists you keep track of the instrument in the dark of a confined space. Look for innovation as a sign of leadership.


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Manuli Hydraulics now in Mackay

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MANULI FLUICONNECTO PTY. LTD. A.B.N. 690 9538 8122 www.fluiconnecto.com Email: info@fluiconnecto.com.au Victoria 68-70 Cyber Loop, Dandenong Victoria 3175 Australia T. +61 3 8795 4000 F. +61 3 8795 4040 Western Australia 38 sustainable Avenue Bibra Lake Western Australia 6163 Australia T. +61 8 9412 0888 F. +61 8 9412 0800 Queensland 19 John Vella Drive Mackay Queensland 4740 Australia T. +61 7 4952 4677 F. +61 7 4952 6333

luiconnecto by Manuli” is continuing on expanding its operations throughout Australia with our new mining branch strategically located in Mackay Qld, which follows already strategically, placed branches in Victoria and Western Australia. The decision to expand the fluiconnecto services was an easy one when taking into account some of the OEM’S Manuli Hydraulics already design and develop products for. Companies like Joy Mining, Komatsu, Terex, Liebherr, Volvo, Case, JCB and John Deere are some of the reconised companies throughout Australia Fluiconnecto/Manuli support from our various manufacturing facilities.

mining Industry around the world from 75 years as a hose manufacturer to original design engineers of mining products. With the experiences that we have had it has enabled us to specialize in large bore long length hose assemblies which can be static pressure tested and certified to comply with MDG41 safety and quality requirements.

With the new branch in Mackay targeting the mining business along with Oil and Gas it brings Australia in line with the global program offering products that all of these industries will benefit thus strengthening our position as a leading manufacturer of steel reinforced hoses and metal fittings.

Our products range include:

The standard of products and services is worldwide and recognized as the best available in various market segments and represents the base on which Fluiconnecto by Manuli will build its future growth on. Manuli products are implemented in many fields such as mining, oil and gas, construction, earthmoving, agriculture, transport and shipping.

General Hydraulic Hoses and Fittings

Stainless Steel hose inserts for sub sea applications

• Manuli Hydraulics is also a world leader in the supply of staple adaptors, staple ball valves and • large bore hydraulic hose assemblies used in underground coal mining. All products are fully tested and approved to International standards and • have been successfully used in most major mining countries including – Australia, USA, China, Europe, • South Africa, and the UK.

Staple-lock adaptors, valving and filtration for underground mining applications

As part of our integrated mining program we at Fluiconnecto work very close with our customers to provide a comprehensive range of mining hose assemblies with matched hose ends. The Manuli staple adaptor program ranges from DN06 (1/4”) up to DN76 (3”) and includes the latest DN63 (2.1/2”) – 350Bar (5000PSI) staple connection.

Quick Release couplings

Protection and Safety Accessories

Hose Assembling machines

Pressure gauges and Accessories

Water-jet cleaning and Accessories

The Manuli Hydraulics Group is very active in the design, manufacture and sale of a wide range of hoses, connectors and machines for conveying power in high/very high pressure hydraulic systems. “Fluiconnecto by Manuli” manufacture and stock an extensive range of hydraulic hose in both fras wire braid and fras spiral construction with couplings, textile sleeve, spiral wrap and heat resistant sleeve that help satisfy many of the critical issues associated with abrasion, oil spills, heat transfer and personal safety and also complies with the Draft standards of MDG41. “Fluiconnecto by Manuli” also provides the knowledge and experiences gained from the

Hydraulics in mining

Instrumentation Compression Bi-Lok Fitting Range Hose assemblies for high and very high pressure hydraulic and water jetting systems Hose assemblies and hose kits for mobile refrigeration systems

The new Fluiconnecto branch in Mackay is also able to offer a full assembly service and have full testing facilities that meets all QA requirements. We welcome the opportunity to work with mining engineers on new and innovating ideas with an experienced team of people and product support to follow.


TOP QUALITY HYDRAULIC SOLUTIONS SERVICING ALL INDUSTRIES Fluiconnecto by Manuli, is a leading international distribution organisation, servicing all industry sectors with a complete range of high quality hydraulic components and technical services.

MINING

MARINE

TRANSPORT

OEM

MOBILE, ON-SITE & IN-HOUSE SERVICE Fluiconnecto provide fully equipped mobile service trucks, onsite workshop containers and in-house workshop modules. MOBILE PARTS & SERVICE

ON-SITE WORKSHOP CONTAINERS

IN-HOUSE WORKSHOP MODULES

Call: 1300 4 HOSES (1300 446 737) Email: info@fluiconnecto.com.au www.fluiconnecto.com


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NATA approved hydraulic hose testing facility Delivering performance, safety and reliability Australian hydraulic and industrial hose company Pirtek Fluid Systems has been busy developing a joint venture with Bridgestone Engineered Products of Japan and Italian hydraulic hose fitting manufacturing company Intertraco to establish independent testing facilities in Sydney, Italy and Germany known as BPI Technologies.

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he Sydney testing facilities have National Association of Testing Authorities (NATA) independent third party certification to evaluate hydraulic hoses, pipes and other hydraulic products entering the Australian market. Stephen Dutton, Group General Manager of Pirtek, acknowledges the challenges and demands faced by hydraulic and industrial hose and fittings providers to the mining industry. “Lives are at risk when it comes to the high pressures of hydraulic systems within today’s machinery. Ensuring Pirtek products are of the highest standards available in the marketplace is paramount to our company,” he said. “Because the vast majority of the products used in the hydraulic and industrial hose industry in Australia are manufactured overseas we established a company called BPI Technologies. We’ve established testing facilities in Sydney, one in Germany and one in Italy.” According to Dutton, Pirtek has invested more than a million dollars in state of the art testing equipment along with qualified and experienced engineers to conduct various testing procedures on products specifically for the Australian market. “We undertake static pressure testing, destructive burst pressure testing (up to 65,000psi) and impulse flex testing. We are also developing procedures for material hardness testing, abrasion testing for hydraulic hoses, and FRAS (Fire Resistant Anti Static) rated testing and salt spray testing– so those are the primary testing facilities we offer. Our intention is to further capitalise on our investment by expanding the testing parameters to include testing and calibration of hydraulic pressure gauges,” he said. Dutton claims the benefit to implementing NATA certified testing facilities is a hastened process in developing products specifically for the Australian market as well as offering the wider market the services of an experienced testing facility to conduct an extensive range of tests. “This has positioned us at the forefront of the hydraulic and industrial hose market because traditionally most suppliers simply choose a product from their parent companies catalogue and supply those to the Australian market. These products are

Hydraulics in mining

manufactured overseas and rarely specifically designed for Australian operating conditions or importantly localised standards such as MDG41.” “Now, what we have is a facility here in Australia, Italy and Germany we can undertake product development testing in unison in those three locations which significantly reduces the development time for new and improved products.” Dutton said the testing service was also offered to industry. Despite being the exclusive distributor of Bridgestone and Intertraco hydraulic hose and fittings products in the Australian market, Dutton said BPI also tested different brands for other manufacturers and customers who are looking for a quality local approved testing facility. “We can simulate life cycle testing in the impulse flex test rig so it is in essence simulating real life application of the product including temperature, pressure, impulse and flexing.” “There are particular standards in the manufacture of hydraulic hoses, including pressure ratings and ensuring a matched system of hose and end couplings. Pirtek products meet or exceed the international standards but also have third party independent type approvals such as Lloyds, MSHA (USA Mining Standards) and ABS (American Bureau of Shipping).” “There are certainly Australian standards, but moreover in the hydraulics industry there are more international standards: ISO, or DIN [Deutsch Industry Norms] and SAE [Society of Automotive Engineers]. Also MDG 41 is a draft standard specifically developed for the mining industry within Australia.” “Obviously, hydraulics are extremely dangerous. The importance of testing and meeting specific standards is the integrity. The testing procedures offered by Pirtek’ s NATA approved facility, quantifies that our assembled hoses exceeds industry standards.”


Servicing the Mining Industry for 30 years All Products and Services exceed MDG41 requirements Mining dedicated Service and Supply Centres with pressure testing facilities Specialists in Open Cut and Underground applications for all soft and hard rock mining All Service and Supply Centres ISO9001:2008 accredited RTO Registered by VETAB Project Management for machine overhauls and hose refurbishment NATA certified hose testing facility Experience across all OEM mining equipment manufacturers National fleet of mining specific mobile service units


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SIG-Security Intelligence Group brings world-class training and resources to Western Australia “SIG-Security Intelligence Group has recently announced two important initiatives which will place it at the forefront of the resources security industry in the Western Australian region,” said Ray Mancini, Operations Director, SIG-Security Intelligence Group.

Mr Mancini went on to say that he expected the new SIG SAUER Academy to become a centre of excellence for training in the resources security sector for the entire Western Australian region.

installation, commissioning, servicing and maintenance areas within the resources sector.

“There has been huge growth in this sector over the past few years.

“The first is the opening of the SIG-SAUER Academy (Australia) in Joondalup. This state-of-the-art training centre offers the most advanced and comprehensive technical and practical training in firearms, security theory, OSH, front line management, risk management, fitness and unarmed combat,” said Mancini.

SIG SAUER is one of the world’s foremost manufacturers of firearms – in the USA, one in three law enforcement professionals use SIG SAUER firearms.

“Our alliance allows Flex Force to add Resources Security to the already comprehensive list of services they provide for their clients, including some industry powerhouses such as BHP Billiton, Billiton Mitsubishi Alliance and Rio Tinto, just to name a few. The alliance will also give Flex Force the ability to provide in-house training to their staff to ensure they are all at the pinnacle of their trade in the industry.

“The SIG SAUER Academy is the first private facility in Western Australia that can provide worldclass, best-practice training for resources security personnel.”

The SIG SAUER Academy, which has accredited the Western Australian operation, was established in the US in 1990 and offers over 150 different training courses. “However, it’s important people realise it’s not all about firearms,” said Mancini. “Our training procedures are grounded in the latest research and practices from the legal, medical, psychological and physiological fields. It’s our aim to deliver very well trained professionals who have the tools, experience and knowledge to deal with the often demanding situations they face in their working lives.

“SIG and Flex Force are a great fit,” said Mancini.

“The alliance will also help SIG grow its already considerable expertise and experience in resources security.” The SIG SAUER Academy has been audited by the Training Accreditation Council and meets all requirements as an Australian Registered Training Organisation. The academy offers a wide range of 17 courses, including Certificate II and III in Security Operations, and Legislation and Regulatory Requirements. SIG is headquartered in Perth, and has offices in Melbourne, Sydney, Queensland and overseas.

It has a long list of prestigious clients for whom it “We place as much emphasis on the classroom as provides highly-trained security specialists utilising the firing range so our students learn not only how – worlds-best equipment and techniques. but when – to use the skills we teach them. SIG has particular expertise in the mining “We’ve made a very significant investment in and resources sectors where its world-class the new SIG SAUER Academy. It includes a training and international intelligence network sophisticated computerised ‘classroom’ with a enable it to provide best-practice solutions terminal for every student, and our state-of-the-art in asset protection, security audits, security IES Interactive Training 2D and 3D Simulator is the policy development and implementation, crisis only system of its kind in Australia. management and executive protection. “It’s exciting that such world-class training “We’re proud to say that the SIG SAUER Academy methodologies and facilities that were previously and our strategic alliance with Flex Force will enable only available overseas are now accessible, and SIG to train world-class security personnel, and affordable, right here in Western Australia.” prepare them to world-standard to expertly handle the increasingly complex security needs of our very Mancini was also very excited to announce that SIG has formed a strategic alliance with Flex Force. active resources sector,” concluded Mancini. Flex Force is a trade-based engineering company providing solutions across the design, manufacture,

Mine site security


Our investment in world-class security training and technology protects your investment in mining SIG-Security Intelligence Group is a leader in the provision of effective, affordable security solutions for the mining and resources sectors throughout Australia and around the world. The SIG executive team has more than 20 years national and international experience, an impressive global intelligence network, and specialised expertise in delivering the full range of best-practice security solutions specifically tailored to the needs of mining and resources operators.

ASSET PROTECTION SECURITY AUDITS SECURITY POLICY DEVELOPMENT AND IMPLEMENTATION CRISIS MANAGEMENT EXECUTIVE PROTECTION

Through the state-of-the-art facilities of our SIG SAUER Academy, we deliver cutting-edge security training and methodologies previously only available overseas. If you’ve invested in world-class engineering for your mine site, on- or off-shore oil and gas production and storage facilities, or transport, loading and maritime infrastructure – trust SIG to reduce the risks to that investment with world-class security.

Security Intelligence Group T 1300 788 827 E ray@sigaustralia.com W www.sigaustralia.com www.sigsaueracademy.com.au AUSTRALASIA

USA

ISRAEL

AFRICA


Helping Make Your Mine Safer ADT Security are mining security experts. We have developed effective security and safety management programs for large open cut and underground mining operations worldwide. We can design, install and maintain a reliable, effective electronic security and safety solution that will integrate seamlessly with existing systems, including: Site Access Control, Photo Identification, Electronic Mustering, Evacuation Reporting, Video Alarm Verification and Automated Production Monitoring, With over 130 years experience globally, ADT is the world’s largest provider of electronic security solutions.

131 238 | adtsecurity.com.au Master Licences: VIC No. 65201491P | SA No. ISL152299 | NSW No. 405187443 | ACT No. 17501009 | WA No. SA37852 | QLD No. 3258669

Is your mine safe? Understand the risks. Meet your responsibilities. When you combine remote sites, heavy machinery, underground operations, fatigue and volatile conditions, keeping your people and assets safe is of utmost importance. There is no room for compromise when it comes to meeting your legal and ethical environmental health and safety obligations.

T

he very best systems are needed to help protect workers, assets, the public and the mine itself. Beyond safety concerns, false alarms or incidences can result in lost productivity.

Specialised solutions for mining That’s why ADT has developed end-to-end security solutions for mining operations worldwide. As a mine industry specialist, we’re responsible for the security of some of Australia’s largest mines. We can design, install and maintain a dependable, effective electronic security solution and integrate them seamlessly with other existing or ERP systems. For instance, our access control technologies can give personnel access to specified areas based on competency, position and level of training. It can assist in accounting for individuals’ whereabouts in the event of an incident, and can be interfaced with ‘fitness for work’ programs such as fatigue management and random alcohol testing.

management software, including human resources. The result is greater transparency, workflow efficiency and control when it comes to testing and training requirements. Backed by proven standards, processes and industry experience, our mining specialists can prepare a thorough risk analysis and identify areas for improvement based on our industry experience.

Tailored to your operation We can then design a turn-key solution, providing all the key elements of mine safety and security including intruder alarms, access control, video surveillance, asset tracking, communications, visitor management and perimeter security technologies, integrating systems where required. As the world’s largest electronic security company with more than a century of experience, ADT Security can help you meet all your environment, health and safety obligations and provide a safe and productive working environment.

Integrates with existing systems Another trend that ADT is leading is integrating security and safety systems with a mine’s business Mine site security

To discuss the needs of your mine or find out more, call 131 238 or visit www.adtsecurity.com.au


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APRS magazines APRS is proud to publish a varied selection of specialist titles offering a variety Australasian Mining Review | February 2011

of focused articles and features covering lifestyle, health, government and mining. With many of our magazines published on a quarterly basis, we ensure you are kept up to date with topics of interest and key developments within each industry. Subscribing to our magazines couldn’t be easier. Simply complete the form below and send it by either fax, post or email. Australas ian

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All APRS titles are produced with the highest possible production-quality. Content

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ISSUE 2.1

eview

2011

informative editorial.

You can also subscribe online at www.aprs.com.au YES! I would like to subscribe to: Australasian Mining Review Bi-annual

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Keeping it Cooler on the inside PPI PE100 pipe & fittings to 800 mm

PPI Solabloc PE100 pipe, for use above ground, has a white jacket that keeps the inside of the pipe cooler whatever the temperature outside. PPI PE100 pipe is certified to AS/NZS 4130 and has independent production certification of WaterMark, GasMark and WSAA. Contact your local PPI sales representative about your individual project requirements.

PPI Polyethylene

Strength and flexibility

Pipes, hose, tubes and valves for mining

PPI Corporation Pty Ltd – Mining, Industrial & Civil Sales Phone: Sales Fax: Email:

(07) 3860 0388 (07) 3860 0392 mic@ppi.com.au

AS/NZS 4130 Lic21212

Australasian Mining Review 2011: issue 2.1


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Is corrosion eating away at your budget?

Corrosion presents a huge problem for mining companies the world over, but in Australia, where extreme environmental conditions play a role, it’s a critical consideration. Reviews carried out by the Western Australian Corrosion Research Group suggest that corrosion creates a significant cost burden to the mining industry, with estimated costs as high as three per cent of GDP. In monetary terms several billion dollars per year.

W

hile some corrosion problems are so serious they can render operations ineffective, others can be easily remedied. The use of composite materials for the construction of walkways and other structures, leaves accessways safe and with need for very little maintenance. This means companies can concentrate their time and budget investing in high-risk corrosion issues that have a direct impact on their core business. To meet this need, engineers are turning to products such as Fibreglass Reinforced Plastic (FRP), as a viable, safer alternative to steel. The replacement of corroded, unsafe flooring has become a huge market for FRP manufacturers. Perth-based FRP Engineering supplies a large number of these products to the mining sector, including walkway grating, handrails, ladders, access ways, cable ladders, trays and fixings. Their clients are impressed by both the cost effectiveness of the product during its lifecycle and the increased safety factor that it provides. The strength and corrosion resistance of FRP is related to its glass content, resin content, resin type and method of construction. This unmatched protection is ensured by the manufacturing process in which fibreglass is thoroughly wetted providing continued structural integrity, even in tough environments. This is, of course, not a new technology. FRP products have been used for over 40 years and have already met the challenges brought by the harsh environmental conditions of mining in Australia. However, in the past, the final decision often came down to a matter of budget which saw steel being selected as a cheaper alternative. More recently, the cost of installing composite materials has reduced dramatically and although metallic components may appear more economical initially, they often end up costing more due to high maintenance and replacement costs. “Our clients come from all sectors of the industry. Many of them who followed the traditional metallic route in the past are now coming back to us to make the switch to FRP because traditional metals often deteriorate in a few years or less, requiring numerous replacements within the facility life,” says Dirk Bevilaqua, Director of FRP Engineering. “Chemical treatment, washdown and

Plastics vs metal and corrosion

water treatment areas benefit greatly from the use of our products. Problems where weight is an issue, or there’s an increased risk of corrosion, can be solved by installing FRP componants.” The use of composite materials is already very popular within the oil and gas industry where they offer superior resistance to corrosive saltwater, drilling fluids and other chemical compounds. The lighter weight of the composites, one-third the weight of steel, provides substantial savings for floating offshore facilities and significantly reduces the lifting requirements during installation. So it’s not just their corrosion resistance that makes composite products an attractive prospect for the mining industry. There are a number of benefits associated with choosing FRP over traditional metals such as; •

Slip resistance - provided by a meniscus top or permanent grit on FRP flooring products, provides a safer walking surface whether wet, oily or dry.

Flame retardant – most products engineered to have a low flame spread rating and selfextinguishing properties.

Non-conductivity – composite products are both electrically and thermally nonconductive, as well as not affecting electromagnetic or radio wave frequencies.

Impact absorption – they can withstand major impacts with negligible damage.

Low maintenance – corrosion resistant and do not require scraping, sandblasting or repainting.

Overall, the result is a product that has minimal maintenance requirements, a long service life and a lower life cycle cost than ferrous metals and aluminium. So, if you are looking to prevent corrosion, improve the safety of your operation, as well as finding a cost effective and versatile solution , maybe now is a good time to consider looking at the benefits of installing high performance composite products? If you are interested in learning more you can contact the team at FRP Engineering on (08) 9455 4343 or at www.frpengineering.net


Corrosion Eating Away Your Budget? ►Using FRP products the first time around saves time, money and constant repairs. ► FRP products will improve the safety of your operation

What is FRP?

FRP (Fibreglass Reinforced Polymer) are composite materials made of a polymer matrix reinforced with glass fibres.

Structural materials manufactured from FRP have minimal maintenance requirements, a long service life, easier installation and a lower life cycle cost than ferrous metals, aluminium and other traditional materials.

► FRP products have superior resistance to corrosive process water, fluids and other chemical compounds FRP products are also: • • • • •

Slip resistant Flame retardant Non-conductive Impact resistant Low maintenance

Improve the profitability of your operation walkway grating | handrails | ladders | access ways | cable ladders | trays and fixings

2-28 Baile Road, Canningvale Perth, Western Australia 6155 Ph: +61 8 9455 4343 Fax: +61 8 9455 4373 www.frpengineering.net


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“Cat Rental Power has the energy to support your business” Energy Power Systems is the Caterpillar® Dealer for power systems engine sales and operates a rental division under the Cat Rental Power brand; a specialist in energy rental solutions for Australia, Papua New Guinea and the Solomon Islands.

T

he Cat Rental Power division prides itself on providing specialist tailored solutions to solve production process, capacity or bottleneck issues thereby reducing risk and increasing your bottom line performance when power generation, compressed air or temperature control equipment is required. Cat Rental Power has an absolute customer focus 24/7 to support your business and currently has 15 branches and sales offices located around the country and access to over 100 additional locations and technical support staff from our Caterpillar dealer partners throughout Australia and Papua New Guinea. We also, if required have the ability to move fleet from over 1500 locations overseas. Our 1800 number “1800 800 441” will always connect you directly with one of our team both during working hours through our office network and after hours/public holidays through our call centre, where they can access the full sales team to address your requirement. Cat Rental Power is synonymous within the Mining Industry supplying specialist energy rental equipment that can be used with both up stream and down stream of the mining process. Power Generation solutions offered by Cat Rental Power cover full turnkey multi-megawatt contract power stations, remote camp power stations, prime power and standby power site applications, emergency breakdown power, shutdown power, construction power, with electrical distribution, transformers, switch-rooms and diesel fuel systems. Power Generation Fleet consists of portable diesel generators from 20 – 2000 kVA. All sets are fully bunded in sound attenuated canopies, with many having paralleling and synchronising capabilities and 3G Remote Programming and Communications, (each unit has been designed to operate within the harsh climates experienced within Australia). Temperature Control solutions offered by Cat Rental Power cover process cooling, mine cooling (both surface and underground located), additional capacity, supplementary cooling, maintenance and shutdowns, critical process cooling, heat stress, and fatigue management.

Power generation

The Temperature Control Fleet consists of portable electric Air & Water Cooled Fluid Chillers, Cooling Towers, Heat Exchangers, Air Handlers and Industrial Air Conditioning units that have been design to ‘plug & play’ to allow multi Mega Watt Installations. Compressed Air solutions offered by Cat Rental Power include compressed air for; high pressure drilling, exploration, industrial process, critical process, pipeline pigging, hydrostatic testing, manufacturing and construction. The Compressed Air Fleet consists of portable 100% Oil Free & Oil Filled diesel compressors, Standard and Medium Pressure; High and Duel Pressure units (the vast majority of these being after-cooled) and filter packs, boosters, receivers, manifolds, and air hose. With flows ranging from 330 cfm to 1600 cfm and pressures from 5 bar to 100 bar plus (when using booster packs). Quality, Reliability, a Global Experience One Network. One Call 1800 800 441 Melbourne

Townsville

Warnambool

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Sydney

Darwin

Newcastle

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Brisbane

Kalgoorlie

Roma

Perth

Gladstone

Adelaide

Rockhampton

Port Moresby – PNG

www.catrentalpower.com.au rental@energypower.com.au


ENERGY RENTAL SOLUTIONS

TEMPERATURE CONTROL POWER GENERATION COMPRESSED AIR RENTAL SOLUTIONS

Melbourne | Sydney | Newcastle | Roma | Brisbane | Gladstone | Cairns Rockhampton | Townsville | Darwin | Karratha | Perth | Kalgoorlie | Adelaide www.catrentalpower.com.au | rental@energypower.com.au One Network. One Call 1800 800 441 | 24/7 Support

Š 2011 Caterpillar All Rights Reserved. CAT, CATERPILLAR, their respective logos and "Caterpillar Yellow" as well as corporate and product identity used herein, are trademarks of Caterpillar and may not be used without permission.

Energy Power Systems Australia Pty Ltd


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Safety reaches new heights In recent years, the role of the Occupational Health and Safety manager has grown in terms of responsibility and recognition. They now have real power to influence the way mining workplaces operate and in the choice of products purchased for worker use.

L

eading the charge to innovation is an Australian success story, Branach. Its range of fibreglass ladders and platforms are recognised throughout the mining industry as the best performing products on the market. Branach’s ladders and work platforms, are high quality; from design to manufacturing technique and most importantly, finished product. Its research and development, led to the design of Branach’s patented box-rail ladder construction. It set new benchmarks for safety with its anti-sway characteristics for added stability. The fiberglass not only added strength and electrical safety but also reduced weight. In 2003, the team developed the fibreglass Step Platform range to meet the new working at heights regulations. This new range expanded Branach’s customer and distribution base into mining, construction, oil and gas, manufacturing, entertainment, property maintenance industries and firmly cemented Branach’s place as the leading Australian manufacturer of high quality fibreglass climbing products. In regard to the unique environment of mining, especially the dangers presented by coal dust, Branach ensures all alloy components contain less than six per cent magnesium. This is a safety margin greatly appreciated by workers facing the risks associated with coal dust. For environments where corrosion from acid, salt or caustic can be an added risk, Branach makes a corrosion-resistant range that uses 316 stainless steel fittings. Today, Branach continues to develop new products and accessories to solve the critical workplace challenges faced by their clients. Branach is constantly evolving product designs and excellence in manufacturing. Close consultation with their customers help Branach to develop practical new products and accessories. These improvements increase the level of safety for those who risk their lives working at heights in difficult environments. Branach climbing solutions are now used by companies such as Rio Tinto Kestrel, Alcoa, BMA COAL and BHP in on-shore and off-shore operations throughout both Australia and the Middle East. Branach is also enjoying new relationships in the international market. So the Australian success story is now growing to an international one.

Height safety


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Increase uptime with proper maintenance The primary goal of maintenance is to prevent the failure of equipment before it actually occurs. A goal which can be achieved with an effective preplanned and scheduled preventive maintenance program, keeping your facility running safely and at optimum capacity.

P

roperly maintained belt drives can be your most cost-effective and reliable power transmission solution. Industrial belt drive performance is negatively impacted by many factors:

Belts typically last two years. Analyse your drive if yours are lasting for a shorter period of time.

If you’ve experienced increased downtime and unscheduled maintenance, your drive’s metal might be worn out, causing the time between belt changes to shorten.

Use a Gates pulley gauge, an inexpensive tool, to measure whether your V-belt pulleys are worn.

Consider purchasing a Gates molded notched V-belt constructed with EPDM for better heat and stretch resistance for less downtime.

Gates engineers help diagnose your belt failure issues and provide assistance on replacing metal components or complete drive systems. Save unnecessary costs and gain valuable time. Whether you’re focused on maintaining your drives or are ready to upgrade to more energy efficient drives, Gates offers the power transmission solutions and expertise to keep you up and running.

No one can afford downtime. Fortunately, much of your drives costly maintenance can be avoided.

Simple steps lead to significant savings. By assessing aging systems, considering energy efficient options and opting for low-maintenance drives, you generate a return that directly impacts your bottom line. Start asking:

If you’re replacing the belts on your drives as often as twice per year, ask yourself why. Each time a belt breaks, don’t just replace and discard it. Ignoring the underlying issues cause results in ever-decreasing performance and costly belt replacement. And not only are you wasting money, you’re also squandering maintenance time.

The culprit could be misalignment, an underdesigned drive, an incorrect belt-to-pulley fit, or maybe even old metal components. Pulleys and sprockets that haven’t been replaced in more than eight years are beyond their useful life. To identify causes of failure and find recommendations on corrective measures, contact CBC who will direct a Gates engineer to assist you with your problem. Another useful tip is to have a copy of the Synchronous Belt Failure Analysis Guide or the V-belt Failure Analysis Guide.

Keep these tips in mind to help decide if it’s time to replace your drive’s parts: Power transmissions

Am I contending with frequent belt failure? If you’re replacing belts more than once a year, it’s time to rethink your belt drive. Accurate belt failure diagnosis will open your eyes to cost-saving possibilities.

Are my drives operating at optimum efficiency? Selecting the right belt drive can increase efficiency by at least five per cent - providing substantial energy savings. Use the energy savings calculator found on our website (www.gatesaustralia.com.au) to estimate your savings.

Is messy roller chain weighing me down? Roller chain drives require constant lubrication and regular retensioning, demanding


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downtime and robbing valuable maintenance hours. Consider a Poly Chain® GT® Carbon™ belt drive to improve productivity.

on site. This alone could provide your company with thousands of dollars worth of saving through reduced downtime and increased energy savings.

Are my V-belts giving me the longest life possible? How can I get the longest life from my V-belt? Aren’t all V-belts created the same?

For further information, service or support in Preventive Maintenance at your facility contact your local CBC branch, or visit www.conbear.com.

High temperatures, found in everywhere from hot environments to stifling belt guards, cause belts to crack and fail over time causing downtime and loss of production. Save valuable time and money by switching to our new patented EPDM molded notch V-belt construction. Gates can help with: •

Plant Survey: Inefficient and problem drives are identified and reported with cost saving actions you can take.

Preventive Maintenance (PM) Seminar: From product selection to installation, we instruct your personnel on key steps to maintaining a productive facility.

Additional tools, available through CBC, a Gates distributor, simplify and accelerate preventive maintenance activities:

Sonic Tension Meter (product #7420-0507): Get quick, accurate tension readings for all types of synchronous belt and V-belt drives.

EZ Align® (product #7420-1000): Use this precision laser alignment device to quickly and easily align your belt drive systems.

GATES MAINTENANCE TRAINING Save time and money, while creating a safer environment for employees with the help of Gates and CBC. Gates Australia is committed to supplying the highest quality belt drive systems in the industry. Along with this commitment comes a dedication to the industry to deliver a state of the art Preventive Maintenance Training course. This course is suitable for all industries and accommodates all varying levels of knowledge for any individuals involved with fitting, purchasing, designing and selecting belt drives. This course guides the attendees to be competent in the installation, aligning and tensioning drives correctly

www.conbear.com Enquiries: cbcsales@conbear.com Australasian Mining Review 2011: issue 2.1


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Bonfiglioli’s alignment-free drives Custom engineered for heavy duty performance Alignment-free heavy duty drives that cost-effectively integrate motor and gearbox are being custom engineered by Bonfiglioli for low maintenance high performance in rugged, remote and demanding applications.

T

he new HD alignment free drives (AFD) drives – one of the latest of which was engineered for an inclined ship loading coal conveyor in Indonesia - join Bonfiglioli’s expanding range of Australasian-engineered mounting options for specific applications. The HD AFD combinations, in capacities up to 1722 kW and 150,000 Nm, offer an alternative to laseraligned baseplate types while allowing the versatile use of close coupled IEC B5 flange mounted motors up to a 315 frame size. The easily installed HD AFD drives complement Bonfiglioli’s HD Power Pack drives on base plates and Hi-Torque drives combining HD drives and Trasmital planetaries. The HD drive combinations are particularly suited to conveyor drives and materials handling applications across a wide range of industries, including manufacturing, mineral processing, primary processing, resources, energy and water and waste water, says the Managing Director of Bonfiglioli Transmission (Australia) Pty Ltd, Malcolm Lewis. “One of the outstanding flexibility features of our new Australasian production and testing line for HD drives is that we can adapt specific drives to particular applications. “The new HDO 110 AFD drive recently completed for an Indonesian mining customer, for example, was custom engineered to be compact, easy to fit and remove, and with motor driving direct to gearbox for optimum performance.

For more information about Bonfiglioli in Australasia, please contact Mr Malcolm Lewis, Managing Director, Bonfiglioli Transmission (Australia) Pty Ltd, 2, Cox Place, Glendenning, 2761, ph 61 – 2 - 8811 8000, fax 61 – 2 - 9765 6605 malcolmlewis@bonfiglioli.com.au. In New Zealand, please call Neil Pollington 0800 432 777, mob (021) 827 199, npollington@bonfiglioli.com.au.

“Similar custom-engineered heavy drives are now being installed throughout Australasia and the Asia-Pacific as we expand our leadership role as a major supplier of helical, planetary, worm and frequency inverter drives.” HD AFD models can save both time and money in a range of applications because there is no need to laser align the motor and gearbox shafts. In addition to reduced initial costs compared with traditional baseplate designs, the HD AFD configuration enhances serviceability by permitting high speed components to be removed and replaced without the need for re-alignment. Bonfiglioli’s HD drives series is a totally new generation of large industrial drives engineered to produce outstanding reliability and torque densities to record values, says Lewis. The drives feature excellent torque distribution across their entire ratio range, with gear ratios laid

Power transmissions

out in close progression and the drives having a rugged capacity to cope with the shock and impact of intermittent loads. Finite Element Analysis and Multi Body Simulations were conducted extensively to identify the stress pattern on each of the main components and to optimise the design for: • • • •

System structural stiffness Gear geometry Shaft deflection Extended gear and bearing lifetime

Features of the HD drives include: • •

Ratios from 7:1 to 500:1 Reduced noise emissions from fully hardened and ground alloy steel helical and bevel gears to DIN Class 6. SG cast iron housings and high grade alloy steel shafts with induction hardened seal journals to ensure greater service life in demanding conditions. High efficiencies from fully hardened and ground alloy helical and bevel gears in conjunction with premium high speed bearings. These result in reducers being up to 94 per cent efficient in three-stage form. Superior lubrication achieved by combining splash lubrication with dedicated galleries and lubricant collection pockets incorporated into the internal walls of the housing and side covers. Heavy duty bearings. All units feature premium brand roller bearings allowing high load carrying capacities and consistent bearing lifetimes throughout gearbox stages. Numerous mounting and shaft options resulting from the HD’s multi-machined case and symmetrical design. Shaft options include hollow keyed bore, single or double solid-keyed, shrink disc and male/female splines on request.

Bonfiglioli Transmission (Australia) Pty Ltd is part of the international Bonfiglioli group, with 2500 employees worldwide. The full Australian branch is part of a global network of 13 full branches and eight production plants supported by nearly 80 national distributors and an Australasian network of distributors complemented by offices in Australian States and New Zealand.


ORESOME EFFICIENCY • SAVINGS • QUALITY

HD DRIVES are assembled locally by experienced technicians, providing TRULY AWESOME EFFICIENCIES & SAVINGS Our solutions orientated engineers are constantly endeavouring to seek out innovative gearmotor designs within our specialised Drive Service Centre. As you well know perseverance pays off. We are proud to present the HDO and its modular combinations, from the customised HD Drive Power Packs, to our NEW smarter HD Alignment Free Drives (capable of further reducing your drive costs) which are more than perfect for your tough, demanding Mining needs.

BON © BERLET #5519

With extensive warehoused stock levels, our dedicated Drive Service Centre and a team of highly qualified technicians, safe-guarding assembly and quality control. All is united to provide second-to-none, quick deliveries, service and 24/7 support.

PHONE 1300 656 757 Guaranteed Quality from “The Gearmotor Specialists”

www.bonfiglioli.com.au


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Where safety and quality counts for handrails, walkways and metal flooring Engineering and Galvanizing Divisions. Webforge offers an engineering service in support of its product range, including designs of economically appropriate systems for a particular application. Today Webforge manufactures in New South Wales, Victoria, Queensland, North Queensland (Townsville) and Western Australia as well as having operations in South Australia and 10 other countries with over 500 employees. Throughout its network of operations the company has the resources and experience to service a complete range of projects whatever the complexity or size. Webforge manufactures and supplies grating and handrail products in steel, stainless steel and aluminium as well as fabrication and supply of FRP (Fibre Reinforced Plastic) grating and handrail. The metal grating products are manufactured in numerous combinations of load bar depth and thickness, load bar pitch and cross rod pitch to meet any application requirements, specification or standards.

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xceeding our customer’s expectation on a daily basis by providing you with superior products and services is the Webforge Philosophy. With faster lead-times, quality controlled products, engineering and drafting solutions, delivered to you with a friendly and professional manner; it is no wonder why Webforge is seen to be the market leader in providing access products throughout Australasia. The Webforge Group has in excess of 60 years experience as a specialist manufacturer of metal flooring and allied products to various national and international standards. The company’s origins trace back to Western Australia when William Edward Bradshaw (WEB) commenced hand welded grating in Perth in the 1940s. In 1968 Web Grating as it was then known purchased a grating welder and began providing the current range of forge welded style gratings we see today. Expansion throughout the next three decades saw the company opening up operations in China, Indonesia, Philippines, Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore and New Zealand as well as sales offices in the Middle East and Vietnam. The core business remains Grating and Handrail systems, and is now complimented by Drainage Products, Architectural Sunscreens, Safety Barrier,

Ramps, walkways and metal flooring

Webforge can also assist with your safety concerns by providing a large range of options that will provide a safer working environment. This can be achieved by increasing the slip resistance of the grating with products such as serrated load bars, cleats and abrasive strips added to the grating or just choosing a pattern with 100mm cross rod centres. Safety Barrier Handrail is another specialist range manufactured by Webforge which enhances work place safety and is also economical, strong and simple to install. Specifically manufactured to suit Australian Standards and conditions it is highly suited to any industrial environments and because of its unique design, the Webforge Monowills Safety Barrier System can be transported and quickly erected. Webforge can supply complete systems comprising stanchions, rails, bends, kickplates, grating and stair treads, galvanised and or painted to any specification for any order. Webforge Monowills Handrail Systems can be used in a multitude of applications including stairways, bridges, parking stations, schools, commercial premises, fire escapes, gangways, power stations, sewage treatment works and marinas. They also meet the requirements of government departments and instrumentalities. Webforge aluminium grating has grown from what was an option to mild steel products catering to different environment requirements, to a product


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that offers a distinctive and versatile design element now featured on a number of leading edge projects. It provides access to a building while being integrated into the overall design of the building. Webforge Fibre Reinforced Plastic (FRP) grating is a moulded, one-piece fibreglass reinforced plastic grating, available in standard panels or fabricated into panels of the shape you require to fit your floor. The square pattern design with interwoven construction allows the load to be transferred to the adjoining bars providing a superior loadcarrying capacity. The high resin-to-glass ratio provides maximum corrosion resistance to a wide range of chemicals frequently encountered in many industries. The full range of Grating and Handrail Systems are shown on the Webforge website www. webforge.com.au . These ranges should cover the requirements of any customer; however, if other combinations are required, please contact your local sales office.

Contacts Webforge (NSW) 73-75 Bassett St Mona Vale NSW 2103 Phone: 02 9998 1300 Email: nsw_sales@webforge.com.au Webforge (VIC) 142-146 Fairbank Rd Clayton South VIC 3169 Phone: 03 8551 2414 Email: vic_sales@webforge.com.au Webforge (QLD) 1149 Kingsford Smith Drv Pinkenba QLD 4008 Phone: 07 3859 8300 Email: qld_sales@webforge.com.au Webforge (NTH QLD) 68 Crocodile Cres Mt St John QLD 4818 Phone: 07 4753 1666 Email: tville_sales@webforge.com.au Webforge (WA) 24 Tennant St Welshpool WA 6106 Phone: 08 9373 5100 Email: wa_sales@webforge.com.au News Flash “SA Branch Now Open� Webforge (SA) 7 Senna Rd Wingfield SA 5013 Phone: 08 8169 2350 Email: sa_sales@webforge.com.au

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Locker group Safe access solutions When searching for ramps, walkways or metal flooring for your site, there are two major considerations; product and company. 1.

2.

The product you choose must meet the relevant safety standards (AS/ NZ1170) so that you can rest assured your OH&S requirements are met and your people are safe.

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ver the last 50 years, Locker Group has developed an intimate knowledge of the Mining and Quarry market, through its involvement in materials handling machinery, screening media and walkway and access products.

requirements, while the six metre lengths make installation fast and easy, ensuring minimal down time. Gripspan is ideal on ramps and walkways beside machinery, plus it is often used to access rooftop A/C platforms. Locker Group’s Roof Tread™ system provides a total solution including handrail and leveling angles.

The product must be the right choice for your environment; exposure to high levels of moisture or salt necessitates different materials or coatings. If the installation has a high incline gradient or high potential for slippage; a product with strong grip underfoot is a minimum.

Locker Group can offer a number of solutions Locker Group’s Safe-T-Perf® range is a perforated for walkways, ramps or flooring applications depending on the individual requirements of the site. flooring product, offering a fantastic combination of raised flanges, which provide grip, anti-slip Gridforge™ Welded Grating is available in a large properties and drainage holes ideal for areas with range of load bar and cross bar combinations to a high propensity for spillage. The combination meet the varying requirements of load and traffic; in ensures that even if a large spill occurs, the safe either standard panel sizes or fabricated to suit the walking surface isn’t compromised. The range has exact requirements of the installation. Suitable for a built in flexibility, available in three profile sizes, multitude of installations, Gridforge can be supplied depending on requirements; sheets, planks and stair with stair treads and handrail stanchions to suit, and treads. can be hot dip galvanized or bitumen dipped if the environment necessitates. In addition, Locker Group can offer a number of screening media solutions, including: Locker Group will provide a complete handrail stanchion system to suit your installation; using a • Woven wire screens (hooked or flat); with a combination of standard ball and tube stanchions very fast turnaround from three strategically and custom manufactured angles/bends. Locker located manufacturing facilities around the Group’s manufacturing facility in Townsville has country. extensive experience with handrail systems and will fabricate to your exact requirements, including selfclosing gates, kick plates and so on.

You want to choose a product you can install and forget, confident it will stand the test of time.

Gridforge welded grating and Locker Group’s handrail system are both compliant with AS1657; Fixed Platforms, Walkways, Stairwells and Ladders, offering you peace of mind.

The company you choose must understand your business, your objectives and what you value, and be able to provide a total solution; walkway and handrail, pre-fabricated and ready for installation.

Environments with higher risk of chemical corrosion can take advantage of Locker Group’s FRP (Fibre Reinforced Plastic) grating. Supplied in two alternative resin systems, FRP Grating is available in either panels or stair treads and can be combined with Locker Group handrails for a total solution. FRP flooring offers superior resistance to corrosion, is non-conductive and flame retardant. Gridwalk™ expanded metal walkway planks are ideal for quick and easy installation by a small maintenance team. Available in steel or aluminium, the range offers high open area and strength to weight ratio. The raised profile is also advantageous on small inclines, especially when combined with the appropriate handrail solution. The raised profile in either plain or serrated versions of Gripspan® make it ideal for even the steepest inclines. Combining two 300mm wide planks is an easy way to meet the AS/NZ1170 width

Ramps, walkways and metal flooring


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Wire ripple and Poly ripple screens; a combination of high open area and increased vibration ensure these screens are ideal for almost any screening environment.

Piano Wire or Harp wire screens; for high productivity.

Wedge Wire; a static robust screen, ideal for dewatering.

Rubber Cross tension screens; ensuring superior impact and abrasion resistance and increased flexibility to reduce pegging and blinding.

Moulded Rubber screens; for heavy duty applications incurring high impact and heavy load conditions.

Polyurethane cross tension and modular panels; for high wear and corrosion resistance.

Full range of complimentary accessories and fixing systems.

capital city plus locations designed to support the mining and quarry industry, including Townsville and Newcastle. Three major manufacturing facilities in Australia, supported by company owned international manufacturing operations and external suppliers, ensures Locker Group can provide your site with the ideal product to suit your requirements; while combining delivery and local product knowledge at the right price.

For direct connection to your closest Locker Group branch, please contact 1800 635 947

Locker Group’s nationwide footprint is unmatched in the industry with sales offices in every major

Australasian Mining Review 2011: issue 2.1


AEM For over 30 years, AEM has been supplying and repairing electric motors, pumps and generators for companies across Australia.

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orking with some of Australia’s largest mining companies, AEM has experienced significant growth in recent years. In early 2010, the family-owned company moved into a new larger premises to accommodate for continually larger motors and equipment. Along with the move, AEM took the opportunity to upgrade its testing facilities, which now includes a pump performance test rig and core-loss tester for armatures and stators. The South Australian-based company continues to diversify by entering the field of trailing cable repairs, and can now offer in-workshop or on-site repairs and splicing of reeling and trailing cables following the AS1747 Standard. Part of AEM’s ongoing success with its clients in the resource sector is its commitment to quality and continued improvement. The company is ISO 9001 certified, and was also one of the first in Australia to obtain licensing to repair rotating equipment for use in hazardous areas. As part of every major repair job, a comprehensive opening report in digital format is provided along with the quotation for repair. Included in these reports are photos of major components, photos of damage or areas of

Repairs

significance, electrical and mechanical test results, and a scope of work for the proposed repair. Upon approval and subsequent completion of the repair, a final job report is provided with comparison test results and photos, and a summary of work completed. When asked the secret to AEM’s ongoing success, Manager Jorge Nogueira said, “There’s no secret to it – it’s all about providing good customer service and exceeding expectations. The feedback we’ve received from our valued customers is that our quality workmanship and detailed reports keep them coming back.”


BLADON WA The name in Australia’s mining circles for promotional products

Bladon WA is now in its 25th year of supplying Australia’s Oil, Gas, Mining, and Associated Industries successfully.

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upplying Safety and Production Awards – Staff Incentives and Client Gifts is a very specialised business. Upgrading our web site, to give the user the best choice for their particular needs is paramount. This along with client management software, are at the top of our investment list. We present a very user friendly web site and because out data base is managed skilfully we can offer weekly specials to those who need to see them, and our very informative news letter goes to all. We are also very focused in researching new products to suit particular requirements, be it budget, age, gender, event or programs. Our clients are using us for LTI Free awards, peak production gifts, camp or town gala days for which we make up show bags for the children and families. Being in our 25th year, we have the structure which is based on experience. Our long standing team have a collective total of more than 66 years in this industry. Starting with Sales, Procurement, Illustration, Back Office and Warehousing, all of these staff ensure your requirements are handled professionally and securely.

Signage and promotional products

Bladon WA is very proud to be the sole distributor for Western Australian made Pewter, from Buckingham Pewter. This in itself exhibits an exclusive custom designed and Austrtalian made product. We offer an extensive range of products, including: Garments, caps and hats, pens, bags, cooler bags, umbrellas, hi-vis garments, buckles, keytags, Leatherman tools, watches, coffee mugs, insulated travel mugs, leather wallets and compendiums, stubby holders, show bag fillers, stikky notes, diaries, office stationery, lanyards, conference bags, sun block, golf items, calculators, USB flash drives, MP3s, confectionery, water bottles, mag-lights and much much more. All can be personalised with your logo and message by either laser engraving, pad or screen printing and embroidery. We also boast a fully equipped and staffed art department which enables us to offer you an artist impression of your requirements very quickly. Plus development of new logos and creative design is well catered for. Bladon WA would like to offer you their assistance in their very best capacity at any time... www.bladonwa.com.au

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CRCMining Leading Australia and the world in mining R&D Over the past 19 years CRCMining has built a worldwide reputation as the pre-eminent centre for mining research. The Centre’s pervading theme is to improve the safety, productivity and energy effectiveness of mining operations. Launched under the Commonwealth Government’s Cooperative Research Centres (CRC) program, the Centre has played a lead role alongside industry and government in advancing Australia’s largest export industry. The CRC program was launched in July 1991 to strengthen collaborative links between industry, research organisations, educational institutions and government agencies.

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he Centre is one of the largest of the 42 CRCs currently operating in Australia and like all CRCs, its main strength is that its research is driven by end-user needs. The Centre brings together the interests of three major stakeholders: •

Many of the world’s major mining companies with technological problems that need a solution.

Some of the nation’s premier universities providing academics and students with the capacity to solve these problems.

Original equipment manufacturers and SME’s able to deliver these solutions commercially to the industry.

The Centre has eight active spin-off companies commercialising the Centre’s technologies. One such product is the UDD (Universal Dig and Dump) system. This system represents one of the most significant technological improvements in open pit coal mining in recent years. The technology has been shown to improve the productivity of dragline machines by 13-21 per cent. The rigging on a conventional dragline weighs 20 tonnes and has not changed design in 100 years. This conventional rigging system limits the flexibility of the dragline operation and makes bucket control difficult. The UDD system involves fitting draglines with new lighter weight rigging which is about 13 tonnes lighter than the previous system. A specially designed computer system provides precise control over the bucket, enabling the dragline to dig and dump anywhere under the boom. The technology was commercialised through CRCMining spin-off company UDDTek Pty Ltd in conjunction with industry partner BHPBilliton Mitsubishi Alliance (BMA). BMA has retrofitted six draglines with this technology; however the potential market in Australia is in excess of 70 draglines and, worldwide, exceeds 400 draglines. CRCMining and its partners have developed a novel surface-to-in-seam drilling system to drain gases (mainly methane) from coal seams, where it poses an explosive risk. Termed Tight Radius Drilling (TRD), this technology uses a drill powered only by high-pressure water jets. Using this method, mines can undertake drainage safely from the surface (rather than from underground roadways),

Research, development and innovative technologies

years in advance of mining (rather than delaying production), using a small team of people. The technology also has application for capturing gas from mineable and non-mineable coal for commercial sale. Another unique approach to safety is the SmartCap Operator Fatigue Management System, which, as its name suggests, is a fatigue management tool for operators of heavy equipment. The SmartCap is a baseball cap containing sophisticated sensors concealed in the cap lining, which uses an operator’s brain wave (EEG) information to calculate a measure of drowsiness, which is wirelessly communicated to a display in-cab, or to any Bluetooth enabled device. This has been made possible by the development of small sensors capable of reading EEG through hair, without the need for any scalp preparation. The SmartCap provides real-time measurements of fatigue, which can be used to dramatically reduce the occurrence of serious and minor safety incidents. Australia leads the world in the development of new mining technologies and has a vibrant industry that markets this technology to the global mining industry. It is essential to recognise the value and importance of Australia’s mining technology sector. Australia’s mining technology exports are $2.5 billion a year, round the same as Australia’s much talked about wine industry and slightly higher than wool ($2.3b) exports. Additionally, mining and minerals make up more than eight per cent of GDP and 48 per cent of Australia’s total exports. Because of this, it is vital for this industry that Australia maintains and strengthens its position as a technology leader. The coming decades will see unprecedented advances in mining technology in the areas of geological vision, fragmentation control automation and safety. CRCMining will be leading the way.


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Effective pump selection Pumps and pumping systems fulfil a variety of services on mine sites which are critical to production and processing operations. The selection of the correct pumping equipment for any application is essential to ensure the smooth operation of mine site and maximise productivity.

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yco Pumping Systems manufactures and distributes a vast array of pumps ranging from small domestic transfer pumps designed for running a few taps to large axial flow flood lifting pumps capable of flow rates in excess 5000 litres per second. There are also a large number of pumps available which are designed to meet the requirements of specific mine site applications including KETO slurry pumps and Supavac vacuum solids pumps. There are a large number of factors which have to be taken into consideration when selecting a pump in order to ensure that it will meet the needs of the application whilst taking into account the limitation of the mine site. The selection process is much more complicated than simply choosing a pump that meets the pressure and flow rate requirements of the application. Pump selection factors can be broken into three categories; application specific factors, environmental conditions and site limitations.

Application Specific Factors A pump is essentially a simple piece of machinery and the primary concern when selecting one is that it is able to transfer the desired quantity of material to where it needs to go. However there are a variety of factors which have an influence on a pump’s ability to do this job effectively. These include the quantity and characteristics of the pumped material, the distance the material will be pumped, the size of the pipe that will carry the product, the pressure required at discharge and many more. The TAPS (Tyco Analytical Pump Selector) software was designed to meet the needs of pumping engineers for a quick pump selection process with the flexibility to take a variety of factors into consideration. The program has undergone extensive development and is now the most comprehensive pump selection program in the marketplace. The program features the most accurate performance curves available and the ability to enter various parameters which ensure the best pump selection. Tyco Pumping Systems guarantees the performance of pumps in the TAPS software to AS 2417 (Rotodynamic Pumps – Hydraulic performance acceptance tests) Grades 1 and 2.

Environmental Conditions The conditions which a pump is required to operate

Slurry pumping

in vary from application to application and from site to site. The environment in which a pump is required to operate affects how it will perform and also its reliability and wear life. External factors such as ambient temperature, weather, atmospheric conditions and exposure to the elements can mean that a pump is susceptible to corrosion, erosion or abrasion which can cause excessive wear and premature failure of valuable pumping equipment. Tyco Pumping Systems can offer pumps in a variety of materials to meet these harsh conditions.

Site Limitations Mine sites are often situated in remote locations where access to resources and services are limited. The pumps which service these sites can be located anywhere on the site or can be remote from the mine site itself where access is further limited and are required to operate with minimal maintenance or servicing. Any mine site pumping equipment must be able to operate reliably under the specific conditions of the installation site as failure to do so can result in downtime and reductions in performance and processing efficiency.

Tyco Pumping Systems Tyco Pumping Systems specialises in the design and manufacture of a wide variety of pumping equipment to meet the needs of specific pumping applications. With a large range of construction materials, the experienced engineering team can select and design a pumping system which meets the needs mine sites across an array of applications.


ISO 2858 Standard

END SUCTION PUMPS From the Most Trusted Name in Australia’s Water Industry for 140 years APPLICATIONS Mining - Irrigation - Rural -Building Services Industry - Construction - Fire Protection Water Transfer - Municipal Water - Processing

ENGINEERED PUMPING SOLUTIONS From bareshaft pumps to fully integrated turnkey water management solutions, Southern Cross engineers design and manufacture the most reliable End Suction Pumps to meet any pumping requirement or specification.

PUMP SPECIFICATIONS ● 32mm to 250mm discharge ● Flow rates to 250 litres per second ● Heads to 160 metres ● Extensive material selection including Cast Iron, Zinc Free Bronze, Stainless Steel and many more ● Versatile mounting options ● Mechanical seal or packed gland shaft sealing ● Sealed for life or regreasable bearings ● Optional wear rings ● Optional pump coatings

For further details call... 131 PUMP... or your Local Dealer


Leverage Technologies provides integrated software solutions to manage your entire business

www.leveragetech.com.au 1300 045 046

Leverage technologies Many small to medium businesses - particularly in the industries supporting our mining boom - are going through growing pains. These business pains can include capital, labour and plant - but a common complaint includes getting the right systems and technology to support a rapidly growing business. Getting the most out of your capital, your staff and your equipment is what good software does best.

Some of the biggest technology related pains are: •

How do I keep control of my growing business?

How do I get all the parts of my business working together?

How do I get the information I need?

If I decide to change my business processes give me the flexibility to do it.

Controlling a business can involve many areas - Financial (cashflow control, debtors control), Customer (relationship management, service management), Inventory (stock levels, purchasing control), Factory (machine utilisation, labour utilisation) and Field Service (parts, labour billing). Each area has an ongoing circle of targets, monitoring, improvement and reassessment. All can be monitored, directed and controlled with the right software solution. Everyone wants to improve business processes. Spend a minute or two and count the number of spreadsheets that run your business and supply critical information. Now add up the number of times a customer name and address, or part

number or a changeable activity is entered, reentered, reconciled and reported. There is a huge opportunity to reduce waste, errors and costs through better use of technology. This will also ‘pull’ your business together and get everyone working to the same goals. Getting all parts of the business working together unleashes the multiplier effect. The sum of the whole is greater than the value of the individual efforts. Information is key to managing a growing business. The information has to be relevant, timely and succinct. Last year’s P&L is like driving a car looking in the rear vision mirror. The use of dashboards - graphical representation of key areas and indicators - together with use of mobile alerts and information (iPhone etc) is how modern managers drive their business. If you want to grow - ensure your software and underlying technology is an enabler - not a hindrance. More information about Leverage Technologies and their technology solutions can be found at www.leveragetech.com.au/industrysolutions/erp-mining

Technologies for growing industries - from operations to inventory to finance


CARBIDE BIT CO • PDC Bits, 2 15/16” To 17 1/2” Inc. Custom Made Sizes • Refurbish Your PDC Bits • New & Re-Run Tricone Roller Bits • Drag Bits

Contact Carbide Bit Co

Phone 07-33751167 Dan O’Keefe

Steve Mellish

• Hole Openers, PDC & Roller Cone • Core Bits, Pdc & Tungsten Carbide • Mud Pumps & Parts • Stabilisers, I.B. / Carbide Tiled • SUBS (Rotary Substitutes)

Fax 07-33754958

Mobile 0418715998

Mobile 0408733965

Website www.tricone.com

Email carbidebitco@bigpond.com Email steve.carbideco@bigpond.com

Drilling Consumables for the Future = Carbide Bit Co CARBIDE BIT CO is a long established (35 years) drilling consumable supplier, with the same Director, Dan O’Keefe.

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he business has developed over the years from core bits and drag bits to being possibly the largest stockist of tricone, PDC and drag bits in the southern hemisphere, specialising in refurbishment of all PDC bits and manufacture of non standard size PDC bits and hole openers. A recent addition has been full time Manager Steve Mellish (Assoc.Dipl.Mech.Eng). He is welcomed back to the industry after spending time as a manufacturing manager, since running Pratco Drill Pipes, machine shop for many years. His addition has allowed Carbide Bit Co to spend more time expanding stocks of new premium re-run oilfield tricone and PDC drill bits and developing new products. These include PDC core bits; carbide tiled integral body stabilisers, redesign of under reamer bodies and PDC blades; continued development of custom made specialised TCI roller cone and PDC directional and vertical hole openers. Bi-centre PDC motor bits for methane drainage a recent success story for Carbide Bit Co.

Stocks of subs and stabilisers, new and used continually expanding to cover Coal Seam Gas and other drilling needs. Standard size and custom made carbide and PDC mills, another service to the industry.

Contact Details: Dan O’Keefe (Director) 0418715998 carbidebitco@bigpond.com Office Number: 07 3375 1167 Fax Number:

07 3375 4958

Steve Mellish 0408733965 steve.carbideco@bigpond.com

The supply of bare duplex mud pumps and spare parts has been extended to include turn key rental or outright purchase. Undergound equipment - drilling

rd Australasian edition AustralasianMining MiningReview Review2011: 2011:3issue 2.1


k c u r T a Wash er 2 mins!!! in und

lmost ective • A Site ff e t, s o c ality, low g parts • Speed, qu e cost • No movin cling Systems • s te u in c ecy an 2M less than our • Low mainten • Anti-Turbulent R towash.com.au in g in h s • No Lab r $60,000 stems wa t: info@au ashing sy than $2 per wash starting from unde le washing need a w k c u tr h s s hic ug ns Drive thro quality finish for le et washing solutio discuss all your ve h le s to F a h • w s a d le n ilab Ha utow ations ava Contact A demonstr (ODOUR FREE) • d Guarantee

Autowash Pty Ltd Tel 1300 661 238 www.autowash.com.au

Drive-through vehicle washing: Are we there yet? There is a quiet revolution sweeping Australia. It had a couple of false starts, but thanks to a strange request from the US military in 1990 to cut its teeth on, a US company, InterClean Inc, has made automatic vehicle washes a reality on mining wash pads. And since Autowash Pty Ltd found InterClean in 2008, mining wash pads are being automated across Australia – from BHP Cannington Mine in Queensland to the Chevron’s Gorgon project in WA.

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he attraction of reduced labour, wash and queue times is bringing mining companies back to the ROI trough with the news of recent successes around the world of automation. Automation has failed in the past and will continue to fail with inexperienced operators. Many firms given the job to design and construct wash pads elect to build in-house rather than source equipment from wash manufacturers. Mine sites around Australia are littered with dormant wash pads which fail within 12 months. The five main challenges of automation are:

InterClean has overcome not only the above challenges but also the increasing sceptism against automation. InterClean has installed over 500 automatic washes around the world. InterClean recently installed the largest truck wash facility in the world – at the Khumani Mine in the Kalahari Desert in South Africa. This facility washes the 30 ft high haul trucks before their regular service and maintenance. Previously, the 200 and 400-ton haul trucks carrying ore from open pit mine to the processing facility were washed by manual labour, requiring hours and sometimes even days to complete a single wash, and risking injury to the workers who could fall from scaffolds and ladders. Now the truck simply drives through the wash sprays taking between three and 10 minutes.

1.

Ability to estimate and cater for the amount of dirt and the water required to remove the dirt.

2.

The need and ability to recycle the volume of water required (over 1,000 litres/min).

3.

Ability to cater for the varying types of dirt from dust to coal.

4.

The varying sizes of the vehicles to be cleaned.

InterClean systems were also used at Ground Zero, to prevent cross-contamination and track-out problems similar to those faced today by most landfills, mines and quarries. The EPA and the environmental contractors turned to InterClean to provide tyre wash systems for the site.

5.

The legal requirements to achieve effective oil and water separation in the disposal process.

InterClean’s approach to the five challenges above is through a patented combination of

Vehicle maintenance - washing, servicing and repairing


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rotating nozzles (Centri-Spinner™), water volume (high)/pressure (low) ratio and recycling system. According to Autowash, InterClean’s modular antiturbulent recycling system is the only system able to cope with the large volumes of water over the life of the machine. Autowash has been providing best of breed vehicle wash systems since 2003. But it wasn’t prepared to enter the heavy vehicle sector until 2008 when they were convinced of the effectiveness of the InterClean solution and were awarded the exclusive Australian distribution. Autowash has since installed systems for Australia’s leading mining operators including BHP, Chevron and Bechtel.

Autowash Pty Ltd Phone 1300 661 238 info@autowash.com.au www.autowash.com.au Unit 22, 35-39 Higginbotham Road, Gladesville NSW 2111 Unit 17, 50 Kremzow Road, Brendale QLD 4500.

The light vehicle wash installed at BHP’s Cannington mine (pictured right-middle) has significantly increased the life of their Toyota Hilux fleet, particularly due to the effectiveness of the InterClean underchassis wash. As well as the drive-through truck wash and tyre/ underchassis wash models, InterClean has also worked with Akron Brass to develop a robotic water cannon (pictured below). This cannon uses artificial intelligence to assess each vehicle and wash it in the most efficient manner.

INVITATION Olli Lamminen, founded InterClean Inc in 1984, and is the world’s leading authority on cleaning mining vehicles. Olli is so excited about what’s happening in Australia that he and his wife are coming to Australia on 19 April 2011 for a monthlong roadshow to meet with mine sites throughout Australia. If you would like to meet with Olli or to attend one of his presentations, please email Autowash on info@autowash.com.au with your contact details to register you interest and they will keep you abreast of Olli’s itinerary.

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The leader in mill relining systems Russell Mineral Equipment (RME) is recognised as the world’s leading designer, manufacturer and supplier of mineral grinding mill relining machines and associated equipment. RME’s products and services (collectively referred to as the RME Mill Relining System) make the maintenance of grinding mills in hard-rock, metaliferous mines safer and more efficient. They deliver significant reductions in relining downtime for everything from small mills (into which a man can enter) through to the largest mills currently in operation in the world today.

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ME was the first to identify the economic potential for advanced grinding mill relining systems which convert maintenance downtime cost into operating hours cash. RME’s Mill Relining Systems customers are able to leverage the productivity of their multi-billion dollar mine and processing facility investment by a few percent per annum. Few, if any, investments in technology are able to provide such leverage. RME’s Mill Relining System has easily halved the time taken to complete a reline. The company’s latest Twin Machine Systems promise to further reduce this to one quarter of the time taken before the availability of RME’s Mill Relining Systems. The subsequent reduction in plant shutdown duration has liberated up to 10 days extra full plant production per year. RME’s Mill Relining System products and services include: •

RUSSELL Mill Relining Machines

RUSSELL and MILLMAST Liner Handlers

THUNDERBOLT Recoilless Hammers

T-MAG Moil Axis Guides

O-ZONE Liner Lifting Tools

RUSSELL Feed Chute Technologies and

Service and Support for commissioning, training, maintenance and spare parts.

Company Founder and Managing Director John Russell said that three elements clearly differentiate RME’s products from those of its competitors. “Firstly, the vision was correct. Russell Mineral Equipment was the first in the world to identify that mechanising the relining process could provide control of ‘when’ the concentrator shutdown would occur and the ‘duration’ of the shutdown’s critical path. “It’s about concentrator plant managers being able to take control. By halving, or even quartering previous (pre RME) mill relining times, the mill relining function no longer defines the shutdown’s critical path. This achievement sees the concentrator plant back online faster. “The most remarkable aspect of our suite of products, in this world of trade-offs, is that Russell Mineral Equipment’s innovations actually make the Minerals processing equipment

difficult task of mill relining safer for workers. This is a real win-win situation for mines. “Secondly, for 25 years, RME has invested heavily in R&D to develop a range of complementary technologies to enhance the safety and efficiency of grinding mill maintenance,” Russell said. “This Systems approach to grinding mill relining was a unique approach to the problem.” Thirdly, Russell says that quality is a pillar of the support provided to RME Mill Relining Systems customers. “Taking responsibility for quality design, manufacture, performance, and after sales support and spare parts is fundamentally important.” RME now has major equipment installations in more than 40 countries worldwide. To support the growing number of installations throughout the major hard rock mining regions globally, in 2010 RME established a company in the United States to provide enhanced service to existing and future customers in North America. “As with the successful subsidiary we set up in Chile in 2005, this expansion aims to provide our North American customers with the benefits that come from overcoming the challenge of meeting acceptable service lead times to mine sites to which the flight time alone can exceed 24 hours,” Russell said. RME will continue to work with industry to use its focus and experience to continue to develop improvements and innovations that continue to change performance expectations of mill relining worldwide.

A RUSSELL Twin 8 Mill Relining System being factory commissioned in RME’s Assembly Facility located at Toowoomba, Queensland


Duratray International wins major Australian export award Duratray International - the manufacturer and distributor of the Duratray Suspended Dump Body (SDB) for off-road heavy haulage mining trucks – has capped off an incredible year by winning the Minerals and Energy Award at the prestigious 2010 Governor of Victoria Export Awards.

T

he Export Awards are regarded throughout the Australian business community as one of the most prestigious and significant industry awards.

The win is testament to Duratray International’s continued success in the export sector with sales of the Duratray SDB increasing by 57 per cent over the past 12 months with 48 per cent of growth attributed to export markets alone and total sales of AU$5.2 million.

The company’s Duratray Suspended Dump Body (SDB) is a unique flexible rubber tray for off road heavy haulage mining trucks which is a long-lasting, According to Duratray International CEO, Marco cost effective and environmentally responsible Medel, the strong figures are a result of an increased focus on export markets with the company alternative to traditional steel trays. recently entering Africa, Mongolia and Israel. Duratray International has been manufacturing and “2009/2010 has been the company’s strongest year yet and we are delighted to be acknowledged as a leading industry innovator in the global mining sector,” said Medel. “We are committed to continuously working to refine and further develop the sustainability and effectiveness of the Duratray SDB.” “The increasing international demand for our unique product has meant that we will also be expanding our manufacturing facilities over the next twelve months- doubling our production capacity.”

Trucks

Australian Industry and Trade Minister Jacinta Allan said the award recognised Duratray International’s continual commitment to creating cutting edge technology for the global mining industry. “Duratray International is a great example of how unique products can position Victorian manufacturers at the forefront of globally significant sectors such as minerals and energy,” said Allan.

exporting specialised heavy haulage dump trays, known as Suspended Dump Bodies (SDB), to the global mining industry for the past nine years. For more information please visit Duratray New Webpage on www.duratray.com.


Haulmax heavy duty trucks Designed and manufactured in Australia, the Haulmax® heavy-duty truck range is the culmination of 20 years of experience and research into the requirements of longdistance, off highway, bulk haulage vehicles.

Extended Haulage - go where others can’t. With many mining companies opening satellite pits located more than 10 km from the processing plant, haulage costs are becoming a major issue. The haul range of a large rigid dump truck is usually restricted to around 5 km, so in response, roadtrains are used. However, the combination of rough haul roads and the mix of components, can make maintenance much more tedious and costly. Built to reach satellite pits with extended haulage distances upwards of 50 km cycles, the Haulmax 3900 series truck, specifically designed for off highway haul roads, is the solution. The proven Caterpillar® components, together with a custom design, means Haulmax have been able to reduce the issues associated with maintenance and repair costs traditionally experienced in on-highway haulers.

Superior versatility. The Haulmax off highway truck is offered in three configurations: •

A dump truck with a payload of 80 - 85 tonnes;

A 150 tonne capacity low bed / float; or

A prime mover / cab chassis unit - the ideal base for mounting service modules, water or fuel tanks up to 65,000 litres.

Built around a complete Caterpillar powertrain, 95% of the serviceable parts used are Caterpillar and are supported by the Worldwide Cat® Dealer Network.

Narrow Profile - reduce haul road costs by as much as 30%. The conventional dump truck of 100 tonne plus capacity typically requires haul roads of at least 18 metres wide. Haulmax trucks are designed with a narrow wheelbase and only require a road width of approximately 13 metres. Furthermore, the lower profile design means Haulmax trucks are built for exceptional stability, making it the ideal haulage solution in wet and soft underfoot conditions.

Integrity in design, manufacturing and product performance. As an established Caterpillar OEM, and forming part of the Elphinstone Group, Haulmax delivers integrated haulage solutions to the Global market. rd Australasian edition AustralasianMining MiningReview Review2011: 2011:3issue 2.1


Lakelands Golf Club is the ideal venue for conference and incentive groups, located just 15 minutes south of Surfers Paradise. Our diverse range of first class facilities are yours to enjoy for your next meeting. We have multifunctional conference rooms including; the exclusive Members Dining Room; The Augusta Room with large wrap around terrace; and two smaller breakout rooms; Nicklaus and The Boardroom. Lakelands offers state of the art conference facilities with it’s own golf course exclusively designed by Jack Nicklaus great for an outdoor team building activity. We pride ourselves on our high standard of service and our ability to contribute to the success of your next event. The conference centre has; Function rooms wih a capacity of up to 150 delegates, Great Natural Light with the option of blinds Rooms have an outdoor terrace with golf course view helping to refresh and recharge delegates. Large pre function areas, Air conditioning, State of the Art technical and Audio Visual Equipment. Half Day Conference packages start from $30.00 per person. Enquire today on (07) 5510 6513 or email functions@lakelandsgolfclub.com.au Although well established amongst Australia’s leading courses, the Jack Nicklaus Signature layout can be adjusted an any given day to accommodate the specific needs of your group. Many corporate golfers play golf only on a limited basis and we recognise such. Lakelands event coordinators will assist you in identifying the best set up for the course to allow every participant maximum enjoyment. Lakelands enjoys the reputation of queenslands finest conditioned public golf course having been voted as such for the past ten years. The course is available to groups of 50 or more on Monday or Friday’s with availability to smaller groups from Monday through Friday also. For your next corporate event or maybe your next game of golf while on holidays contact us on (07) 5579 8700 for available tee times.


www.lakelandsgolfclub.com.au


Australasian Mining Review Issue 1 2011  

The Australasian Mining Review is a high quality publication that is destined to become an indispensable tool for all stakeholders and parti...

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