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BBMC Yearbook 2020

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yearbook 2020 EDITOR Jodie Currie jodie@bbminingclub.com CONTENT CURATORS Sarah-Joy Pierce sarahjoy@strategicminingcomms.com Debbie Wolhuter deb@joyfulcommunications.com.au GRAPHIC DESIGN Holly Williams holly@kingstcreative.com.au ADVERTISING yearbook@bbminingclub.com WEBSITE

CONTRIBUTING WRITERS Ian Macfarlane, Tania Constable, The Hon Keith Pitt MP, Warren Pearce, David Kiefer, Mike Henry, Kim Wainwright, Mark Gresswell, Michael Gray, Tyler Mitchelson, Alex Moss, Alan Bye, Jeff Sterling, Jarryd Townson, Tony Knight, Lisa France, Martin Vasilescu, Jo Sainsbury, Margarita Escartin, Andrew Telburn, Dr Kieren Moffat, Kate Dickson, Adam Fairhurst, Liam Davis, Claire Meiklejohn FIND US ON FACEBOOK AND TWITTER @bbminingclub ON THE COVER Image credit: Josh Kelly Images throughout supplied by Josh Kelly, Troy Fenech, Cameron Laird and Bravus Mining & Resources

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Want to be a part of the 2021 Yearbook? See bbminingclub.com/yearbook for more information.

DISCLAIMER The Bowen Basin Mining Club Yearbook is published by the Bowen Basin Mining Club Pty Ltd, PO Box 2620, Chermside Centre QLD 4032. Every effort has been made to ensure that the information contained in this publication is accurate at the time of publication (December 2020). The Bowen Basin Mining Club and its agents accept no responsibility for the accuracy or completeness of the contents and accepts no liability in respect of the material contained in the yearbook. The Bowen Basin Mining Club recommends that users exercise their own skill and care in evaluating accuracy, completeness, and relevance of the material and where necessary obtain independent professional advice appropriate to their own particular circumstances. In addition, parties, their members, employees, agents and officers accept no responsibility for any loss or liability (including reasonable legal costs and expenses) or liability incurred or suffered where such loss or liability was caused by the infringement of intellectual property rights, including the moral rights, of any third person.

BBMC Yearbook 2020

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Contents From the Editor

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RECOVERY

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Bowen Basin leads Queensland through COVID-19 recovery

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Competing for the future minerals’ workforce

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Making the most of our resources in a post-COVID world

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The resource sector-led Recovery

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A Bowen-fired recovery

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Mike Henry talks ‘build back better’

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MARKET OUTLOOK

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On the Horizon

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Queensland exploration past, present, future

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Coal: crucial for Queensland

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Changes at the coal face

LOOKING BEYOND COAL

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New economy minerals: the Queensland perspective

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From stop to start: Adani celebrates 10 years

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Where has all the good news gone?

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BBMC UPDATES

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PEOPLE OVER PROFIT

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Why mental health matters in mining

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The future of women in work: defining Hers

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Indigenous Engagement – learning from Juukan Gorge

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Mining for fresh perspectives

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A bad year in which to learn good lessons

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The 2020 Queensland Mining Awards – the mining industry’s night of nights

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Be Informed: a new video interview series for the BBMC

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Big ideas for industry: the BBMC Crib Room Podcast

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TECH & TRANSFORMATION

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The future of sustainable mining

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How predictive biometrics systems are changing the mining industry for the better

LEGISLATION

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How Governments can play their part in improving the lifecycle of a mineral discovery

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Longwall automation at Glencore’s Oaky Creek Coal

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The mining productivity opportunity

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Corporate criminal responsibility in the natural resources sector

The age of automation is here: is the Australian resources sector ready?

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Queensland’s water resource legislation – an overview

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Evolving today’s jobs for the future

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BBMC Yearbook 2020

MINING SERVICES DIRECTORY

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From the Editor jodie currie

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020 is the year that needs no introduction. And it also goes without saying that the resources sector has truly stepped up and performed in the last 12 months. In years to come, if there was a way to remember how our industry has shaped 2020, I’d like to think that it would be through remarkable progress in three areas: new projects, new ways of working, and new barriers broken.

Photo: Josh Kelly

We’ve seen progress in plenty of new projects meeting major milestones this year, like the Carmichael Mine and Rail project finally breaking ground, or the Pembroke Olive Downs mining lease and environmental approvals being granted, paving the way for a new metallurgical coal mine. Progress in gas, minerals and rare earth projects has also been remarkable, and bodes well for a bumper decade in the North West Minerals Province. We’ve seen progress in new ways of working, as we adapted to Zoom meetings and working offsite. For some operations, this meant rethinking ‘the way it’s always been done’, and seeing which limits we can truly test with today’s technology. Advances in technology, including the use of digital twins and 3D modelling to work around staff travel restrictions, have helped push our industry forward.

At the BBMC, we also took the opportunity to change the way we do things, with inperson networking off the agenda after our first luncheon for the year in February. But that didn’t mean we weren’t committed to ensuring the industry was informed and connected: we launched our BBMC Crib Room Podcast (more on page 52) and our Be Informed Interview Series (more on page 48). We also explored new ways of meeting in different formats, including chairing virtual panels at both Mines and Money Brisbane and QME Online, until we were together again for the final luncheon of the year in November. At the time of publishing the Yearbook, life is set to return to some form of ‘normal’ in 2021, with exciting speakers and luncheon events already lined up for the year. But we’re going to take the lessons we learned and move forward with providing more diverse content formats to our audience because that’s progress. And, of course, we can’t talk about progress without discussing the 2020 Queensland Mining Awards. Held in September as possibly one of the largest COVID-safe events in Queensland at the time, the Awards were described by many as the celebration that the industry desperately needed. We take this opportunity to once more give huge thanks to our Awards sponsors for hanging in there through several event changes - but particularly to Reed Mining Events, who showed their support for the industry despite the cancellation of QME 2020. BBMC Yearbook 2020

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With over 50 entrants across Award categories, our peer judging panel uncovered amazing projects and innovations. Gas Field Services broke a new barrier as the first exploration company and the first Indigenous-owned company to be named the Queensland Mining Contractor of the Year. We’re incredibly proud to have highlighted the groundbreaking (excuse the pun) work that they’re doing, putting their money where their mouth is when it comes to safety, productivity and challenging the status quo. While we’ve continued operating relatively smoothly in Queensland, zooming out to a global perspective reveals plenty of political, social and pandemic-related turbulence. This year also saw a particularly chaotic US election, plus tensions with key trading partners like China - and some trade-related issues may even carry over into 2021 as the market outlook responds.

As Warren Pearce of AMEC puts it in his article (page 18), our industry has saved Australia from recession and depression before, and we’re more than equal to the challenge of doing it again. After all, what’s the opposite of recession? Progress. But as we wrap up the year that was 2020 and look forward to even better things in 2021, there’s an abundance of good news on the horizon. As you read through this Yearbook, consider the themes we’ve presented COVID-19 recovery, technology and transformation, looking beyond coal, people over profit, and legislation, environment and policy - and think how you can contribute to the future of our industry. As Warren Pearce of AMEC puts it in his article (page 18), our industry has saved Australia from recession and depression before, and we’re more than equal to the challenge of doing it again. After all, what’s the opposite of recession? Progress. 

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Recovery Recovery

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BBMC Yearbook 2020


recovery

Bowen Basin leads Queensland through COVID-19 recovery Ian Macfarlane, Chief Executive Queensland Resources Council

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hey say a smooth sea does not a sailor make - that it is from the toughest of times that we learn the most.

I’m pleased to say 2020 is a year our industry can look back on with great pride because we’ve met the challenges of COVID head-on and kept going. People have been able to count on resources to help Queensland recover, and a huge part of that recovery is being powered by the Bowen Basin. But of course, this is nothing new. Queensland’s resources sector has a fantastic story to tell, dating back at least 70,000 years with Australia's first miners, the Aboriginal people, who mined for ochres of red, white and black pigment. Manganese dioxide was a source of black pigment used for painting at the time, while kaolin was a source of white pigment. Lake Moondarra, north of Mount Isa, is in fact the site of an ancient mining industry, dating back more than 1,000 years where basalt outcrops were extensively quarried by the Kalkadoon people to manufacture hard, dense black axes and axe-blanks. Then, in 1867 came James Nash’s discovery of gold at Gympie, which

saved the state from bankruptcy - and from again becoming part of New South Wales. Imagine that – no State of Origin! And if we look back just 10 years ago, when the Bowen Basin Mining Club was first established, our industry was again relied on to keep performing, this time by dragging our economy out of the Global Financial Crisis. Here we are in 2020, when it is the resources sector to the rescue again, with the Bowen Basin playing a pivotal role in restoring Queensland’s postCOVID prosperity thanks to its abundant natural resources of ‘black gold’ and gas. Resources - the bedrock of Queensland’s economy Our latest economic contribution data shows resources in the Burdekin electorate contributed $3B to the region in 2019-2020 and supported the jobs of more than 18,000 direct and indirect full-time employees. Resources companies also spent close to $900M on goods and services in the region, supporting 556 local businesses and 285 community organisations along the way. Statewide, resources companies now support the jobs of more than 420,000 people, with 50,000 of these jobs created in the past financial year. Of these jobs, almost 53,000 people are

directly employed in resources and more than 367,000 jobs are supported by our sector. This includes people who work for mining machinery suppliers or legal and accounting firms who service the industry, right down to small ‘mum and dad’ businesses. Our sector added almost $83B to Queensland’s economy in 2019-20, an increase of $5B on the year before. The total number of businesses directly supported by resources rose to 15,200, with companies reporting a 19% increase in spending. $4.5B in royalties also went directly into the state budget to pay for doctors, nurses, teachers, police, schools, hospitals and roads, and resources generated $56.5B - almost 80% of Queensland’s export value for the year. These figures demonstrate why one in every five dollars in Queensland’s economy and one in six jobs are due to the productivity of our mining, gas and energy sector. They also reveal the significant flow-on benefits to the wider community from having a highperforming resources sector to rely on, in the good times and the bad. That’s why the Queensland Resources Council makes no apology for standing up for our sector during the 2020 state election. The figures show we had about 83 billion reasons to stand up for the jobs and prosperity created by BBMC Yearbook 2020

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I can tell you that QRC members take great pride in meeting their legal obligations to responsibly manage their operations and, where possible, exceed them to meet community expectations.

resources companies, from which all Queenslanders benefit. These jobs and Queensland’s economic stability were absolutely under threat by a Greens policy to quadruple royalty rates over the next four years, and in effect shut our industry down. Resources - a key player in transition to renewable power Standing up for our sector, however, doesn’t mean we don't accept the enormous responsibilities that come with being a resource-based industry. Far from it. Queensland is considered to have some of the toughest environmental management laws in the world. I can tell you that QRC members take great pride in meeting their legal obligations to responsibly manage their operations and, where possible, exceed them to meet community expectations. Our companies employ more environmental scientists than almost any other sector in Queensland, so we have an enormous body of expertise guiding our decisionmaking on a day-to-day basis. We are now seeing major mining companies competing to reduce emissions and have their green credentials recognised by shareholders and customers. One example is Anglo American’s commitment to reduce energy consumption through its FutureSmart Mining methods and technology adoption, based on switching to low carbon energy sources and increasing renewables in its energy mix. 8

BBMC Yearbook 2020

It has set 2030 targets to improve energy efficiency and reduce absolute greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 30%, and is on track to achieve its 2020 targets of an 8% improvement in energy use and 22% saving in GHG emissions. This is all against its projected ‘business as usual’ consumption and is just one example amongst many others of a Queensland company innovating, adapting and funding its way towards a lower emission future. Resources companies already play an integral role in the production of renewables in Queensland. We produce the copper and rare earths that make magnets for wind farm generators and electric car motors; we produce coking coal to make steel to build wind farm towers; and we produce silica and limestone to make the glass and bauxite to produce aluminum for solar panels. We also supply minerals to make batteries and fast-response baseload power to back up solar farms at night and on wind farms when conditions are unreliable. We’re looking forward to working productively with Queensland’s new Environment Minister Meaghan Scanlon, so we can continue to be an active participant in this space. Internationally, the QRC supports Australia’s participation in global agreements including emission reduction commitments from major emitting nations. The resources sector also supports an orderly transition to a

low-carbon future, including increasing renewable power generation in Queensland and nationally. The resources sector itself is a major user of renewable energy - diesel generation is not cheap in the middle of nowhere – and a key participant in renewable energy projects across Queensland and beyond. One example is Shell’s Gangarri Solar Project, a 120-megawatt solar farm located near Wandoan on the Western Downs. The project will generate solar power from about 330,000 photovoltaic panels – enough to run 50,000 homes – and reduce emissions by around 300,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide per annum. Queensland’s world first coal seam gas (CSG) to liquid natural gas export industry has also seen it become a hub of petroleum engineering expertise. These skills will serve Queensland well as we work to reduce CSG emissions and build our capacity to produce and export hydrogen. There are already trials underway to make carbon neutral methane from hydrogen and to blend hydrogen into our existing gas networks. That’s why the QRC welcomes the Palaszczuk government's increased focus on hydrogen through the establishment of a new ministry to promote this emerging energy source. We look forward to working with new Hydrogen Minister, Mick de Brenni, ably supported by Assistant Minister, Lance McCallum, who knows our industry well.


The manufacturing of renewable energy infrastructure and a myriad of everyday items relies on coal, metals and gas which again reinforces why the resources sector is part of the solution to addressing climate change. With the right policy settings and industry participation in decision-making, Queensland has the potential to become Australia’s ‘Energy State’ – a concept the community will be hearing more about from the QRC in the future. Resources Industry Development Plan - a blueprint for growth As for the future, I’m pleased to say the QRC is already working constructively with the newly re-elected Palaszczuk government. We have established a solid platform for a strong and consultative relationship over the next four years in

the form of the Queensland Resources Industry Development Plan, jointly announced by Treasurer Cameron Dick and myself in Mackay in October. This plan will create a blueprint for future growth in terms of employment, investment and economic activity, not just for the next term of government, but for decades to come. It will guide expansion, just as the Central Queensland Coal Associates Agreement set up the industry’s development in the 1960s. The foresight of industry and government leaders from this time is still benefitting Queenslanders today. We’ve seen this during COVID-19, when the resources industry has been able to keep Queenslanders working, earning and spending in their communities at a time when other sectors were less fortunate. We are looking forward to working with Queensland’s new Minister for Resources, Scott Stewart, to bring our industry development plan to life and to create long-term economic stability and job opportunities.

recovery

The QRC has also thrown its full support behind the innovative CopperString Project in North West Queensland, the Queensland Government’s renewable energy company CleanCo and the continued operation of the government’s fleet of coal and gas-fired generators.

Resources - the highest private Indigenous employer in Qld Our members will also continue to work closely with the Queensland Government and new Indigenous Affairs Minister Craig Crawford to maximise Indigenous participation in our workforce. Our members currently provide more employment opportunities for Indigenous Queenslanders than any other private sector in this state. And I’m not just talking about jobs, but also career paths that are opening new doors and new ways for Indigenous families to participate and excel in resources. I am proud to say that at 4%, the proportion of Indigenous Queenslanders working in the resources sector is on par with the proportion of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders living in Queensland. School-based skills training yields results There is no doubt the future of our sector relies on a skilled workforce. Playing a key role in ensuring a consistent skills pipeline into our sector is the QRC’s education arm, the Queensland Minerals and Energy

YOUR ADVANTAGE. CALL 1300 980 915 OR VISIT HASTINGSDEERING.COM.AU / BBMC

BBMC Yearbook 2020

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Academy (QMEA). The academy now partners with 80 schools, including seven schools based in the Burdekin electorate: Ayr, Bowen, Collinsville, Moranbah, Clermont and Dysart state high schools and Middlemount Community School. Most of the more than $1.4M annual funding for the QMEA comes directly from QRC members, with some additional funding provided by the Queensland Government. This investment is worth its weight in gold and is paying dividends every day. The latest statistics provided by the government in its ‘Next Step Destination Data’ reveal that, of the QMEA students seeking an employment and/or study pathway, 25% entered engineering and related technologies compared to 15% of students from non-QMEA schools. This is a fantastic outcome on behalf of our members. We know the Queensland Government highly values our program, and we look forward to working with Skills Minister Di Farmer and Education Minister Grace Grace to continue this vital work. Female workforce participation on the rise Through our Women in Resources Action Plan and collaboration with Women in Mining and Resources Queensland, we have increased the proportion of women in our sector from 6% in 2006 to 16.5% today. We will continue to build on this number, but it’s very pleasing to see women are now increasingly directly sharing in the wealth of our sector through highly paid careers and opportunities. We look forward to working with new Attorney General Shannon Fentiman in her role as Minister for Women, and we appreciate the support our industry has received to improve gender balance from successive Queensland governments. Bowen Basin Mining Club reaches 10-year milestone Before I sign off, I want to congratulate the Bowen Basin Mining Club (BBMC) on its 10-year anniversary. From its first event in Mackay in 2010, the BBMC has grown to become a significant mining industry networking resource, with its influence extending nationally. This is just the sort of grassroots support that our sector needs to ensure it maintains its social license to operate. It is highly valued by QRC members. I’ll finish as I started by stating that Queensland’s resources sector has much to be proud of. We can take this feeling of optimism into 2021 and the years ahead as we continue to be the engine room for the state’s economy, a major provider of employment opportunities, an innovator in the quest to lower emissions and broaden Queensland’s renewable energy base, and a leader in industry training and education.

Photo: Josh Kelly

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BBMC Yearbook 2020

I don’t need to say here’s to smoother times next year, because as 2020 has shown, the resources sector is here for the tough times too. You can count on us to help Queensland recover. 


BBMC Yearbook 2020

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Competing for the future minerals’ workforce Tania Constable PSM, Chief Executive Officer, Minerals Council of Australia

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n the shadow of the COVID-19 pandemic, the mining and resources sector continues to provide stability for Queensland – supporting the jobs of 372,000 people and contributing $82.6 billion to the state’s economy.

However, our industry’s capacity to continue growing, competing and thriving in a dynamic global economy relies heavily on employers across Australia being able to access and use the right people with the right skills at the right time. Competing for talent The nature of work in Australia is changing. The pace of change has been increased by the pandemic and 12

BBMC Yearbook 2020

businesses and workplaces across all sectors in Australia are sitting up and paying attention. Whilst Australia’s minerals sector is a global leader in innovation and safety, we are actively competing with a range of sectors to captivate the interest and imagination of emerging talent. Across the mining process – from exploration through to operations, processing, transport and trading – technology is transforming the way we mine. So as the nature of work changes and evolves, workers will need skills and capabilities that are adaptable, transferable and relevant to the needs of the future economy. The MCA has long advocated for more flexible, higher quality and responsive education, training and workforce development to build the minerals workforce of the future. For Australia’s resources sector to continue to underpin our economic recovery, we need to find

new, innovative ways of how to achieve this sooner rather than later. In late 2019, the Mining Skills Organisation Pilot (MSOP) was announced as the third Skills Organisation pilot – along with digital technologies and human services care – funded through the Australian Government’s $585.3M Skills Package. The pilots will work to strengthen Australia’s Vocational Education and Training system (VET) by ensuring it remains responsive, respected and flexible – providing learners with the skills needed to succeed in modern workplaces and employers with the workers needed to grow a strong economy. Supporting regional communities Regional Australian communities need more support from the resources sector than metropolitan communities, as the nation rebounds from the pandemic, which has hit young Australians and their job prospects hard.


recovery

Queensland, Central Queensland University, University of Southern Queensland and Curtin University will modernise the mining engineering curriculum and co-develop pathways into the modern mining sector. In an industry first, Curtin University and University of Queensland have developed a micro-credential package as an online professional certificate in foundations of modern mining, consisting of six individual short courses providing most of the qualifications required for a rapid pathway into a Graduate Certificate.

Australia’s minerals industry is supporting jobs and regional economies in their time of need, with apprenticeships a particular focus. The MCA, together with the Australian Government, is coordinating the MSOP on behalf of employers and with the broader industry, creating more than 1,000 new apprenticeships. This, combined with BHP’s five-year commitment to fund 3,500 new Australian apprenticeship and training positions and spend $450M with the METS sector, will be a huge boost for regional jobs and skills across Australia – great news for communities and young people in heartland mining regions like the Bowen Basin. BHP Mitsubishi Alliance's Caval Ridge Mine has also welcomed 20 Indigenous Trainees to their team as part of a new 12-month traineeship program on site. Every day the minerals industry is proud to stand with our host communities across the Bowen Basin – and during the COVID-19 pandemic, standing together and helping each other is more important than ever before. Companies are working closely with local pandemic response committees, councils, government agencies, community organisations and others to meet local health and social needs and keep people working. Anglo American, with its five metallurgical coal mines across the Bowen Basin, has taken a range

of actions to support their host communities - reducing payment terms for small to medium businesses to 14 days, donating $140,000 to a new kindergarten service in Moranbah for playground equipment and additional placements, and partnering with Hearts of Australia to ensure the towns of Middlemount, Moura, Theodore and Banana have access to medical specialists. Glencore launched a $25M global community support fund to help local teams provide support and resources to host communities, such as purchasing a $45,000 COVID-19 testing machine and the donation of hundreds of protective goggles to the Mount Isa region and hospital. Building the future minerals workforce As Australia emerges from COVID-19, it’s more important than ever to promote the work by industry and academic institutions on flexible and responsive university education arrangements to build the modern minerals workforce of the future. The MCA has announced the Australian minerals sector will invest more than $1M into new university programs to strengthen the learning experience and create the professionals required by the modern mining sector – with Queensland-based universities leading the way. Under this approach, three new initiatives across the University of

Given some restrictions in higher education environments, this program advances training creation and delivery mechanisms in innovative ways while providing a pathway into relevant graduate programs at both universities. Curtin University will also pilot, test and evaluate a redesigned undergraduate curriculum in mining engineering, established through extensive consultation with industry and community partners. Central Queensland University and University of Southern Queensland will run a curricular pilot to refresh and re-focus the Associate Degree of Engineering to reflect the modern mining sector. The Associate Degree provides a pathway to a professional engineering career for trade-qualified paraprofessionals in engineering related industries, including the broader resources sector. This $1M investment is part of the $65M of MCA member company investment into minerals-related programs at Australian universities since 2000 to ensure the quality supply of Australian graduates for the mining industry. Together with MSOP, these university initiatives are building new pathways into the industry for people at different stages of their lives and careers, while highlighting existing pathways into Australia’s worldleading minerals industry. A strong mining sector and a highly skilled workforce will ensure a speedy economic recovery is delivered for the benefit of not only Queensland, but all Australians.  BBMC Yearbook 2020

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Making the most of our resources in a post-COVID world The Hon Keith Pitt MP, Minister for Resources, Water and Northern Australia

W

hat a year 2020 has been for Australia and around the world.

Right across the nation, the COVID-19 pandemic has had a deep impact on our economy and the way we go about our day to day work and social life.

Even through the global downturn, Australia has maintained a global reputation as a safe, efficient and reliable supplier of the resources needed to keep lights on and build steel for cities and manufacturing all around the world.

That’s because we pulled together during the crisis to keep people in jobs and industry going.

This supports Australia’s economy and our standard of living. Steel and energy will underpin recovery here and overseas. Trade income and royalty revenue ensures governments can pay for schools and hospitals, for roads, for police and the defence of our great country.

We have learned to do things differently. We learned about social distancing and how to adapt when state and international borders closed. As a result, Australian resources are forecast to remain strong as the world recovers from COVID-19.

This also directly provides jobs for about 250,000 men and women. More than one million others are in jobs that rely on the resources industry, its services and supply chains. In this region, resources provide around 37,000 jobs – the lifeblood of a vibrant community.

Australian resources – the men and women on the ground as much as the companies – continue to underpin our economy throughout the COVID-19 pandemic and subsequent downturn, just as it did throughout the turbulent years of the global financial crisis.

There have been difficulties. In particular, coal producers in the Bowen Basin need no reminding of how the pandemic has affected business over the past year.

Meanwhile, Australian resources and energy exports reached a record $290B despite global downturns.

The Bowen Basin is a prime example – with some of

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Australia’s, and indeed the world’s most significant reserves of coal and gas.

BBMC Yearbook 2020

COVID-19 has led to a fall in global coal prices and demand, placing pressure on producers. Some have announced production cuts and temporary closures,

affecting both thermal and metallurgical coal exports. Metallurgical coal suffered sustained declines in the first half of 2020 as COVID-19 impacted on the global steel industry, with steel production curbed in India, Europe and North East Asia. Thermal coal also suffered declines in global demand and price due to a drop in demand for electricity, but is expected to grow again from 2021 as the world and our major trading partners in particular emerge from the pandemic. Overall, however, coal will continue to play an important part in the world’s energy mix. And for now, there is no other way to make steel. The International Energy Agency has said coal demand in developing economies, particularly in Asia, is projected to substantially increase to satisfy demand for electricity and for industrial development. As global energy demand increases, new coal projects will help to meet increasing energy needs. The Australian Government is committed to working with the industry to provide an economic framework and business environment that underpins the future sustained growth of the sector.


recovery

Keeping the lights on with gas.

Natural gas from coal seams is keeping the lights on in hundreds of thousands of Queensland homes. Since 2004, we have been safely and sustainably unlocking the coal seam gas (CSG) potential of the Bowen Basin step by step. To learn more, visit arrowenergy.com.au

Now more than ever, as we emerge from the COVID-induced recession, we need to do everything we can to provide opportunities for our young people to be trained and skilled, and to have secure job opportunities in the resources sector and in regional Australia.

At home, the Government has committed to supporting the transition to a lower emissions economy while at the same time, providing reliable, secure and affordable energy to industry and regional Australia.

To that end, the Government has developed a new National Resources Workforce Strategy to help target jobs and training for the resources sector and support participation by Australians.

Coal remains a key energy source, especially for high energy-intensive and trade-exposed industries, which require reliable energy in their manufacturing processes.

I was an electrician by trade, before becoming an engineer and then running a couple of farms and entering politics. I know first-hand how important that first job can be, and how an apprenticeship or traineeship can be a great way to start a career.

Coal continues to account for around 60% of Australia's electricity and ensures Australia has a reliable and affordable power supply with enough dispatchable generation to maintain grid stability. Back in May, I had the great privilege of chatting with the Bowen Basin Mining Club’s Jodie Currie and Sarah-Joy Pierce for the first Crib Room podcast. At the time, I mentioned one of my goals for the year was to make sure the resources sector was doing everything possible to support young people seeking jobs, apprenticeships and traineeships in the industry.

Now more than ever, as we emerge from the COVID-induced recession, we need to do everything we can to provide opportunities for our young people to be trained and skilled, and to have secure job opportunities in the resources sector and in regional Australia. Post COVID-19, we need to make more of our resources, not less. That means a strong focus on new exploration, expanded projects, downstream processing and on local manufacturing.

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To support manufacturing, Australia needs competitive gas prices. The Government has outlined a vision for a gas-fired recovery, to both support exports and to deliver affordable gas to the domestic economy. And there is potential for manufacturing to be done in regional Australia, close to our resources. The Government is also supporting the development of a new critical minerals sector. We are working with international partners on ways to diversify supply chains while working at home to develop new projects and opportunities for downstream processing. We will continue to support market access for Australian exports, to build trade links with new markets as they emerge, and to ensure Australia remains a global leader when it comes to innovation.

To support this development, growth and opportunity, the Government continues to support exploration though our expanded Exploring for the Future program, which provides free and open access information on mineral and water resources in vast areas of Australia. We are also reviewing regulatory processes with a view to streamlining processes and reducing unnecessary burden and duplication. One example is the Government’s comprehensive review of the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act, being led by the Minister for the Environment Sussan Ley. As Australia emerges from the worst impacts of the pandemic, it again falls to our resources sector to be a global leader, and to be the foundation of our economic prosperity as we head into 2021.

The Bowen Basin will be an important part of this. That’s why the Government has committed $28.3M to develop five Strategic Basin Plans, including one for the North Bowen Basin and Galilee Basin. These plans will identify ways that we can unlock new potential and accelerate the development of resources, especially to increase domestic gas supply and lower energy prices for households and businesses. The Government knows the potential that Australian resources hold – for the economy, for energy supply, for construction and manufacturing around the world, and for Australians and their families. As our economy recovers into 2021, we will remain a strong supporter of the sector and continue to realise Australia’s full potential. 

Photo: Minerals Council of Australia

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The resource sector-led Recovery

Warren Pearce, CEO, Association of Mining and Exploration Companies

I

t’s fair to say that this year has seen one of the biggest possible challenges thrown at our country, and our industry, as we’ve battled the COVID-19 pandemic. For all of us, 2020 has seen an extraordinary change in almost every aspect of daily life. Governments around Australia had to quickly put in place a wide range of restrictive measures to slow the progress of the virus and to protect the safety of all Australians, and although necessary for keeping people safe, these restrictions have had a profound and powerful impact across our society, our industry, and our economy.

Prior to 2020, the investment environment for the mineral exploration industry had been challenging for some time due to several highly-publicised issues and international shocks, such as US China trade tensions and Brexit. 18

BBMC Yearbook 2020

Each created considerable uncertainty around the global economy and trade relations. However, heading into 2020 optimism in the industry was improving driven by favourable commodity prices. In fact, 2019 ended with a quiet upswing underway in the Australian mining industry. Real GDP grew by 2.2%, with the mining industry directly accounting for 28% of that growth, and indirectly employing over 1 million people. The Fraser Institute’s 2019 Annual Mining Survey returned positive news for industry, when considering both policy and mineral potential, Australia retained its position as the second most attractive region in the world for investment, and investment in exploration was on the increase again, signalling a return of confidence in the industry as we turned the corner into 2020. However, the COVID-19 pandemic soon hit and its broader impact on our economy and financial markets was quickly realised, increasing economic pressures and constraints for our industry, and our country as a whole. COVID-19 essentially re-wrote the rule book for work in Australia, having an immense impact on all aspects of day to day life in our country. Government restrictions were put in place, and industry had to quickly adapt to new requirements and embed a new operational environment for over 250,000 employees. We had to ensure that our companies and our employees adhered to these new requirements in order to show governments and the community how seriously we took this responsibility. This

proved the ability of Australia’s mining industry to move quickly to implement new operational measures. Travel restrictions and hard border closures meant that many interstate employees had to relocate, while many others lost jobs. Companies refocused their recruiting on finding new locally based employees to replace them, and to ensure greater contingency in their workforce. Large portions of Australia suddenly became inaccessible as remote Indigenous communities were closed and large areas locked up to protect these vulnerable communities. Our industry was fortunate enough to be given special exemption from some travel restrictions, enabling mining operations to continue under strict new guidelines and to ensure the health and safety of our workforce and the broader community. However, while partially exempt from travel restrictions, we were not immune from all impacts of COVID-19. Anticipating the hard times ahead, many explorers ceased exploration programs to preserve their capital, as they attempted to buffer against a long and difficult period, not knowing when they might get back on ground. Initially, any remaining appetite for investment in mineral exploration was all but killed by COVID-19, meaning that companies were unable to attract private investment to continue exploration. Without the ability to access this critical source of funds, and with companies’ cash reserves depleting, the ability for many of these companies to survive the year was in question.


Governments around Australia are now heavily focused on the economic recovery process, and all have acknowledged that the mining industry has been holding up the Australian economy. Considering this, industry is travelling extremely well. Despite the initial impacts of COVID-19 and against the odds, the wider exploration industry is finally enjoying a bumper period, with significant investment taking place in mining and exploration projects across Australia. A recent BDO report showed that there was a 60% increase in cash inflows in the June quarter with financing inflows at $1.34B

recovery

Industry had to focus their efforts on surviving this crisis to emerge at its end, to assist our industry and country in the herculean task of economic recovery. Looking back, the speed with which industry moved to meet these swiftly changing requirements to keep our industry open, to ensure the safety of our employees and our communities, and to keep COVID-19 out of our industry, sites and supply chains is incredible. That we have been able to sustain our operations through this period is a remarkable achievement.

exceeding the five-year average. This increase was up from the four-year low of $834M in the previous March quarter. 28 companies were able to raise funds of $10M or more, up from 12 companies in the previous quarter. And 62% of companies reported a cash balance of $1M in June 2020, up from 57% in the March quarter. Looking ahead, the number of IPOs are also expected to increase with a growing number of upcoming listings. Our ability to keep our mining and mineral exploration industry open and working is a significant benefit to the nation, but is also becoming a major competitive advantage globally when many major mining jurisdictions around the world have been affected by spread or outbreak and consequently closed or severely limited by tight restrictions. If Australia can continue to keep COVID-19 in check, our continent will have a clear advantage in attracting new mining investment, as investors continue to look for opportunities protected from the impacts of COVID-19, providing secure supply for customers.

Photo: Josh Kelly

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Our industry has saved Australia from recession and depression before. We are now being called on to do it again. From what I have seen of our industry over the last six months, we are more than equal to the challenge.

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BBMC Yearbook 2020

But this is not the only reason for a resurgence in exploration investment. Australia is now reaping the rewards of two to three years of sustained investment in exploration, which has unearthed a wide range of early exploration successes and major discoveries, shining a spotlight on the wealth of Australia’s continuing mineral potential. According to data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics, Australia’s commodity exports also reached a record $287B in 2019-20 and resource and energy commodity exports have grown 3.5% since 2018-19. Iron ore exports rose by 8.1% from May to June, making it Australia’s first commodity to earn more than $100B in a year. And at a time when national unemployment is high across the nation, the mining industry workforce is growing. With new projects in the pipeline, there is potential for over 30,000 new construction jobs and over 20,000 operational jobs to be created in our industry.

Despite Australia’s comparative success, we should not expect that new practices in our industry will be wound back any time soon. Social and physical distancing will remain for a long time to come, as will the preventative steps taken by companies to reduce the spread. Australia’s economic recovery, and the fortunes of a great many Australians may well depend on the mining industry’s ability to continue operations, paying wages and generating royalties and revenue. While the health, safety and wellbeing of Australians must remain the focus through COVID-19, we also need to think about supporting industries that will be critical in helping Australia to get back on track. Our industry has saved Australia from recession and depression before. We are now being called on to do it again. From what I have seen of our industry over the last six months, we are more than equal to the challenge. 


recovery

A Bowen-fired recovery David Kiefer, Media Lead, Arrow Energy

Q

ueensland’s Bowen Basin is one of the key pillars to the Australian Government’s plans for a gas-fired national recovery from the economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.

To get more gas to market, the government wants to unlock five key gas basins; the North Bowen Basin is to be one of the first three, alongside the Galilee Basin. This will fit hand-in-glove with the inaugural National Gas Infrastructure Plan that identifies priority pipelines and critical infrastructure. The September announcements received broad support from the Australian manufacturing and resources industries. “Australia has world-class resources reserves, and developing these basins provide stable, secure and affordable energy for Australia for decades to come,” was the summation by Chief Executive Andrew McConville from the Australian Petroleum Production and Exploration Association. Locally, Arrow Energy believes that coordinated initiatives will help the broader gas industry to unlock the gas potential of the Bowen Basin.

Arrow, which has been commercially producing natural gas from the coal seams around Moranbah since 2004, welcomed the chance to work with the State and Federal governments on these initiatives. The stakes are high: • Natural gas provides almost 24% of Australia’s primary energy • Almost one-third of all gas consumed in Australia is used by manufacturers • Natural gas provides more than 60% of electricity generation in Western Australia and the Northern Territory and almost 50% in South Australia • While Australia’s oil production peaked in 2000 at 287 million barrels of oil, progressively dropping to 126 million barrels of oil in 2018, natural gas production has more than doubled over the past five years • Globally, natural gas is the fastest growing energy source, accounting today for 23% of global primary energy demand and nearly a quarter of electricity generation1 Balancing extraction with production costs The current question is how to bring the Bowen Basin’s gas to a market in which world oil prices have declined and where market demand is low. The target coals in the Bowen are different to the Surat and require different drilling techniques. The Bowen seams, while much thicker than in the Surat, are dense. As a result, vertical CSG wells (as used in the Surat Basin) do not result in economically sustainable flow rates.

For some years, Arrow has been developing and refining deviated, inseam wells – drilling a bore that angles away from the vertical it descends, until it runs horizontally along the target coal seam for a couple of kilometres. This method exposes much more of the seam than a vertical well. Arrow has extended the basic idea to drilling multiple side-branch bores off the main bore, exposing even more of the coal. These new well types are known as “multi-laterals”. The design is evolving as techniques are proved and disproved, and lessons are learned from long-term operation. This evolution of design is one of the strengths of CSG. Whereas traditional oil and gas operates very much in the bespoke development, one-shot, rightfirst-time, major-spend-up-front space, unconventional gas production does not. Expanding coal seam gas development in the Bowen Basin requires balancing production volumes with extraction costs. Continuously lowering production costs will allow step-out in areas with lower quality coals. This also leads towards long-term business growth. Resources that are marginal or unviable today will become economically attractive in 10 or 20 years with technology and execution excellence continuously improving.

1

https://www.iea.org/fuels-and-technologies/gas

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Coal Seam Gas explained Natural gas is predominantly methane, and coal seam gas (CSG) has one of the highest proportions of methane of any natural gas. The Bowen Basin is already producing CSG for power generation and industrial use. The Moranbah Gas Project has been producing gas since 2004. Owned 50-50 between AGL and Arrow Energy (Arrow is the upstream operator), it feeds the North Queensland Gas Pipeline that supplies large industrial customers in Townsville, including the Yabulu gas-fired power station. CSG is a very portable energy source, transportable as gas via pipelines or, if cooled to minus 161 degrees, then as liquefied natural gas (LNG) that can be carried in ships to anywhere in the world. That’s why CSG is an important Queensland export commodity. CSG is an industry that can co-exist with Central Queensland’s two great pillars – agriculture and coal mining. The wells go in the ground, drain the gas for 15 to 25 years and, afterwards, are plugged with cement, cut off below-ground, and normal activity resumes above. Or below. Against global LNG competition, CSG suffers the economic disadvantage of being a relatively pure energy source - CSG wells produce no commercial liquids, like oil, unlike other LNG projects where up to 50% of the income can come from liquids produced from the gas wells. With CSG, all the revenue must come from the gas. Arrow holds 6,168km2 of tenements in the Bowen Basin for current and future, domestic and export production. 

The current question is how to bring the Bowen Basin’s gas to a market in which world oil prices have declined and where market demand is low.

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BBMC Yearbook 2020


recovery

Mike Henry talks ‘build back better’

Mike Henry, CEO, BHP

I

n October 2020, Mike Henry, CEO, BHP spoke at the Financial Times Commodities Mining Summit, a global conference focussed on the topics that matter most in our industry.

Mike spoke passionately about the essential nature of mining, demonstrated throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, and the need to ‘build back better’ to secure a different and better future. Read more in an excerpt from his speech…

"We’ve all had to overcome a few challenges this year. But, we’ve also been able to demonstrate once again what this industry is capable of and what we have to offer. It has been remarkable to see the way that companies were able to mobilise quickly to safeguard the health of our workforces, to support communities and our business partners and to keep the bulk of our operations running. Our ability to keep operating and generating employment, taxes, royalties and dividends in a time of crisis has been a positive differentiator relative to some other industries. Mining is essential. We know this. I’m not talking here just about the value we create for our direct stakeholders.

The resources we produce enable continued economic development and improvement in living standards around the world. In the end there is little choice about whether mining happens or not. There is though, choice about how it happens and who does it. In the face of events of the past year, countless lives have been disrupted and many around the world have been focused on simple survival and then on recovery. But at the same time there’s also been a growing public focus on the need to secure a different and better future. This is reflected in the ‘build back better’ concept. It captures two points: the world must return to growth to help improve

living standards and drive prosperity, but this growth needs to be clean, sustainable and of benefit to all. Our industry, and business more generally, has a role to play in that. In fact, the commodities we produce will be essential to the building of that better world. Addressing climate change is of course one part of building back better and at BHP we recently announced a new series of climate commitments and actions. One of the things that I spoke about when we announced these commitments was the fact that decarbonisation is actually going to require a whole lot more of many commodities. That will be the case for some of the other BBMC Yearbook 2020

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components of building a better world as well. So, through COVID-19 we’ve demonstrated quite definitively the value we create for our direct stakeholders, and secondly we know that our efforts are essential for the world and the future. Both positives. But the reality is that with opportunity also comes challenges. I’ll call out three interrelated trends: shifting expectations, evolving power dynamics and escalating technical complexity. The expectations of society and our stakeholders continue to evolve and grow. We all feel the increasing expectations and scrutiny from employees, governments, communities and civil society. They’re also more vocal and wielding power in unprecedented ways. They’re demanding better standards, and when those standards aren’t met, the repercussions can be significant and quite immediate. As we seek to meet the shifting and growing demand for some commodities, we are needing to deal with more complex social dynamics. We will need to be ever better in how we use water, energy, and resources, in how we manage emissions and how we better meet the rapidly evolving expectations of the societies in which we operate. For some commodities that will be essential to the future, new ore bodies will be some combination of harder to find, harder to access, lower grade and more costly and challenging to develop. This mix of increasing stakeholder complexity, greater technical challenges to accessing and developing resources, changing commodity mix and faster pace of change, is likely to mean there will be clear winners and losers in our industry in the decade ahead. 24

BBMC Yearbook 2020

And taken together, I think these factors mean that advantage will increasingly accrue to scale. Growing risk, both below and above surface, means that winners are likely to be those companies: • who build and sustain serious technical and social capability and long-term relationships; • who can learn from the shifting dynamics and increasing challenges in one jurisdiction before they flow on to another jurisdiction; • who have the financial wherewithal to consistently fund the discovery and development of resources when it will be more costly and more complex to do so; • who can sustain innovation and can be at the forefront of deploying latest technology for value; and • who have the balance sheet resilience to manage risk and invest countercyclically. The increasing pace of change in stakeholder expectations, coupled with the consequences of not meeting them, means that more than ever, at minimum, companies need to be in tune with and responsive to what’s happening around them. Even better placed will be those who can be ahead of the curve and who help in shaping higher standards and better performance. And who see the opportunity to empower through mining and incorporate this mindset into to the way they operate. Our industry not only delivers the commodities essential to daily life and economic progress around the world, but in doing so it also has a large, positive impact in terms of the economic and social empowerment of those around us.

This includes through the way we engage First Nations peoples and the Traditional Owners of the lands on which we operate, our business partners, local communities and employees. Creating broad-based social value, and empowering others needs to permeate all that we do. Finally, shareholders. The demands on shareholders are increasing. They are required to be increasingly active in shaping the way companies in the sector operate and discriminating who they invest in. They are increasingly demanding of companies in our sector. They insist that we operate to the highest of standards, and that we are in tune with the world around us. This isn’t just because of the pressures they see from their investors, but because they recognise the importance of this to sustainable value creation. The onus is on them to make fully informed choices – based on a rigorous assessment of ESG performance, consistently applied on a companyby-company basis. Our products will be central to any objectives of an ESG-focused portfolio, be it positioning for the energy transition or improving living standards around the world. It follows then, that for those companies that consistently operate to the highest standards and are in tune with expectations of society – they should be a core holding of any ESG portfolio. Companies that get this right, who operate and relate to others in the right way, will generate outstanding value and returns for shareholders.

They will be better positioned to sense and manage risk, operate more reliably, access more opportunities and grow more steadily. And the role that investors can play is to even more strongly reward these companies, the leaders, by prioritizing investment towards them over others. By making them a must-hold part of their portfolio. So just to wrap up then, the focus of this event is the new narrative for mining. I really do think that the narrative is there. I think it’s centred on the things we’ve spoken about. Mining is essential. Global growth, decarbonisation, renewables, electrification... none of this happens without the commodities we produce. The only choice for the industry and the world is how we do this. Overall standards must continue to rise. We need to ensure that we are operating ever more sustainably and that we are creating value for all our stakeholders. We need to support the economic and social empowerment of those around us. And investors have a role to play in this. They need to reinforce these trends through increasingly differentiating between leaders and laggards in this regard. The best companies in an essential sector are going to do very well for shareholders and for the world." 


MARKET Outlook Market Outlook

BBMC Yearbook 2020

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BBMC Yearbook 2020


Market outlook

On the Horizon Bowen Basin – mining lease grants, changing operators and projects expecting first coal in 2020/21

COOK COLLIERY

MINYANGO

MACKENZIE NORTH

Fast Facts

Fast Facts

Fast Facts

Proponent: Constellation Mining (a subsidiary of QCoal Group) Coal Type: Metallurgical/Thermal Production: 1 Mtpa

Proponent: Constellation Mining (a subsidiary of QCoal Group) Coal Type: Metallurgical/Thermal Production: 1.5 Mtpa

Proponent: Jellinbah Group Coal Type: PCI Production: 1 – 2.5 Mtpa

Cook Colliery is by no means a new operation, but has been in care and maintenance since December 2019. The site is expected to once again commence operations in 2021 with a subsidiary of QCoal as operator, following the acquisition of mining tenements from Bounty Mining.

Following Bounty’s voluntary administration in 2019, QCoal also purchased the permits for the greenfields Minyango site, with the transfer approved in late 2020. Located 5km south of Blackwater, the Minyango project neighbours Cook Colliery and is expected to employ 300 people during construction and 250 in operations.

GREGORY CRINUM

OLIVE DOWNS

WINCHESTER DOWNS

Fast Facts

Fast Facts

Fast Facts

Proponent: Sojitz Coal Type: Metallurgical Production: 3.5 Mtpa

Proponent: Pembroke Coal Type: Metallurgical/PCI Production: 6 Mtpa (up to 20 Mtpa in Stage 2)

Proponent: Whitehaven Coal Type: Metallurgical Production: 15 Mtpa

While the open-cut (Gregory) operation exported first coal for Sojitz in late 2019, the underground (Crinum) operation is still finalising feasibility studies. Production is expected to commence in 2021. The site’s CHPP has capacity to process up to 8 Mtpa of coal, with exports through the Port of Gladstone.

The Olive Downs mining leases were granted in late 2020, with the project set to commence construction in early 2021. Representing one of the biggest projects and investments in the Bowen Basin for some time, the project will employ nearly 1000 people in the construction phase, and up to 1600 in operations. Coal will be exported through the Dalrymple Bay Coal Terminal.

The Mackenzie North JV project is located north of Blackwater. An extension of the Jellinbah mine, the project will ensure the production rates of the Jellinbah project can be maintained. The project is expected to start removing overburden in 2020, with full production reached in 2022.

Winchester Downs is a little further down the pipeline, as the first investment in Queensland coal by Whitehaven. The project will be a $1 billion investment, expected to transition into production by FY24. All-new infrastructure for the greenfields project will include a rail loop, train load out and CHPP.

Exploration and pre-mining lease projects

ISAAC RIVER

VULCAN COMPLEX

SAINT ELMO PROJECT

Fast Facts

Fast Facts

Fast Facts

Proponent: Bowen Coking Coal Coal Type: Metallurgical Resource Estimate: 5.3 Mt

Proponent: Vitrinite Coal Type: Metallurgical Production: 1.95 Mtpa

Proponent: Multicom Resources Coal Type: Vanadium Production: 10,000 tpa

Isaac River completed a study in late 2019, upgrading the expected quality of coal at their site (which borders Daunia, Moorvale West and Winchester South). Now in the pre-feasibility study stage, Isaac River is undertaking another phase of exploration, coal quality investigation and geotechnical analysis.

The Vulcan Complex, located on the other side of the Goonyella Rail Line from Saraji, Peak Downs and Norwich Park, is an advanced project nearing mining lease application. Drilling so far has uncovered premium hard coking coal, after Vitrinite acquired the asset in September 2018. When the mine begins operations, it is expected to employ around 100 locals in a truck and shovel operation.

The Saint Elmo Project is one of many new projects in the North West Minerals Province, and there’s plenty of opportunity for coal suppliers to also work with minerals projects. The Project has lodged a Mining Lease Application, for a mine expected to process 6.5Mt of ROM material per year to refine the necessary vanadium. It’s unique in that the maximum depth of resources is 20 metres, making the Project a shallow mining operation. The Project will employ 250 people in construction, and around 150 in operations.

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Photo: Josh Kelly

Queensland exploration - past, present, future Kim Wainwright, Chair, Queensland Exploration Council

2

020 marks the tenyear anniversary of the Queensland Exploration Council’s Exploration Scorecard. The Scorecard was launched in 2010-11 to ‘track Queensland’s progress towards becoming an exploration leader by 2020’. This is an opportunity to reflect on how industry sentiment has changed over the last decade, acknowledge the challenges of today and look forward to the next decade with optimism. The scorecard analyses the critical drivers of exploration activity: • Queensland’s resource prospectivity and endowment • The price and outlook for key commodities

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BBMC Yearbook 2020

• Explorer and investor confidence • Policy and regulatory stability As the market drives commodity prices, the scorecard concentrates on those lead indicators which can be influenced, notably explorer and investor confidence and access to the essential factors of development and production. Past Over the last ten years, Queensland’s exploration industry has shown itself to be resilient to global challenges. The inaugural scorecard tracked the industry’s recovery from the Global Financial Crisis. Ten years later, this scorecard is set against the backdrop of the challenges of the global coronavirus pandemic. Queensland’s exploration industry has remained resilient throughout economic downturns and market uncertainty, a testament to its reputation as a worldclass resources jurisdiction. Sentiment about Queensland’s resource prospectivity and endowment has remained consistently positive since the inception of the scorecard. Being host to highly prospective mineral, coal and gas resources continues to drive exploration in Queensland.


Market outlook

12 of the 13 scorecard categories which have been measured since 2010 have seen improvement. The first scorecard recorded negative sentiment towards government assistance but since then, Queensland Government has achieved major improvement across the government-related categories – departmental assistance, exploration permit process and access to geoscience data and land available for exploration. In 10 years, the sentiment towards the exploration permit process has changed from a net sentiment of -40 to +5. Another area which has seen great transformation over the scorecard’s 10 years is Environmental and Social Governance (ESG) as investors’ expectations extend beyond healthy profits. In the first few years of the scorecard, cultural heritage regulations and native title had very negative sentiment scores but this year, recorded a nearneutral sentiment. Present Unique to this year is COVID-19’s impact on the industry. Commodity markets were hard hit in the initial months of the pandemic driven largely by a decrease in demand. The economy is likely to recover swiftly as markets resume regular business, and commodity prices are already starting to recover. Base and precious metals have already recovered well. Gold is trading at historically high prices and copper at the same price as before the pandemic but coal and LNG exploration is expected to see a slower recovery process.

Despite COVID-19, exploration activity across coal, petroleum, gold and copper has increased since last year - an achievement considering coal and gas prices have been decreasing over the same period. Over half of explorers expect to increase activity or expenditure over the next 12 months. Building on from last year, explorers remain appreciative of the assistance provided by the then Department of Natural Resources, Mining and Energy. The department is making strides towards putting Queensland at the forefront of data-driven exploration. Geological Science Queensland’s (GSQ) Geoscience Data Modernisation Program has seen government deliver a worldleading data repository which makes reporting and data management more efficient. Its Open Data Portal provides access to a range of pre-competitive geoscience datasets, reports and publications. Even though the success of this initiative will not be reflected until next year’s results, this year there is steady improvement, acknowledged by industry with 43% of participants selecting the release of pre-competitive geoscience data as part of the top three beneficial government initiatives for the year. The goal is to ensure that the availability of this data effectively reaches those who are actively exploring. Queensland Exploration Program continues to release prospective land for coal and petroleum explorers and the Collaborative Exploration Grant is encouraging exploration in areas with high prospectivity of new economy minerals. To encourage mineral exploration, the department awarded seven grants over the course of last year, reflected in the increase in tenure applications seen in 2019-20.

In this year’s Fraser Institute Best Practice Mineral Index, an annual survey of mining companies, Queensland fell two places to 15 out of 79 jurisdictions around the world. It also dropped from the second to third highest ranking jurisdiction within Australia, now trailing both Western Australia and the Northern Territory.

Photo: Josh Kelly

Explorer sentiment towards the prospectivity of Queensland remains positive but anecdotal responses expressed frustration at some of the challenges of obtaining tenure in prospective areas. Given the positive prospectivity sentiment, the limitations for exploration and mining investment seem to be driven by policy uncertainty, environmental regulations and frustrations with conduct and compensation agreements which continue to record low sentiment scores. Future Indeed, explorers remain constrained by the regulatory environment in which they operate, with policy uncertainty and issues with the land access framework frequently cited as barriers to exploration. In June 2020, the Queensland Resources Council released the 2020 Streamlining Report, making four core recommendations to Government to streamline the application processes in the sector. QEC is confident that QRC’s commitment to the streamlining agenda will contribute to increasing the efficiency and sustainability of the exploration industry. BBMC Yearbook 2020

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Looking to the future, as global demand for critical minerals looks set to increase, Queensland’s rich prospectivity could establish the state as a key region for exploration and investment. North West Queensland is home to one of the most prospective mineral regions in the world. The region has significant potential to provide not only base metals like copper, zinc and lead, but also critical minerals used for batteries and other new technologies and defence systems.

We are uniquely placed to promote Queensland and Australia as an exploration and mining safe haven. There are signs that this is happening organically as investment capital is flowing into the greenfield and junior exploration space for the first time in many years.

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BBMC Yearbook 2020

There is no question of the importance of mineral exploration to Queensland’s future prosperity. The Commonwealth and State Government have both acknowledged the significance of Queensland’s North West Mineral Province to the future secure supply of critical minerals. There have been a number of initiatives focused on unlocking the barriers to future development but there is still work to be done to capitalise on mineral exploration. For the first time since 2013, explorers reported no significant impediments to mineral exploration - a positive step, but one which reinforces the importance of establishing a regulatory environment that fosters continued growth in the industry.

One area that the Council will continue to build on is our international capital investment connections and developing established processes for linking into our membership body. This can be achieved through extended engagement with Trade Investment Queensland and Austrade, as well as direct engagement with offshore investment brokers and funds. One of the biggest challenges I’ve witnessed for the junior explorers in recent years is what happens when investment in ground-roots exploration is not on-trend. It is debilitating for these companies who have no other revenue stream. Sustainability of investment is definitely a part of my vision.

Queensland Exploration Council has, for 10 years, tracked changes in the sector and while sentiment has grown more positive, familiar challenges remain. The QEC will continue to bring together a broad spectrum of the exploration sector to promote the industry for the future prosperity of the state.

Another goal is to continue to build on the promotion of Queensland as a Critical Minerals exploration destination of choice. This can be done through a range of programs that the QEC has designed to increase and educate markets on the geological potential of Queensland, as well as infrastructure plans to support the downstream planning of potential miners.

As Chair of the Council, I am currently working on the next 10-year vision for the Queensland Exploration Council. We are uniquely placed to promote Queensland and Australia as an exploration and mining safe haven. There are signs that this is happening organically as investment capital is flowing into the greenfield and junior exploration space for the first time in many years. Industry are suggesting this is due to not only the prospectivity of our ground but the appealability of the jurisdiction in relation to our COVID-19 response.

Profile building of exploration as the foundation of our industry is also a key vision. Exploration is all too often forgotten about, yet without it there would be no mines. We need to keep exploring to make sure our industry in Queensland is buoyant. It should be of concern to all stakeholders when there is no investment flowing into grassroots exploration for extended periods of time. The long-term effect on our industry and economy is significant. Profile building of our allimportant explorers needs to be a part of the QEC’s long term strategy. 


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Coal: crucial for Queensland

Mark Gresswell, Director, Commodity Insights

A

s economies globally struggle to recover from the impacts of the worst economic downturn in over 80 years, the coal industry is providing a strong bulwark for Queensland and is poised to remain a vital economic pillar for decades yet.

If Queensland were a country, it would be the third largest coal exporter in the world, behind only Indonesia and Russia, and ahead of large exporters such as the United States, South Africa and Colombia.

The importance of coal production and exports to the Queensland economy cannot be overstated. In a year when the tourism, hospitality and international education sectors have been severely damaged by governmentimposed shutdowns and border closures (and sadly, may take many years to recover), the coal sector has provided ongoing exports, jobs across the state and significant revenues for government coffers. The coal sector is an especially important contributor to the Queensland economy, with the Queensland Resources Council estimating the following total contribution – direct and indirect, in FY18-19: • Total Gross Regional Product of $52.5B, or 15% of total state product. • Over 260,000 full time jobs, or 11% of total state employment. • $4.4B in royalties, accounting for over 80% of Queensland’s commodity royalties. In terms of export revenue, coal accounted for over 43% of Queensland’s export revenue in 2018-19, more than the next three largest exports (LNG, metals and beef) combined. Despite tougher market conditions and lower prices in 2020 due to COVID-19, the sector will remain by far the largest contributor to Queensland’s export revenues. Queensland Coal Production In 2019, Queensland’s 50 operating mines produced 250Mt of coal. Of this, 160Mt was metallurgical coal, which is a key input into the

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steel production process, while the remaining 90Mt was thermal coal, which is used for power generation. Queensland’s coal production is predominantly exported, with 214Mt or 86% of total production sent overseas in 2019. The remaining 36Mt is thermal coal, utilised domestically in coal-fired power generation. To put the export volumes into perspective, if Queensland were a country, it would be the third largest coal exporter in the world, behind only Indonesia and Russia, and ahead of large exporters such as the United States, South Africa and Colombia (see Figure 1). Queensland is particularly dominant in metallurgical coal exports, where it accounts for almost half the traded volumes globally. This is important as metallurgical coal is a higher value product than thermal coal (ie. sells for higher prices) and it also faces less competitive pressure than thermal coal – which competes with gas, nuclear, renewables, etc. – while most steel can only be produced using metallurgical coal (see Figure 2). Queensland metallurgical coal is widely recognised as the highest quality in the traded seaborne market, and key price benchmarks are based on Queensland coal brands. Coal exports are a massive income generator for Queensland, with export revenues in 2019 of almost $41B, more than the Gross State Products (total economic output) of Tasmania ($32B) and the Northern Territory ($26B)! Queensland’s coal exports are largely sent


(Byerwen, Olive Downs and other projects) and the opening of the Galilee Basin with Bravus Mining & Resources’ Carmichael mine, Queensland’s miners are forging ahead with projects that illustrate their positive outlook for the sector.

The Outlook for Queensland Coal

In conclusion, the contribution of coal to the Queensland (and Australian) economy is not widely appreciated but it is strategically and economically significant. Our industry is helping immeasurably to improve the lives of millions of people across Asia through the provision of cheap, reliable electricity and high-quality steel, and we should be proud of this. Asian economic development will continue strongly for many years – decades in fact – and will need enormous volumes of electricity and steel. Let’s make sure that Queensland export coal helps meet this requirement! 

The outlook for Queensland coal exports is bright, particularly given the proximity and strong market position in the key growth region of Asia. The figures below provide some context around the potential Asian market growth over the next few decades. Let’s look firstly at thermal coal, which is primarily driven by electricity demand. The International Energy Agency forecasts the following under its current policies scenario: • Asian power sector demand will grow by 75% from 2017-40 • Asian power sector coal demand will grow by 50% from 2017-40 • Coal-fired generation capacity is expected to grow by over 700GW, which is equivalent to around 2 billion tonnes of incremental thermal coal demand Even under its most bearish scenario, the IEA says coal-fired capacity in Asia will increase by over 400GW over the period, which equates to more than a billion tonnes of additional demand. Assuming that some of this incremental demand will be met by domestic production (which it will be, particularly in India and China), much of the growth will be in areas that have no domestic coal production and therefore will have to import supply from the seaborne market. We turn now to metallurgical coal, in which Queensland has an extremely prominent position globally. Metallurgical coal demand is driven primarily by steel production – which comes later in the economic development cycle than electricity. Developed economies (Europe, USA, etc.) tend to consume around 300kgs of steel per capita. During strong phases of economic development, particularly in a centrally planned economy, the ratio can be higher due to intense industrialisation and urbanisation. However, most developing countries have low levels of steel consumption and therefore production. If we just take India and the rest of developing Asia – combined population 2 billion - and assume over time they will reach 300kgs per capita, that is additional crude steel production of almost 500Mt. When converted to a metallurgical coal equivalent, this is approximately another 250Mt of demand – which will all be imported coal! This Asian demand growth for metallurgical and thermal coal represents an outstanding opportunity for the Queensland coal sector. In our view, the demand will grow regardless of who supplies it – Australia, Indonesia or Russia. If Queensland does not supply this growth, then other exporters such as Indonesia (thermal coal) or Russia (metallurgical coal) will fill the breach. It is up to the Queensland (and Australian) coal sector and governments at all levels, to help position Queensland coal exports to best share in this growth. With the continuing development of the Bowen Basin

Coal Exports 2019 (Mt) 500 450

455

400 350 300 250

220

200

214

177

150 100

81

77

75

USA

South Africa

Colombia

50 Indonesia

Russia

Qld

NSW

Figure 1 - Source: Commodity Insights Metallurgical Coal Exports 2019 (Mt) 180 160

154

140 120 100 80 60

51

40

48

34

31

27

Mongolia

Canada

NSW

20 Qld

Russia

USA

Figure 2 - Source: Commodity Insights

Queensland Coal Exports 2019 (Mt) Americas, Other, 2% Europe, 5% 9%

Asia, 86%

Figure 3 - Source: DNRME, Commodity Insights

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Market outlook

into Asian markets – Japan, Korea, Taiwan, China, India and Southeast Asia – with 86% of volumes sent to Asia in 2019. This is important, as Asia is generally viewed as being a key growth engine of the global economy to 2050.


Changes at the coal face

Michael Gray, CEO, NewBlack Energy

O

ver the last year, activists, media and southern politicians have been sounding the death knell of the Queensland coal industry. This perception ignores the reality that the Bowen Basin is the world’s richest resource of premium coking coals for the global steel industry.

Source: World Steel Association 2020

Despite global pandemics, political power-games, increasing environmental activism and aspirational promises of new green-steel technology, there remains no economically or technically viable alternative to the use of ongoing coking coal in steel production. As a result, the future looks bright for ongoing coking coal demand and opportunities for production growth from Queensland.

Chinese steel production has exceeded a staggering 3 million tonnes per day since the COVID-19 shutdown. To put this in perspective, it takes Chinese steelmakers just over 40 hours to match Australia’s total annual production of 5.5 million tonnes. Forecast growth rates for production in India, Vietnam, Thailand, Malaysia and Indonesia exceed that of China and each of those countries has limited scope for domestic coking coal production.

The challenge for the Queensland coal industry is how it identifies the priority projects and how it finds and supports the explorers, entrepreneurs and investors that have the courage to seek to maximise those opportunities. The future demand for coking coal Since the Industrial Revolution in Britain in the late 1700’s, steel production has been the catalyst for economic development throughout the world. Steel is the backbone of the modern built environment. It is the world’s second largest commodity value chain after crude oil. It underpins daily life. The growth of global steel production has continued to accelerate as economic development has increased living standards in the world’s most populous nations. It took almost 200 years for global steel production to reach 1 billion tonnes per annum in 2004. It will take less than 20 years for that production to reach 2 billion tonnes per annum, expected in 2021 or 2022. Importantly, almost all that growth is in Asia which now produces more than 70% of the world’s crude steel. 34

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Global Steel Production Since 2000

2,000 1,500 1,000 500 0

2000

2004

2008 Asia

2012

2016

RoW

Despite speculation about new technologies, all commerciallyproduced steel is made in either a blast furnace, using sintered iron ore and coke, or in an electric arc furnace which essentially re-melts scrap steel. Blast furnaces produced more than 65% of global steel in 2010 and, despite increasing recycling in OECD countries, that proportion has increased to 72% today in order to supply the rapid demand for high quality steel in Asia. Blast furnaces are hugely capital intensive (approx USD1B per 1 million tonnes/annum production capacity) and it's estimated that total investment in Asia since 2000 has been USD800B. With an operational life of 40-50 years, there is no prospect of any economically or technically viable alternative to replace that critical installed production capacity. Every tonne of crude steel produced in a blast furnace requires approximately 770kg of coking coal. Ongoing efforts to decarbonise steel production have failed to identify any viable options to reduce this demand for coal as a fundamental feedstock in steel production.


Any successful subsequent commercial development would then also be subject to stepchanges in the cost of renewal energy generation and the efficiency of large-scale electrolysis. Ignoring these technical challenges and questions of cost-competitiveness, it is therefore unlikely that production of any niche volume of ‘greensteel’ would still be decades away. Much of the current focus of material efforts to reduce carbon intensity of steel production is therefore focused on the use of carbon capture use and storage and on the use of higher quality coking coals. The premium low-volatile coking coals of the Bowen Basin are therefore best placed to continue to supply high demand coking coal for the global market. Source: Commodity Insights 2020

Global Coking Coal Exports Share 2019 Mozambique 1% USA 16% Russia 13% Canada 10%

Australia 60%

Australia, and primarily Queensland, produces more than 60% of seaborne coking coal. The industry was built on the close partnership between visionary Government and entrepreneurial explorers and investors. The challenge for Queensland is how it maintains this leading market share to capture the future growth in demand. The critical barriers to further expansion of the industry are lack of advanced projects and lack of access to capital.

Market outlook

Substantial media coverage has focused on the concept of a transition to ‘green-steel’ produced through reduction of iron using hydrogen produced from electrolysis of water using renewal energy. This concept is being initially trialled in a laboratory-scale pilot plant in Sweden. However even the proponents, steel-maker SSAB, urge caution that subject to successful technological development, a demonstration pilot plant would not be developed until 2026 at the earliest.

Due to market sentiment, there has been a substantial reduction in exploration activity in the last eight years. Whilst that has recovered slightly, it means that there are fewer advanced projects available for rapid development. Complex regulatory regime and increasing community opposition, particularly from communities far removed from the Bowen Basin, further complicate the path to project development. The appetite for development of greenfield projects by major producers has reduced substantially due to shareholder activism and competing capital demands. As a result, there remains a significant portfolio of high-quality projects that are held by major producers that are unlikely to be progressed in the short to medium term. In the 1990s and 2000s, lack of investment by major producers led to the emergence of successful junior and independent producers such as Jellinbah, Felix, Macarthur and Foxleigh. Many of these independent producers were subsequently acquired by major producers who decided it was easier to expand through acquisition than greenfield development. Over the last five years, the industry has been transformed by the exit of major producers such as Rio Tinto and the entry of private equity funds; EMG (Coronado), EMR (Kestrel), Taurus (Foxleigh) and Denham Capital (Olive Downs). In parallel, where once foreign investment was primarily from Japan, Korea or China, most recent foreign investment is from Indonesia in Kestrel and Stanmore. With limited access to debt markets, new development must be funded by equity investment requiring the partnership of ‘true believers’ including entrepreneurial explorers, innovative contractors, supportive investors and long-term customers. It is clear that the significant ongoing demand for high quality coking coal provides a substantial opportunity for continued development of the Bowen Basin. The changing dynamics of investment sentiment, shareholder activism, the nature of coal resources and barriers to entry for new producers means development of new projects will become even more challenging, and require increased collaboration between Government, project proponents, investors and suppliers. The potential benefits to the community, suppliers and the State are immense, and it is critical that the industry and Government continue to work collaboratively towards a longterm vision and not be distracted by the myriad of short term challenges. 

Photo: Josh Kelly

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From stop to start: Adani celebrates 10 years

Adani Australia

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n 2020, Adani Australia marked 10 years since purchasing the greenfield Carmichael Coal tenements in Central Queensland’s Galilee Basin.

Backed by a team of dedicated Australian staff, the company now has operations in solar, port, and of course the construction of the Carmichael Mine and Rail Project. Remembering beginnings The EIS process began in October 2010, and the Adani team in Australia wanted to have Queensland coal on a ship to India sometime in 2014. However, this was not as straightforward as first imagined – with consistent legal hurdles presented by activist groups and a delayed approvals process through political turmoil, among other things. The story of Adani’s first ten years in Australia celebrates the strength of individual and collective character, of 36

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regional communities and of the resolve and spirit of the people who live in those communities. It celebrates how Adani has stayed true to its purpose and promise to supply Queensland coal to developing countries as part of a responsible and sustainable energy strategy, while supporting communities and economic growth in regional Australia. Delivering on the promise 12 months on from final approvals, the Carmichael Mine and Rail project is moving ahead with speed. Construction of the Carmichael Project’s roads, railway, accommodation camps and mine infrastructure has been completed or is well underway. Workers from Townsville and Rockhampton

arrive daily by air to the new Labona airstrip. The company’s ability to see off the activists’ challenges over the last decade rested to a large extent on the common sense of everyday Australians. They could see through the myths the activists used to distort the facts. In return, three years on from the launch of its innovative regional content strategy, Adani has made concrete the promise of jobs, skills and economic strength for regional Queensland. More than 2,000 people have been employed and more than AUD1.5 billion of contracts have been awarded to like-minded individuals, small businesses and large organisations in just over 12 months since the project’s final approvals were granted.

In the decade since Adani started investing in Australia the company has encountered many naysayers, opposition voices and challenges regarding governance, legal and environmental approvals.


Among the skilled contracting firms to sign up to deliver the Carmichael Project are the likes of BMD Group, Martinus, Wagners, Mendi Group, G&S Engineering and Stresscrete. Against this backdrop of construction, Adani has consolidated its port-operations business. A record 31.96 million tonnes of coal was transported through the Port of Abbot Point in the 2019/20 fiscal year. The 65MW Rugby Run solar farm also continued to harness the Queensland sun and power local businesses and homes while demonstrating the efficiency and reliability of the technology. In the decade since Adani started investing in Australia the company has encountered many naysayers, opposition voices and challenges regarding governance, legal and environmental approvals. Adani has overcome these challenges to build its Carmichael Mine and Rail Project and deliver on the promise of jobs and opportunities for regional Queenslanders.

A new brand for the mining business To mark the ten-year anniversary of operations in Australia, Adani launched a new brand for their Australian mining business, Bravus Mining & Resources. With construction of the Carmichael Project well underway, the time was right to give Adani’s mining business its own Australian brand. “Bravus is proud to be a dedicated Australian company that is part of the north and central Queensland community, and we will continue to stand up and deliver for the good of our community, no matter how courageous it requires us to be,” said Bravus Mining & Resources CEO David Boshoff, as the brand was launched in November. The launch of the brand coincided with an announcement of Bravus’s Platinum partnership with the North Queensland Cowboys, as another symbol of dedication to the regional Queensland community. The new Bravus name will be rolled out over the next year, as the company heads towards producing first coal in 2021. 

Adani Mining is now

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Market outlook

Those contracts, many delivered during the coronavirus health and economic crisis, recognise and harness regional Queensland’s world-class mining equipment, technology and services credentials.


BBMC Updates BBMC Updates

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BBMC updates

The 2020 Queensland Mining Awards – the mining industry’s night of nights

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as Field Services was named the Queensland Mining Contractor of the Year for 2020, at a sold-out black-tie gala held in Mackay in September. The 2020 Queensland Mining Awards, recognising the state’s hardestworking contractors, suppliers and producers, culminated in the eagerly anticipated gala presentation dinner. Gas Field Services were named the winner in the Safety Initiative Award and were also strong contenders in the Productivity category for their 4C Wireline drilling technique. Judges felt that, for a small company, Gas Field Services’ clear focus on investing in innovation makes a major impact in moving exploration methodology forward. The major industry accolade was presented in front of industry heavyweights and keynote speakers including Tyler Mitchelson, CEO, Anglo American Metallurgical Coal, Ian Macfarlane, Chief Executive of the Queensland Resources Council, and the Hon. Keith Pitt MP, Minister for Resources, Water and Northern Australia. Minister Pitt had nothing but praise for the finalists and winners of the evening, saying it was important this year more than ever to celebrate the companies

that contribute so strongly to keeping Queensland’s economy running. The Queensland Mining Awards were co-hosted by the Bowen Basin Mining Club and the Queensland Resources Council, recognising contractors, suppliers and producers across nine peer-judged categories. The 29 finalist entries displayed the true diversity of the industry, representing the full spectrum of major contractors and producers, right down to one-man businesses. Creative solutions to industry problems showcased skills in mathematics, engineering, environmental, human resources, procurement and manufacturing. Bowen Basin Mining Club Director Jodie Currie was thrilled with how the event came together, showing that celebration is still in vogue, and can be safely accomplished in a COVID-19 safe environment. “Tonight, we saw a celebration of the Queensland mining industry, one that was particularly sweet given the extraordinary circumstances we’ve seen this year. In two years, we look forward to once again partnering with Reed Exhibitions to host the 2022 Awards alongside the Queensland Mining and Engineering Exhibition in Mackay.” “Gas Field Services’ win tonight is truly representative of the resilience and creativity found across the sector, come what may,” said Ms Currie. The 2020 Awards were made possible by industry supporters and sponsors including QME, Mackay Regional Council, METS Ignited, Anglo American and BHP.

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Greyhound Innovation (METS) Award

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he most original and ground-breaking approach to a project, including any new concept, technology and/or innovative process that was instrumental in increasing operational efficiency or improving project delivery.

Finalists Emesent Hovermap: mapping the inaccessible Hovermap uses LiDAR to accurately, quickly and safely map any space in real time, with handheld or drone delivery. Using Hovermap, mines have significantly increased safety, with overall reduced costs and production delays. Polymathian Transforming Mining Value Chains

Winner Universal Field Robots | Imdex Increased drill & blast safety, productivity & reduced risk Together, Universal Field Robots and IMDEX conquered the challenge of logging blast holes while removing operators from harm’s way. The IMDEX BLASTDOG™ solution moved from concept to prototype in just four months, providing geological data and enhancing productivity. This was a hotly debated category, with judges looking at all five finalists as addressing the industry’s big issues. Judge Sharna Glover said, "A great innovation that shows the power of partnering. A robotics platform that is able to be exported makes a very commendable entry."

Polymathian’s ‘Bolt’ product solves problems across the value chain, considering all components and system impacts through industrial mathematics. Using Bolt, the mine improved margins by ten percent, and decreased planning effort by at least ten times. Redeye Apps Optimising O&M Inspections Redeye created a virtual model to mirror two draglines, simplifying complex dragline maintenance data management. The digital twin allows planners and onsite engineers to see component history and capture live maintenance data. Sedgman SMART Condition Monitoring The SMART plant provides solutions that optimise Sedgman’s minerals processing operations. Using affordable new sensor technology and cloud-based platforms, Sedgman integrated several intelligent systems to produce live data streams.

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BBMC updates

JCB CEA Innovation (Miner) Award

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he most original and ground-breaking approach to a project, including any new concept, technology and/or innovative process that was instrumental in increasing operational efficiency or improving project delivery.

Finalists Anglo American World’s first Group 1 Intrinsically safe underground tablet Anglo American successfully developed and launched the only Group 1 electronic tablet device certified for unrestricted use in underground mining globally. This allows for real-time communication and recordkeeping underground.

Winner Anglo American World’s first remote multi-pass drill The Anglo American (Dawson) team produced the first known rotary blasthole drill rig to complete multi-pass operations remotely. This removes operators from the field, with strong safety outcomes. Judge Andrew Wilson said, “This initiative showed great ingenuity, and really challenges the status quo for the exploration industry.’

Environmental monitoring made easy

Call +61 7 3237 8111 or visit texcel.com.au

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Sonic Healthplus Safety Initiative Award

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he most outstanding initiative to make safety a priority on site, including continuous improvement and full integration into a project/initiative, with real results able to be demonstrated.

Winner Gas Field Services Hands Free Drilling – The Way of the Future Gas Field Services introduced the LF-160 Drill Rig and Freedom Loader. This solution drastically reduces manual handling and increases safety-critical functions with handsfree drilling. Judge Chris Mijnssen said, “Eliminating manual handling is a great step forward to reduce high numbers of injuries and incidents.” Finalists Mastermyne Brain Science Mastermyne created the Brain Science Project to engage staff in understanding how behaviour and emotion impacts safety, productivity and culture. There has been a notable reduction in safety incidents, as well as increased training benefits. Waterline Projects 3D Printing for Familiarisation Waterline Projects created a safety training model with the help of 3D printing. This allows employee familiarisation with hazards while reducing safety risks on site.

Glencore Productivity Award

A

project completed through an innovation or new process which resulted in a significant time and/or cost-saving solution for the client. Winner Polymathian Maximising NPV with industrial mathematics Polymathian used their ORB mathematical solution to optimise mine planning for a client, condensing the planning process from weeks to just 12 hours. The client saw a 35% increase to NPV, with superior productivity outcomes. Judge Peter Kane said, “Applying cutting edge industrial mathematics to complex mine planning situations saves time and money, and Polymathian is now a major part of the intelligent mines of the future.” Finalists Gas Field Services 4C Wireline – the new drilling technique Gas Field Services implemented the 4C Wireline Coring system to complement their LF-160 handsfree drilling rig. This decreased rod hole trips by 70%, increasing production by 15 holes a year and saving just under 3 shifts. Vayeron Intrinsically Safe Wireless Longwall Inclinometer Vayeron produced a wireless, plug and play sensor to replace expensive, permanently wired longwall inclinometers. The Vayeron sensor costs around $300 per device, rather than $1700.

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T

he most outstanding community or internal consultation and engagement project OR the most outstanding initiative to promote equal opportunity (whether indigenous, women in mining or a community initiative).

BBMC updates

SMW Group Staff / Community Award

SMW Group EEO Award

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he most outstanding initiative to promote equal opportunity (whether indigenous, women in mining or a community initiative).

Winner Byerwen Coal

Winner

Yila Yina Mundu (Turn Around from Here) Program

New Oakleigh Coal

This collaborative effort built on the Thida Bullaroo (Step By Step) program, expanding QCoal’s Indigenous participation strategy. 24 new-to-industry roles were created, with fulltime employment offered following completion of training. This increased Indigenous participation rates at Byerwen to over 12%.

Jeebropilly Mine Closure – ‘Finishing Well’ The Finishing Well program aimed to retain employees with a positive safety and productivity culture in the months leading up to the Jeebropilly mine’s closure. Staff retention through the 2-year program was 98.9%. Judge Dan Reynolds said: “A great program to transition employees through closure, whilst maintaining safe production and setting employees up for life.” Finalists Anglo American LIVE online concert series Anglo American created a series of online streamed private concerts for employees, contractors, stakeholders, traditional owner groups and their families. This helped decrease staff isolation throughout COVID-19 restrictions. Hastings Deering

Judge Dan Reynolds said, “A positive initiative bringing the traditional owner, contractor, and mine owner together to promote Indigenous employment". Finalist Anglo American Balancing the Team Program – female-only underground trainee intake Anglo American’s Moranbah North mine took a different approach to recruitment and training to drive inclusion and diversity. Eight entry-level trainee underground miner roles were created, with no experience necessary. Trainees will complete a Cert II in underground coal mining and gain hands-on experience.

Together As One Hastings Deering pioneered the ‘Together as One’ program, fostering cultural change throughout their 3,500 strong workforce. The program has resulted in more than 3000 employee experiences and over 15,000 website impressions.

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QME Best Product Launch Award

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he most innovative product launched during May 2018- April 2020.

Winner BIS Razor: proprietary underground grader BIS realised that innovation was sorely needed to fix inefficient, underpowered machinery that lacked reliability. Razor - developed, designed and manufactured in Australia delivers over 30% increased tractive effort, improved braking and most importantly, improved safety. Judge Peter Kane said, “The BIS Razor was designed with miners, for miners and exhibits long awaited improvements in safety, efficiency, power and ergonomics. Great to see the conversion from the design board to the coal face.”

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Finalists Ava Risk Group Aura IQ – Conveyor Health Monitoring Mining3 and Ava Risk Group collaborated to deliver a game-changing predictive conveyor monitoring system. Aura IQ is intrinsically safe and virtually maintenance-free, meaning the solution can be used underground as well as on the surface. Skopit Structural steel clamping system The Skopit system instantly eliminates hot welding work to structural steel in and around coal and mineral processing facilities. The clamp maintains steelwork integrity, is reusable and takes just minutes to install on any size beam or column. SMW Group The Ultralift – collaborative commercialisation SMW Group solved a major logistical and safety problem by creating the Ultralift, a remotely operated mobile straddle carrier. Eliminating complex slewing crane lifts saves around $15,000 every time the Ultralift is used.


BBMC updates

McLanahan Environment Award

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he most innovative approach to environmental protection or rehabilitation.

Winner KCB Australia Isaac River Upstream Drop Structure The Isaac River Diversion’s existing drop structure failed repeatedly under flood conditions. KCB Australia’s new design’s modelling predicts enhanced energy dissipation, improved flow stability and prevention of scour upstream. Judge Darren Oliver said, “An innovative engineering solution that met a clear need for improvement, considering the environment it needs to work in. This looks like it will achieve a much better result than the current solution.”

Finalists Mining3 Alternative Explosives Mining3 are testing alternative explosive formulations, eliminating the nitrogen component and replacing it with hydrogen peroxide. This has the potential for a zero harmful fume scenario, also lowering risks to the environment, safety and productivity. New Century Resources Economic Rehabilitation Economic rehabilitation involves recovering about 77 million tonnes of mineralised waste from tailings storage for reprocessing and sale, funding the future rehabilitation of the rest of the Century mine. Since commencing, 10% of the tailings have been reprocessed, and long-term monitoring data is shaping up to be world-class.

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METS Ignited Collaboration Award

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he most outstanding collaborative effort between producers and contractors/suppliers, delivering results and enhancing cost-saving, timesaving and/or innovative outcomes.

Winner Ava Risk Group | Mining3 Innovation Through Collaboration Mining3 and Ava Risk Group collaborated to deliver a gamechanging predictive conveyor monitoring system. Within 10 months, the team produced the Aura IQ, an innovative, low cost and flexible maintenance solution that uses fibre optics, signal processing algorithms and data analytics. Judge Sharna Glover said, “This entry showed strong work over an extended period, with cross-industry collaboration.” Finalists Mitchell Services | Anglo American Underground Coal Gas Drainage Drill Rig Mitchell Services’ most recent innovation in drilling solutions is the CX1500 CoalXplorer underground coal UIS drill rig. The rig delivers enhanced data capture of the geological environment. In trials on Anglo American sites, this showed potential to help improve safety and productivity of gas drainage through enhanced geological data capture. Unearthed Solutions | BHP

Bowen Basin Mining Club Queensland Mining Contractor of the Year

T

his award is selected from category finalists and winners, for excellence in safety, productivity and innovation displayed across multiple categories.

‘Fast Track’ Challenge’ In 2019, BHP partnered with Unearthed to run a global online crowd sourcing competition to improve their site access experience. 27 companies presented solutions, and 7 shortlisted entries worked directly with BHP’s team for evaluation. ComplyFlow provided the winning solution. Universal Field Robots | IMDEX Drill and blast safety Universal Field Robots and IMDEX conquered the challenge of logging blast holes, while removing operators from harm’s way. The IMDEX BLASTDOG™ solution moved from concept to prototype in just four months, providing geological data and enhancing productivity.

Winner Gas Field Services The judging panel agreed that Gas Field Services clearly demonstrated strong innovation and a willingness to collaborate with OEMs to solve persistent industry issues. Their solutions were collaborative, innovative and had a strong safety element. “Gas Field Services is having a major impact on the way we think about exploration, innovation and technology in our industry.” - Dan Reynolds “We’re happy to award someone in the exploration space, particularly a small company looking to make a big impact.”Andrew Wilson “We applaud the foresight and investment by Gas Field Services as a contractor to introduce significant technology to the Australian market.” - Darren Oliver 

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Be Informed: a new video interview series for the BBMC Episode 1: Queensland Resources Council, Ian Macfarlane 18 May 2020 The BBMC Be Informed Interview Series kicked off with Queensland Resources Council Chief Executive Mr Ian Macfarlane. Naturally, conversation revolved around the resources sector’s response to COVID-19 and the industry’s important role in the road to economic recovery. The best outcomes were that no one contracted the virus up to that time by being part of a site workforce - maintaining the safety of surrounding communities, while keeping production levels steady. Interstate FIFO was cut by approximately 65%, with crucial workers moved to Queensland, while filling up Central Queensland accommodation - good news for local businesses. Resource companies rallied strongly to the cause, getting behind medical centres, pathology laboratories and social programs to minimise isolation and keep communities connected. In an environment of wholesale job losses and an economy suddenly dependent on welfare programs, the resource industry became an even more important source of support for the government, bringing in both export and royalty income. The mining sector was not nearly as badly impacted as retail and tourism, and in recovery mode, industry’s role will be twofold. Firstly, continuing income to support people and maintain health services is key, and secondly, to ensure the economy remains resilient enough with a strong base to recover from post-pandemic. Ian reiterated that the QRC would continue to advocate strongly for cutting away red tape that holds applications back, arguing that opening up new investments such as gas fields and mines will give the state a much-needed economic boost – we never know when the next disaster will demand another major response. Episode 2: Multicom Resources, Shaun McCarthy 4 June 2020 Shaun McCarthy, CEO of Multicom Resources, talked about the status of their St Elmo project, and the exciting future of vanadium in Queensland’s North West Minerals Province. While vanadium is traditionally used to produce a high-strength steel alloy, there’s growing excitement around emerging technology in Vanadium Redox Flow Batteries. These batteries represent an ideal grid-scale storage solution, although there’s also a place for smaller industrial demand as well as residential use. They have significant advantages over traditional storage media such as lithium. Photo: Josh Kelly

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The St Elmo project, located just outside Julia Creek, was awarded major project status by the Federal government in 2019, and more recently, was similarly designated by the Queensland government. International jurisdictions looking for stable, long-term supplies of vanadium have prompted this designation. It means that government recognises the importance of getting projects like Multicom’s online by moving projects through the regulatory framework efficiently. The St Elmo project is in a strong position to be able to go to market for funding early next year, having worked hard to get ready to lodge their EIS statement, and are looking forward to the grant of their mining lease.

Episode 3: Castillo Copper, Ged Hall 24 June 2020 Ged Hall, Director, Castillo Copper, talked with Kim Wainwright, Chair of Queensland Explorations Council about the prospectivity of the North West Minerals Province. They discussed the exciting technical results on Castillo’s Aria project in the Mount Isa copperbelt. Castillo Copper is fortunate to have identified nine potential targets in the province, including several iron oxide, copper and gold targets. The Aria project is particularly significant because of the interpreted size of the deposit, which is potentially huge. Independent consultants have recently interpreted a 130m thick target, and several other large supergene mineralisations only 25m below surface. Findings imply that the whole deposit could be of quite an extraordinary size.

Castillo Copper is fortunate to have identified nine potential targets in the province, including several iron oxide, copper and gold targets.

Ged is based in London but keeps a close eye on developments in Queensland. The North West Minerals Province has world-class asset potential and as long as the government continues to focus on employment and building the economy, it will continue to attract businesses and people to the region. We’ll be seeing Ged, perhaps accompanied by some key investors, to see the drilling taking place, as soon as travel is practicable.

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BBMC updates

Multicom Resources, like similar producers, are partnering with technology companies, forming joint ventures to ensure a cost-effective supply chain, driving the technology onto the market. Shaun emphasised that the next couple of years will be pivotal in this emerging market. Multicom have established a wholly-owned subsidiary, Freedom Energy, and work with a partner, StorEn Technologies who produce vanadium flow batteries.


Episode 4: New Hope Group, Andrew Boyd 10 August 2020 In August, Jodie Currie spoke with Andrew Boyd, COO of New Hope Group. Prior to the Queensland state election, the New Acland Expansion project was crying out for community support as they faced job losses due to an ongoing legal battle. Unfortunately, there was no progress prior to the election or since, and the mine’s closure is now further advanced. Here’s our summary of what’s happened with the New Acland Expansion project: What is New Acland Stage 3?

Photo: Bravus Mining & Resources

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New Acland is an operating open cut thermal coal mine on the Darling Downs, just outside of Oakey. With a 5mtpa production capacity, it’s been running for 18 years, employing over 300 locals. As part of mine planning, in 2007 New Hope applied for an extension to their existing mining lease – the ‘Stage 3’ extension. This attracted opposition, so they modified the scope and re-applied for the extension in 2013. In 2014, the Coordinator-General approved the extension – and then the legal battles started.

What’s going on? Quite simply, the mine is running out of coal, and legal appeals will continue to delay the project’s approval. The opposition to the mine, a group called the Oakey Coal Action Alliance, has unlimited legal backing from the Environmental Defenders Office – funded by taxpayers. The project has strong community support – over 80% of locals say they want the project to go ahead, and all of the farms neighbouring the mine are happy to co-exist. What’s the holdup? The State Government has said they won’t approve the mine while it’s before the courts. But the opposition tactic is simply that – to keep the mine before the courts. Environmental approvals have been granted, so appeals aren’t even on an environmental basis anymore. The case is currently before the High Court. Both the Land Court and Appeals Court have found that the project should be approved, but the legal system supports project opponents to simply keep on appealing. The High Court challenge will take 18 months. In those 18 months, the entire workforce at New Acland will have lost their jobs.


BBMC updates

What’s happened since? In November, the New Acland Stage 3 Groundwater Management and Monitoring Plan was approved by the Federal Government – the final sign-off at a Federal level. However, the current operations have begun to scale down, with job losses, night shift production reduced and the CHPP running just four days a week. The final hurdle is State sign-off – on the mining lease and associated water license. Episode 5: Bravus Mining & Resources, David Boshoff 18 August 2020 Jodie Currie interviewed David Boshoff, recently appointed CEO of Adani Mining Australia (now Bravus Mining & Resources) about his goals and background. While he was born and raised in South Africa, and initially worked as an underground conveyor belt cleaner in a mine, David emigrated to Australia to pursue a career soon after finishing tertiary education. He’s grateful for the opportunities he’s had in Queensland and Australia, and for the many people who have guided him in many roles in the industry so far. Drawing particularly from his eight years with BHP as Caval Ridge Mine Manager, David maintains that project success is all about people. Success comes from having three things in place – having the right people in place, ensure people are committed to a common goal with a clear context, and keeping motivation high by having fun along with the ever-present challenges of the job. As CEO of Bravus Mining & Resources, David is acutely aware of the privilege he has to lead a company who can create benefits for people to be able to better themselves and their families in some way. In many aspects, this was his own experience, with early educational sponsorship and experiences made available that led to his family having an improved lifestyle and access to opportunity and choices.

Photo: BHP

Episode 6: Department of Natural Resources, Mines and Energy, Peter Donaghy 21 August 2020 Peter Donaghy, Director for Coal at the Coal Assessment Hub, Department of Natural Resources, Mines and Energy confirmed that the resources sector, and particularly our thriving coal industry continues to steam ahead, through good times and bad. The approvals pipeline has not been adversely impacted by the pandemic, with a steady stream of new mining lease applications adding to the 15 received in 2019. About 70% of these are for metallurgical coal, although the thermal sector is also strong. The strength of the pipeline is attributed to:

2021 remains the target date for first coal. The company is on track to deliver, although the pandemic provided some challenges. Staff remain on high alert, although the Adani policy of regional employment reduces their interstate staff risk profile considerably. Aside from this, wet weather is the other major risk factor.

• some of the best enabling infrastructure in the world • the world-leading quality of our met coal • some of the smartest engineers and companies at work in our METS sector • a capable workforce with extremely high safety standards

As CEO, David’s objectives are firstly to deliver the project safely, deliver on time and on budget, and to ensure the company delivers on its commitments. Many people have supported Adani for a long time with their voice and resources, and the company is excited to give back to those people and communities.

During the year major developments have been moving forward, and although some tend to fly ‘under the radar’, like Pembroke’s Olive Downs mine, they are all contributing significantly to royalties and production figures. Private capital expenditure on greenfield projects is vibrant and growing, despite the many hurdles and extended development timelines.  BBMC Yearbook 2020

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Big ideas for industry: the BBMC Crib Room Podcast

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s a new initiative in 2020, we started the BBMC Crib Room Podcast. In the Crib Room, we sit down with mining industry leaders and trailblazers to find out how they joined the industry, how they’d tackle big issues, and where they see the future of the industry heading. Nothing is off the table in The Crib Room – here’s an excerpt of the ‘big ideas’ we discussed in Season 1. Interested in Season 2? Search ‘BBMC Crib Room’ wherever you listen to your podcasts, or visit bit.ly/ cribroompodcast. Episode 1 The Big Questions – the Hon. Keith Pitt, Minister for Resources, Water and Northern Australia This open and frank discussion was an opportunity for the Federal Minister to outline his approach to his (at the time) new portfolio and how the pandemic has impacted activity. Right from finding out the Minister’s passion for car restoration and his humble start as an electrician, to discussing localised manufacturing and processing of our abundant natural resources – our discussion covered it all.

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The Minister also explained his views on some big questions like energy security and the plans for COVID-19 recovery. “It’s a world of opportunity, but we've got to get the fundamentals right: and the fundamentals are a competitive gas price and a competitive electricity price. We do need to be able to continue to compete in a worldwide market. Australia's always been a trading nation. We will continue to be a trading nation and trade means jobs for us. The price of electricity is critical for everybody in Australia, whether you are the butcher, baker or candlestick maker, and particularly if you want to be competitive in manufacturing and downstream processing. I know wholesale prices are down substantially right across the market, so I'd expect that will flow through to domestic prices in the very near future. The Australian Government has committed to underwrite new power generation into the market. And of course, additional supply always means lower prices. In terms of a gas-fired recovery [from COVID-19], there's technology potentially on the horizon, but we’re not going to sit around and wait for technology to appear. We are working hard in the hydrogen space, but a gas-led recovery will mean lower electricity prices as long as we can get competitive gas prices into the market.”


BBMC updates

Episode 2 Business Development – Dan Whitmore, Director, DJW Consulting Dan Whitmore established DJW Consulting as a means to becoming a conduit for business development throughout a number of niche market sectors. As an industry professional, Dan ‘connects the dots’ for contractors and companies in mechanical and civil sectors throughout Queensland, the Northern Territory, New South Wales and South Australia. The topic on everyone’s mind at the time of the podcast interview in was the COVID-19 pandemic. The conversation centred around the importance of relationships in unusual times, how COVID-19 has changed the way business development works, and some top tips for business development in the mining industry. Our ‘big question’ for Dan was expansive – we asked what Dan saw as the future of coal. His reply was emphatic:

“Coal has a massive future – I’m all for renewables to do what they can on some energy demands, but coal is needed as well to bear the brunt of energy requirements for the economy. Coal right now is part of the backbone of the economy (during COVID-19 recession). Dan Whitmore

“Coal has a massive future – I’m all for renewables to do what they can on some energy demands, but coal is needed as well to bear the brunt of energy requirements for the economy. Coal right now is part of the backbone of the economy (during COVID-19 recession). We dig the coal out and send it overseas and I find it interesting that currently Australia is not building any new coal-fired power plants, while overseas building is going on at a great pace. We need to keep business going and adapt to our ‘new normal’ – if that means working from home then we need to keep calling and emailing to keep our working relationships flowing. It’s interesting times for business development but the main thing is to keep working on every channel. If you’re a small company, wanting to break into the mining contractor business, it’s all about having the right people, the right equipment, the highest standards in safety, onboarding and qualifications. If you can build the relationships and present the credentials to prove you can do the job, you’ll eventually be able to start tendering – there may be some lessons to learn before you win a contract, but once you have a foot in the door, you’re on the way. Don’t neglect your contacts and who you might be sitting next to at that luncheon, airport lounge or conference.”

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Episode 3 Resources, rugby and culture – Nathan Sharpe, Executive General Manager, Brunel Client Services Many people would remember Nathan from his days as a rugby great. Currently, Nathan heads up the Australian arm of Brunel, providing recruitment and labour services to projects and organisations in energy and infrastructure. His unique career path has given him a leadership edge that he now brings to the industry. Nathan introduced an engaging perspective on the similarities between leadership in rugby and in mining. The conversation explored his expertise and experience in mentoring and producing a successful team culture while balancing safety and productivity. Our big question for Nathan focused on the skills shortage. We’ve seen record low numbers of graduates in disciplines like mining engineering, as well as losing potential tradespeople to other industries – we asked how do we turn that around and ensure a secure future with good people for the resources industry?

Photo: Josh Kelly

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“I think a lot of it is about leadership. The mining sector is a very cyclical beast – what I tend to see is that a commodity goes off the boil and companies tend to focus on the coalface (for want of a better word). Everything else gets thrown out in an effort to survive. The companies who adapt to cutbacks and also manage to keep some focus on bringing new-toindustry people in like engineers, mechanical trades and an apprenticeship program. These are the companies to follow and take a leaf out of their book for the inevitable ‘next time’.


Episode 4 Indigenous Engagement – Margarita Escartin, Lead Consultant and MD, Red Cliff Project Consultants Margarita works with companies and communities, facilitating positive social impacts through project development. She has a strategic, people-centred approach to community engagement, and is well-known in the Queensland mining industry. Margarita talked about what best practice in indigenous engagement looks like, with the perspectives of her long and varied experience. She talked frankly of the challenges facing the industry, and also what can be achieved together. We asked Margarita what she considered her biggest achievement to date. There have been two standouts so far: “I’m particularly proud of what’s been achieved with QCoal, Byerwen Mine and Jangga Operations. Although we’ve worked with a unique set of circumstances that is not often afforded commonly, we’ve seen lasting, long-term development and employment results because of leadership from the front, agility and an ability to respond, and very deep-seated relationships with traditional owner groups. Working alongside these people has been the most joyous and rewarding aspect - designing projects, understanding what people can and can’t do, and creating an environment that facilitates opportunities to create change in their lives through economic participation. My other highlight has been international work. Firstly, assisting with indigenous engagement for a development project in Honduras (I am fluent in Spanish), and most recently, working on environmental social governance due diligence for a hydro project in Nepal. My ‘peak’ moment was surveying the world surrounded by snow-capped Himalayan mountains. I’m keen to pursue more international work when the opportunity arises.”

BBMC updates

For the sake of the sector going forward, companies need to keep those entry pathways open, as there’s enough really good young people out there looking for opportunities. But if those pathways are closed, there’s a confluence with social pressure that mining is ‘big and bad’ and that leads to shortages. But it all comes down to leadership and creating avenues for people to get into the industry.”

Episode 5 Shifting our innovation mindset – Dr Sharna Glover, CEO, Imvelo Imvelo was founded by Dr Sharna Glover and Dr Alan Bye to deliver business transformation using value chain solutions and their deep understanding of industry ecosystems and enterprise system technology. This episode tackled the issue about why ‘the way it’s always been’ damages the industry. Sharna approaches the topic of innovation with a refreshing mindset and global perspectives about Industry 4.0 and upcoming opportunities in mining that make you sit up and think. We asked Sharna what she’d say to someone who says that automation means job losses on the ground. Her response was clear: “The word ‘robotics’ does frighten people in terms of job losses. Certainly, what we’ve seen is that we generate at least five times the jobs we replace including the flow-on effects in industry and the companies we build outside of a mining company to provide the solutions we want. I think the reaction is because people don’t think through the ecosystem of, say, one automated truck, for example – • the people needed to code and build the software to run the truck • the people who build the hardware that goes into the truck • the maintenance of the systems • the community who support the solutions, such as network communications and data flow We’re also not taking jobs away – the focus is on reskilling and future-proofing people already in the industry – they’re so valuable because they know the mine and add their understanding to the new skills learned. There’s huge opportunity for more jobs, and we work hard to see that industry recognises that. We do whatever we can to find and manufacture solutions in Australia, rather than buy in from overseas and encourage the growth of the robotics and automation industries through not-for-profits like Robotics Australia Group.”

Working alongside these people has been the most joyous and rewarding aspect - designing projects, understanding what people can and can’t do, and creating an environment that facilitates opportunities to create change in their lives through economic participation. Margarita Escartin

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Photo: Josh Kelly

Episode 6 Vision, green shoots and ‘big small’ companies – Michael Gray, CEO, NewBlack Energy MG (as he is commonly known) was the inaugural speaker at the BBMC Emerald Luncheon back in 2012 and has 25 years’ experience across all facets of the industry from government, to large corporations, greenfield projects, coal markets, M&A and project finance. Michael’s conversation ranged widely across his massive breadth of experience in coal mining in Queensland. His perspectives on the state of the sector, the lessons he’s learned from mentors like Ken Talbot and others, and his faith in the future of mining businesses, large and small, shone through. We asked what Michael would change about the approvals process for expansions and greenfield projects, if he had a blank slate: “One of my key frustrations is the amount of technical review required to meet the terms of reference for approvals. You end up with literally kilograms of reports and 90% of them are generic, ‘tick-a-box’, no matter what type of resource project it may be, whether it’s an oil refinery in Cairns or an LNG project in Southport.

We do an analysis on facts, based on what coal plants are being built and what policies are being developed right now. For longer than I’ve been in the business, activists have been saying that coal is dying. Our firm view is that thermal coal has a very bright future. Mark Gresswell

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If there’s a particular environmental issue with a project, I continue to think the best value for money would be to spend the resource on learning about that, rather than waste money on a long process. I think this change might be a bit utopian, though, since the opposition to a coal project will always try to focus on every little issue they can find, even minor administrative issues that just bog down the project.” Episode 7 Coal Marketing 101 – Mark Gresswell, Director, Commodity Insights Mark manages a team of analysts digging to discover global market insights, with over a decade of experience in coal marketing and consulting. Mark spoke about the state of coal marketing in 2020, particularly focusing on the pandemic’s effect on global commodity markets, how Australia is placed, and what the evidence says about the future of coal. We asked Mark for his take on the future of coal, given the back-and-forth between activists who say coal is dead and the International Energy Agency who say it will be part of the energy mix for decades to come. “Next time you speak to an activist, ask them for the facts around their argument. We do an analysis on facts, based on what coal plants are being built and what policies are being developed right now. For longer than I’ve been in the business, activists have been saying that coal is dying. Our firm view is that thermal coal has a very bright future, and to put some context around that statement, the facts are:


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• Since 2006, the seaborne thermal coal market has doubled in size – it’s now a billion tonnes • Coal exports have grown in volume every year except 2015 • Global economic growth in the next 15-20 years will be driven by China, India, South East Asia, Pakistan and Bangladesh • All these countries have relatively low electricity consumption and are forecasting a doubling of demand as they move to a higher standard of living • All energy resources will have a role to play, but every country is planning to build coal-fired power plants as major energy sources • Coal is clearly the cheapest, very safe and widely available The only way Australian coal exports won’t continue to grow is if Asian economies falter significantly – and if that happens, we have bigger things to worry about!” Episode 8 Community Voices and Engagement – Dr Kieren Moffat, CEO, Voconiq Kieren is a social scientist and the CEO and co-founder of Voconiq, a company that’s driven by science, aiming to understand and quantify relationships between communities, companies, industries and governments. Voconiq was built on the back of 10 years of CSIRO research by a team of social scientists, led by Kieren. They aim to improve community engagement using data science and analytics capabilities. We asked Kieren, given a blank slate, how he could redesign the entire community engagement process. What would it look like - right from EIS to operations? “If I was to introduce one big idea to the sector, I would take a step back and create a single source of truth for communities. It would be a one-stop shop driven by a science-based concept to: • engage everyone in the community and ensure all voices are heard in the right places • inform the conversation about how mining looks • update everyone as the project develops • meaningfully connect the community to influence project trajectory The results could eliminate the community being ‘oversurveyed’ and asked the same questions repeatedly by different stakeholders. It could deliver increased clarity about where the data goes and who uses it and how. The community should be able to see how their perspectives end up shaping the project. It would flip the model by reducing the load from being on the community, to the burden of value being with the community.”

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Photo: Josh Kelly

Episode 9 Environment, activism and approvals – Ngaire Tranter, CEO, Nitro Solutions This episode was like speaking to an old friend, as we caught up with Ngaire, an environmental scientist who took an interesting path to where she is today (Steve Irwin and a stint as a flight attendant were significant landmarks on the journey – listen to the episode for the full story!). We discussed everything from how the industry could better advocate for ourselves and educate our detractors, to how to redesign the Environmental Impact Statement process for a modern world. Ngaire’s big industry question followed our discussion on the EIS process: as an environmental scientist on the ‘front lines’ of helping companies comply with their approvals, how does activism complicate your job? “You never really know when it's going to raise its head. In my experience with activism, it is a case of localised projects being picked up to fit in with a global issue, then all of a sudden it ends up on the internet and you’re the meme. It is hard to pick, and Social Licence to Operate frameworks go some way to try and encapsulate that, but really the issue that we all face is operating in that digital space. There’s no real regulation around digital, yet we allow that to form part of our approvals process. It seems really odd to me that we allow that full-scale, anonymous, digital input on things, rather than speaking to the community that’s directly affected, in a system that’s designed to allow our communities to participate. I think industry and government and practitioners like myself really need to step back and have a look at what is going on there. Is it valid to allow activists to tap in anonymously and digitally to leverage the EIS process?


Episode 10 Diversity, data and operations – Mark Scott, COO, Hastings Deering To round out Season 1 of the podcast, we spoke to Mark about the changing face of the industry, particularly from the perspective of an OEM. Mark manages a portfolio that stretches across Australia and internationally to New Caledonia and Papua New Guinea – but he says the one common feature is the ability of the industry to adapt, no matter what unique challenges are presented. We asked Mark about technology development and the biggest game-changer for OEMs, and this is what he had to say:

“We have seen a lot of changes in technology, and I think we'll see a lot of changes still to come. One of the things that I particularly find interesting is the amount of data that becomes available through a connected site. So much of the equipment, not only the mobile equipment and the heavy equipment, but also everything from a washplant to a train: there's so many different pieces of information and data that are becoming available to us and to our customers. This data helps us improve our operations from a safety perspective, a reliability perspective, as well as an operational and productivity perspective. With that comes new opportunities and new skills in the industry. I wouldn't have thought seven years ago that I would be employing data scientists and mathematicians! It’s amazing some of the programs that these people develop and create, and the problems they solve through data and insights is phenomenal. The connected site is a great opportunity, and it has been a game changer. We continue to invest in technology as an OEM. Caterpillar are at the leading edge around the technology that they're providing on machines, whether that improves your fuel efficiency or helps your productivity, there's great opportunities in that space to continue to add value to customers and make them more successful.” 

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BBMC updates

Within the EIS process there’s licencing opportunities for input, there's political opportunities for input, and then there’s community input. Activists tend to leverage in all three parts of the circle, to make their voices seem a lot louder. They conduct digital warfare, where they might have 10,000 participants in a group, and they will target a project or submission and get everyone to make 10 comments. All of a sudden, it's this massive digital storm, and it's not necessarily based on fact. When you're working in that space, it's really hard once there's misinformation out there to prove what the facts are.”


Tech & ransformatio Tech & Transformation

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The future of sustainable mining Tyler Mitchelson, CEO, Anglo American Metallurgical Coal

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ining must transform in the decades ahead, starting now.

At Anglo American, we are working across our global business to transform the nature of mining through FutureSmart MiningTM – our innovation-led approach to sustainable mining.

on

Our three key pillars of technology, sustainability and digitalisation are shifting the way we source, mine, process, move and market our products – and how our stakeholders experience our business. It is about transforming our physical and societal footprint. And where a solution doesn’t yet exist, we are challenging ourselves to work with our partners to develop them, and in doing so, disrupt some of our more traditional ways of working. We are questioning ‘accepted knowledge’ about our practices and controls and focusing on rapidly emerging technology to reimagine mining in our business. This work is essential to making our operations more sustainable, safe and productive. In our metallurgical coal business based in Queensland, we are establishing a Met Coal Analytics Centre in our Brisbane office. We are bringing together operational, engineering and data science experts to look at major challenges and opportunities for the

future of our mines. This will be achieved by extracting millions of data files from structures, equipment and machinery across our operations into one centre, and analysing them to provide insights that will improve safety and the operational effectiveness of our mines. As the largest underground metallurgical coal miner in Australia, we are uniquely positioned to leverage our own data and technology to transform the way we analyse data to drive safer operations, better decisions and achieve mining excellence. While this is not new, and many companies in our industry are well advanced in harnessing data science opportunities, our scale in underground coal mining here in Queensland enables us to focus on addressing specific challenges in an underground coal environment. This has been supported by our work in recent years to digitise our underground mines in the Bowen Basin, and our continued pursuit of underground automation and remote operation. Over the last few years we worked with a manufacturing partner to launch Australia’s first electronic tablet device certified for use in underground coal mines. We have now rolled them out across our sites, as part of our drive to digitise our operations. We have continued to increase the capability of these devices as we digitise

more of our work processes and enhance our ability to monitor and analyse data in real time. Construction of our underground Aquila project is currently underway near Middlemount in Central Queensland, and on track for first longwall production of premium quality hard coking coal in early 2022. The mine will showcase our innovationled approach to sustainable mining, with a remote operating centre on the surface of the mine, proximity detection systems underground to alert machine operators to pedestrians and the continued digitisation of our operations, including electronic tablets. But the introduction of new technology into the underground environment is not without its challenges. It takes time and resources to engineer and certify any device as ‘intrinsically safe’. We are fortunate to be able to scale the development of new technologies across our operations, as we continue to pursue digitisation and our new analytics centre. In addition to digitising our mines, we are continuing our pursuit of automation and remote operation, as this offers the most significant opportunity to make a step change in mining safety performance. Removing people from potential harm is the best way to improve safety in mining and we are committed to making this happen. While automation has been a priority for us for many years now, we are further bolstering our automation and remote operation plans.

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Tech & Transformation

Modern society rightly expects the mining industry to make a positive contribution to socio-economic development while reducing its environmental footprint. At Anglo American, this is a challenge that we are determined to meet.


But this is work that cannot be done alone. It’s essential mining companies, contractors and government organisations integrate their work and collaborate to achieve an industry that is safer, more efficient and one that is responding to societal expectations. To this end, we have developed a Sustainable Mining Plan that is integral to our FutureSmart MiningTM approach. It will foster innovation and deliver step change results across the entire mining value chain, from mineral discovery right through to marketing. This strategy will also transform our whole business and deliver value to stakeholders. Our Sustainable Mining Plan is built around three global sustainability pillars – trusted corporate leader, thriving communities and healthy environment. These pillars are deliberately ambitious and designed to challenge us to lead and innovate and to meet our target of net zero emissions across all our operations by 2040. Modern society rightly expects the mining industry to make a positive contribution to socio-economic development while reducing its environmental footprint. At Anglo American, this is a challenge that we are determined to meet. 

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How predictive biometrics systems are changing the mining industry for the better Alex Moss, CEO, Canaria Technologies

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ne of the most exciting outcomes of the mining sector implementing Industry 4.0 is that it opens the door to completely new species of technologies. Industry 4.0 is usually only associated with drones, blockchain and asset management, and where this is true, the most interesting part of this shift is simply the move towards consistent high-speed internet access. This allows emerging technologies in sectors not traditionally associated with mining to find new life-solving problems that have plagued the industry for decades. Technologies like Predictive Biometrics Systems.

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What are predictive biometrics systems?

How do predictive biometric systems work?

You have probably never read the term ‘predictive biometrics system’ before, which is understandable because even within its homestead of the medical sciences it is still relatively unknown. But what happens when we make the leap from being able to measure someone’s vital signs to being able to predict disruptions in the patterns of their vital signs data? What if it were possible to use these patterns to know that someone was at risk of a heart attack, 10 minutes before it happened?

In order to understand predictive biometrics systems, we first need to clarify what ‘biometric’ data is. Any data that is gathered about the way the human body functions can be described as biometric.

What if we could alert a user of their fatigue risk prior to an issue arising? 70% of all accidents in the heavy industries are caused by cognitive fatigue and in 2019, cognitive fatigue was cited as the underlying cause of 144 fatalities in Australia, where 43, or more than 30%, were machinery operators and drivers. Developing these self-learning systems which tailor themselves to every person’s individual biometric thresholds becomes a valid field of study and although this may all sound fantastical, not only do these technologies exist; they have been being quietly piloted and refined in the mining industry for past two years.

The best-known types are: • fingerprint and iris scans • electroencephalography (EEG) readings, taken using skullcaps in hospitals and research institutes • electrocardiogram (ECG) readings where pads are placed on the chest to measure electrical heart activity • pulse plethysmography (PPG) which measures oxygen levels in the blood taken from the wrist, finger or ear What makes biometric systems predictive is the ability to make the leap from recognising a pattern in data, to being able to predict the next step in that pattern. Predictive biometrics systems usually consist of a digital monitoring device (such as a miniature electronic vital signs monitor or core body temperature monitor), a processing device such as a smartphone (though highly advanced systems may feature some computing power on the monitors themselves), and a cloud data-transfer infrastructure connecting to a powerful


The most widely-used examples of predictive biometrics systems consist of Medtronic’s MiniMed 770g system for predicting glucose levels in diabetic patients and automatically adjusting the levels of insulin delivered to the user in real-time, and a company called Natural Cycles which has developed a system that predicts women’s fertility cycles based on core body temperature. Predictive biometric systems follow the same principles as most other datacentric predictive systems, requiring large amounts of highly accurate historic data, computer-heavy machine learning techniques and high-speed internet connections to function properly. Whereas the software capabilities and mathematical models used in these cases have been up to the task of prediction for a while; it is the recent breakthroughs in micro-computing hardware which has facilitated the recent emergence of predictive biometric systems, thanks to battery miniaturisation. Along with deeper understandings of how biometrics such as heart rate variability and core body temperature reflect physiological conditions, this new field can be used proactively to solve human performance and safety issues. Predictive biometrics systems are generally anchored to one core biometric (similar to Natural Cycles’ use of core body temperature), however more and more are utilising the interplay of multiple metrics simultaneously. One example is the work of the University of Oxford in investigating multiple vital signs from wrist and ear-based monitors including heart rate variability, blood oxygen levels and human movement. Why aren’t predictive biometrics systems already common? The use cases for building predictive biometric systems are obvious. With the potential for machine learning and deep learning techniques, combined with advances in edge computing, why aren’t predictive biometric systems a common part of every-day life yet? Although in theory it’s (relatively) easy to apply AI to data about the human body to create predictive systems, there simply isn’t enough high accuracy biometric

data in existence yet with which to build accurate models. The great difficulty is that very little medical data is accessible to researchers and coders, and those that is, is often sporadic and inaccurate. In addition, a surprising majority of medical data is still recorded by hand. On the other hand, there is plenty of consumergrade biometric data around (courtesy of Apple Watch and Fitbit), however this data is too inaccurate to build successful AI systems with. Even as little as 2% inaccuracy in vital signs readings can have a compound effect when fed into a neural network which can lead to a system that is 20% inaccurate in its predictions. This level of inaccuracy simply isn’t appropriate for use in life-or-death situations. This is why many companies have moved to making their own high-accuracy monitors to get to medical levels of accuracy (~99%) to get the ball rolling on systems that can be used to solve high-stakes problems. How predictive biometrics could change the mining industry To date, predictive biometrics have mainly been used in medicine and in a somewhat experimental capacity. These systems are particularly useful in mining applications because the working environments are more extreme than, say, office-based work. There's a much higher mortality rate and higher asset damage costs if a worker passes out whilst operating machinery due to fatigue. Sites are also more remote, so it's harder to access medical facilities when accidents do happen, meaning there's an extra incentive to make sure people never get past their physical limits in the first place. Predictive biometrics mean the difference between getting a phone call that your colleague has just had a microsleep or knowing that your colleague is 10 minutes away from having a microsleep. It also means that, although you can implement predictive biometrics based on group metrics, the alerts can be individualised for each user. As technologies become more automated over the next few years, especially with the rise of driverless vehicles, predictive biometric systems will ensure that remote operators work in optimal physical conditions to prevent costly supply chain mistakes. This is

particularly important in a post-drone landscape where operators are likely to work in confined, dark conditions for long periods of time. In the short-term, there are issues in mining which can be solved today like cognitive fatigue, heat exhaustion, man-down incidents and asphyxiation prediction - problems that are perfect for the use of predictive biometrics systems. Perhaps most topically, these systems may also be used to solve critical readyfor-work assessments such as whether someone is showing symptoms of viral infection via elevated pulse, breathing, body temperature and blood oxygen levels. However, as such implementations become more the norm, systems already in use in the field may utilise software updates to produce additional diagnostics capabilities into pre-existing predictive HSSE applications. The five-year horizon sees predictive biometrics systems becoming multifaceted as standard, fully integrated into mining operations. The live data from these systems should also update into mine management software and synchronise with emergency response off-site, such as hospitals. These systems can continually optimise workforces in a way that improves safety and productivity, whilst allowing workers more time off. From an operations and financial view, an emerging field allows the adoption of business models from other industries to help streamline the adoption cycle. To date, a subscription approach has been used most successfully for consumer software, and it makes sense for predictive biometrics approaches in the mining industry as it keeps both CAPEX and OPEX expenditure minimal. Another interesting financial advantage is that, as the benefits of this new type of risk mitigation are quantified, we can expect insurance companies to offer reduced rates to companies who are early adopters. The advent of predictive biometrics systems opens up a whole new world of opportunity to establish a point of truth by collecting and analysing data. This new species of technology enables life-threatening safety incidents to be predicted before they happen, whilst the individualisation to each person allows for optimised rostering. What this means for the mining industry is that workers go home safely. 

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Tech & Transformation

computer network capable of running machine learning techniques to maintain self-learning systems.


Longwall automation at Glencore’s Oaky Creek Coal Glencore

20 years ago, it was a pipe dream. Five years ago, it was ‘maybe we can get there’. Now, we are actually there. We have a longwall being operated from the surface on a safe, regular and controlled basis.

Lauris Hemmings, Engineering & Maintenance Manager at Oaky Creek Coal, is talking about advances in longwall automation at the Glencore underground mine in Central Queensland. Oaky Creek has been at the forefront of trials of CSIRO laser scanning technology that allows longwall operations to be managed remotely from an above-ground control centre. The “ExScan” technology takes a full three-dimensional scan and, through a combination of Wi-Fi and optic fibre, transmits the images from the coal face to the control centre. Operators capture the data on a bank of computer screens to provide a panoramic view of the longwall face, accurate to millimetres, that enables remote guidance of the longwall equipment. 66

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Tech & Transformation

Mr Hemmings said the images generated by the ExScan equipment are also able to be used to identify blockages on conveyor systems under the shearing equipment as well as perfectly aligning the shearers themselves in the coal seam. “It’s an ever-evolving piece of equipment that takes the management of risk to people to even higher levels,” he explained. “The scanners can be mounted in any orientation and on moving equipment and vehicles. This could eventually enable whole mines to be mapped. So we really are only a few steps away from actually being able to take people away from machinery interaction and a hazardous environment, and keep them in a safer place by supporting the mining operation near to the production face, or operating the production face from above ground.” The technology has been pioneered by engineers at the CSIRO Centre for Advanced Technologies in Brisbane. Principal research engineer Dr Mark Dunn said the team’s goal was achieving “hands free” coal mining operations with no negative impact on productivity. “Once we have 10,000 tonnes of equipment that is hundreds of metres underground fully automated, this will really become one of the biggest robots in the world," Dr Dunn told ABC in a recent interview. Oaky Creek has been trialling the equipment for the past two years. Initially, the equipment was remotely operated one day a week. This increased to several fullscale trials carried out for weeks at a time with over 50 of the ExScan units in place. The mine’s next longwall panel will see the full integration into day-to-day operations, meaning that not operating remotely will be the exception.

Once we have 10,000 tonnes of equipment that is hundreds of metres underground fully automated, this will really become one of the biggest robots in the world.

“This technology substantially reduces risk by taking people away from exposure to gas, dust and moving equipment,” said Darren Nicholls, Director of Underground Operations for Glencore’s Australian coal business. “Our Oaky Creek operation has not just talked automation but has shown what can be achieved when a team pulls together for a common goal.”  BBMC Yearbook 2020

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The mining productivity opportunity Alan Bye, Managing Director, Imvelo

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roductivity is fundamentally important to the mining industry, delivering additional economic value and the operational resilience needed during commodity downturns. Perhaps most importantly, the social and environmental expectations on the mining industry will need to be funded through productivity gains. In 2019-2020, according to the Federal Office of the Chief Economist, Australia’s resources industry contributed ~$290B to the economy, accounting for over 70% of export revenues, up from <$40B in 1990 and 40% of export revenues. This extraordinary growth has been fuelled by Asian demand and enabled by large capital investments. 68

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The Australian mining boom’s transition to the production stage came after a period of significant investment in the resources sector, in which more than $400B of mining, energy and infrastructure projects were developed in Australia. Over this same period (1990-2019) the mining industry's multi-factor productivity has declined by 25% (Fig. 1), labour productivity has not improved, significantly lagging the broader economy (Fig. 2) and the capital to output ratio has doubled (Fig. 3). Productivity is the measure of production efficiency. At a national level it captures the economy’s ability to ‘harness its physical and human resources to generate output and income’. Productivity is often confused with production. Productivity is the measure of how efficient the production process is. It is determined when assessing per unit output derived from per unit inputs in the production process. Multi-factor productivity (MFP) reflects the overall efficiency with which labour and capital inputs are used together in the production process.

An often-quoted summary of the importance of productivity growth is that of distinguished US economist Paul Krugman, ”Productivity isn’t everything, but in the long run it is almost everything.” A country's ability to improve its standard of living over time depends almost entirely on its ability to raise its output per worker. World War II veterans came home to an economy that doubled its productivity over the next 25 years; as a result, they found themselves achieving living standards their parents had never imagined. Vietnam veterans came home to an economy that raised its productivity less than 10% in 15 years; as a result, they found themselves living no better - and in many cases worse than their parents. While some of the decline in mining productivity can be attributed to declining resource quality and the effort of accessing deeper deposits, this does not account for all of the regression in productivity. Productivity is a priority and technology alone will not address the fundamental productivity challenge and the underlying shortcomings in capital efficiency and labour productivity.


Tech & Transformation

Collaboration

Technology Australia has unique resource endowments, business and research capabilities, a skilled workforce and regulatory conditions which can be leveraged to develop new industrial capabilities and promote market diversity in resource value chains. Embracing the use of digital technologies in Australia’s resources industries could, if well managed, add $74B in value to the Australian economy and create over 80,000 new jobs by 2030. Interoperability Interoperability will play an important role, reducing the cost of integration and lowering barriers to a more diverse supplier base. Advancements in physical extraction processes supported by digital solutions will be needed to deliver the productivity gains. Australia can lead on the transparency and environmental, social and governance (ESG) fronts. This will be important for access to capital, access to premium markets and collaborative community solutions.

The case for collaboration is compelling. It is essential that we, as an industry, collaborate more effectively within and across industries to build a resilient ecosystem with the critical mass to support the transformation of Australia’s resources industries, supported by local companies. This can be achieved by bringing together the mining, oil and gas, agriculture, forestry, government and METS sectors to support Australian companies that can be scaled across industries. We should not be thinking about industry specific clusters but rather capability clusters that can be leveraged across industries. Capabilities There is significant overlap in the foundational technologies and capabilities that will support the future productivity gains of the resources sector. While the industry specific tasks will vary, there is commonality in sensors, communication, maintenance, machine vision, robotic control systems and the core capabilities of people that develop and utilise these technologies. While mining is a large industry in Australia, on a global level it is small. For example, there are 1.2B motor vehicles globally - UPS, the parcel delivery company, has over 1.2M vehicles in its delivery fleet alone. The mining industry globally has around 88,000 pieces of mobile equipment. This is a tiny market to attract researchers, start-ups, investors, technology companies and talented people at scale.

The current mining ecosystem is too fragile to drive sustained innovation and too disconnected to support the technology enabled transformation that the mining industry needs to improve its safety, environmental and productivity performance. Improving Productivity We need to better co-ordinate the existing capabilities between industries, technology suppliers, governments, universities and research institutions. Comprehensive studies by Minerals Council of Australia, CSIRO and METS Ignited, AlphaBeta, Future Batteries CRC, and the agricultural sector point clearly to the work needed to address the capability gaps in the resources sector. Canada has developed a plan for increasing the export of valuable research, intellectual property and talent abroad, thus bringing diversity to its economy and also growing its service exports and value. We need to proactively address the likelihood of outsourcing Australia’s productivity opportunity to international technology companies. BBMC Yearbook 2020

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The current mining ecosystem is too fragile to drive sustained innovation and too disconnected to support the technology enabled transformation that the mining industry needs to improve its safety, environmental and productivity performance.

To improve productivity, we must continue to grow the efficiency of resource extraction and the scale of Australia’s service sector by capitalising on innovation and supporting local businesses that will upskill and grow multiindustry local workforces. This will not only strengthen technology transfer and economic benefit but also increase the range of services and the amount of value-add work across mining, oil and gas, agriculture and forestry. In turn, this will support the diversification of the Australian economy.  180.00

Capital-to-output Ratio* Mining sector, current price

ratio

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Figure 1: ABS (2018) - Estimates of Industry Multi-factor productivity. Australian System of National Accounts 2017-2018.

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*Dashed line is estimated long-run mining capital-to-output ratio. Sources: ABS; RBA

Figure 3: www.aphref.aph.gov.au_house_committee_economics_ productivity_report_chapter%202.pdf

1994-95 to 2017-19 (index 1994-95 = 100)

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Figure 2: https://data.oecd.org/lprdty/labour-productivity-andutilisation.htm#indicator-chart. Source: ABS (2018, Australian System of National Accounts, 2017-18.

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2015-16 Mining

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Information Technology

Figure 4: Bartos P.J., Resource Policy, 32, 2007, pp 149-158, and US Department of Labor 2015 BBMC Yearbook 2020

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Figure 4 illustrates the productivity opportunity for Australian mining industry. Labour productivity in the mining industry significantly lags the broader Australian economy and in comparison, to mining, global manufacturing has accelerated labour productivity four times faster, through application of technology and deployment of digital skills. Learning from the manufacturing industry provides a blueprint on how to consistently improve productivity.


The age of automation is here: is the Australian resources sector ready? Jeff Sterling, Founder & Managing Director, Universal Field Robots

U

niversal Field Robots Founder and Managing Director Jeff Sterling examines the future of automation and robotics in mining.

Predicting the future

Where are we now?

If we want to talk about the potential for automation and robotics technology in mining, then we need to attempt to predict the future. Historically, many have tried and have often failed miserably at this task. Ken Olsen, chief executive of one of the world’s most successful computer companies, Digital Equipment, said in 1970:

When it comes to the implementation phase of automation and robotics in mining, some of the announcements that have given some guidance and indicate data points on the curve have been:

“There is no reason anyone would want a computer in their home.” Stanford University’s Head of the Institute for the Future, Roy Amara, created a model of the implementation of technology and the expectations around it. Amara’s Law, as it has become known, states that people tend to overestimate the impact of a new technology in the short run but underestimate it in the long run. New technology creates excitement about the possibilities, then years pass and nothing much seems to happen. The cynics typically jump in and denounce it before the technology then starts taking hold and becomes disruptive. Commentators put the inflection point where technology catches up with the hype at around 10 to 15 years following inception.

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• 2008: Komatsu deploys front runner autonomous haulage in Codelco’s Mistral copper mine in Chile • 2008: Rio Tinto announces the Mine of the Future • 2012: Rio Tinto announces development of hauling with autonomous trains • 2018: Rio Tinto commences hauling with autonomous trains, the first heavy freight driverless train • 2019: BHP announces autonomous hauling is being rolled out to other operations, starting with its coal mines in Queensland • 2020: Fortescue Metals Group announces that 168 trucks have been converted to autonomous trucks, with a 30% increase productivity levels, travelling a total of more than 47 million kms Estimates of the automation and robotics technology that is readily available in 2020 includes:


Indications are that OEM automation leaders Komatsu and Caterpillar are busy growing teams to keep up with demand. It may well be that we have a few more years for transformation to fully scale, but automation is already happening and cannot be stopped. Choosing no automation is not an option and its disruption in the resources sector will have much more severe impacts if miners risk being left behind. What can we expect in the short term? If we accept that we are amid a transformation that is going to disrupt the industry, what can we foresee happening next in mining? As autonomous systems become more familiar, barriers to implementation are being torn down. A high capability communications network is necessary for autonomous equipment to operate. Wi-Fi and

LTE wireless systems are now being implemented commonly and 5G technology is rolling out. 5G has the potential to provide improved performance and low latency (delay in transporting the messaging) but is also likely to make older technologies increase in value. Autonomous mining standards and procedures are being developed by Global Mining Guidelines Group (GMG) and a consortium of miners and OEMs. This commitment from a multiorganisational consortium reflects the belief of this group that the roll out is well and truly underway. Many minor auxiliary tasks in mining are likely candidates for robotics and automation. As automation takes over the high intensity, high resource tasks such as drilling and trucking, other intermediate and secondary tasks such as road maintenance, charge-up and plant maintenance will become the next bottleneck. Many of these ancillary tasks are not continuous and are campaigned. These require labour flexibility or people on standby, causing inherent inefficiency. The COVID-19 pandemic has heightened the challenges of moving people in and out of mines. Many mines, particularly with low levels of productivity, have shut down, creating social issues in poorer countries that lack social safety nets. We are likely to see an increasing focus on automation of ancillary tasks, particularly as automation safety benefits become more evident and we continue to have safety incidents in ancillary activities. Many minor work activities in mining are potentially suitable to automation: • Surveying and sensing of topography and ore data • Loading explosives and stemming • Autonomous truck loading units • ROM feeding • Ancillary tasks such as road maintenance, grading, and watering • Underground ground support and services installation • Transporting of materials to work areas

Tech & Transformation

• Pushing with autonomous dozers – 4 or 5 sites in Australia are active in this space, with each having around 4 x D11 size dozers • Drilling with tele-remote and autonomous drills – 100 drills in service or imminently in service (based on author’s estimate) • Loading with excavators – Hitachi announced that it is developing autonomous truck loading with its large EX360 excavators • Hauling with autonomous trucks – 459 currently in service and forecast to increase to 1,500 by 2023 (Global Data Mining Intelligence Centre, February 2020) • Heavy hauling with autonomous trains – Rio Tinto’s AutoHaul in Western Australia • Surveying with drones – Emesent advises that 130 units are in service. Exyn is also commercial and many sites are using DJI or similar with the Australian software system ‘Propeller’ The commencement of large-scale automation in 2010 would suggest that the inflection point in the Amara curve would be around 2020 and if we are to believe in the Amara model, then we are entering a period where automation will accelerate.

• Servicing and maintenance, tyres, GET, and fuelling Some of these activities will likely change from the status quo to suit automation and will move away from processes that are designed around human delivery. What are the issues and benefits of automation? Some of the issues around automation that have been commonly discussed, include: • Displacing jobs. It is not conceivable that going back to picks and shovels and pit ponies will create more jobs, just as it is not realistic that freezing technology will in some way freeze in place the jobs as they currently stand. The world is on the march for better ways of doing things and consumers demand ever lower costs, which convert to higher standards of living. Transitioning to new ways of doing things will require understanding and patience. • Cultural change in the workplace. Ways of operating where morning meetings sent teams off to perform work in their areas of activity following chains of command are being replaced with control algorithms and machine workflows. Mining is still at an early stage of advancing to new ways of managing resources. Control is moving from the hands of supervisors to the desks of people watching screens of numbers in the city. Key benefits associated with the introduction of automation: • There are still significant numbers of fatalities and incidents in mining and a transition to automation has the potential to make a step change in outcomes. Rio Tinto has reported no safety incidents have occurred with their operation of autonomous trucks. This is to be expected, as people are not located near these large mobile machines and are therefore not at risk. • Costs are reported as being reduced in the order of 30%. This includes lower direct costs such as labour and lost time, as well as lower maintenance costs of equipment, such as tyres that perform better with consistent operation. BBMC Yearbook 2020

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• A second level of cost benefits will become accessible once a critical mass of automation is reached. Further changes such as larger numbers of smaller machines will allow haul roads to be narrower, and improvements in sensing and control will reduce dilution and improve ore grades, to name just two examples. Future development trends Longer term predictions require looking at which technologies are under development, whether they will be applicable to mining and if so, how they will impact the industry. Teleremote is not new technology but has had largely limited application to date. High bandwidth, low latency 5G has the potential to make teleoperation widely accessible. Teleremote is being used as a stepping stone to more complete automation and is delivering safety, convenience and flexibility. As new communications are rolled out, we can likely expect to see more mining equipment operating without operators onboard, with them safely away in an office at the mine, or a capital city nearby or during the night in a country 74

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where the time zone is more socially acceptable. Data transformation involves the collection of quality data, with people supporting analysis and decision-making. Automation reduces the costs of data collection and frees up people. Digital twins allow this improved data to be passed through analytics engines with efficiency improvement results touted as 10% or more. This development is largely around mineral processing, where data collection from automation has existed for some time. As automation rolls out, blast, load and haul data will be available to analytics teams, leading to an improvement in the quality of decisionmaking in mining and mining trending from homogeneous bulk extraction to more select heterogeneous treatment of localised features of the geology of orebodies. This will support lower costs but also lower energy inputs, making mining more sustainable. Humanoid robots jumping into machines and driving is a goal of some robotics developers. Boston Dynamics is well known for its videos of robots with humanoid movements such as running

and jumping. The challenges for these machines are carrying the power supply to sustain them and sensors not yet miniaturised to human equivalent sizes. Boston Dynamics appears to be the most advanced in this space but is struggling to produce a commercially viable product. Watch this space. Sensing hardware is developing at speed, driven by investment in selfdriving car development. Machines selfdriving in mining is much simpler than self-driving cars on public roads because the driving routes are known, relatively static and miners can implement rules to limit the interaction and exposure of people. Mining trucks generally do not have the sensors to manoeuvre around an obstacle on the road whereas in street-based self-driving cars, this is a basic functionality. The advances being made in sensors for self-driving cars will transfer to mining and then another level of features will become available. What these features will deliver is yet to be seen, but far superior collision avoidance is highly likely.


Tech & Transformation

Smarter machines Automation technology in mining is clever in the sense that large, powerful machines are operating without drivers, however, much of the control logic is still quite simple. There is a small battle going on in the Artificial Intelligence (AI) world around what AI is and what it will become. The media often discusses AI as purely Machine Learning (ML) or neural networks, which we are familiar with in applications such as facial recognition. There are many more approaches to creating machines that can make pseudo decisions - the battle lines are drawn as to whether intelligence will predominantly come out of ML or another approach. Gary Marcus is a vocal advocate of hybrid AI that will combine ML with other approaches. As we are seeing robots that are physically able to interact and do useful work, the next development will be packing on more intelligence so they can make more humanoid decisions. This high strength AI is a

must for challenges such as loading an excavator bucket where the rock load can be variable, and simple logic and replanning problems that come about when delays occur and sequences need to change. There are many trending technologies that can be identified as candidates for adoption in mining and equally there will be others that are yet to be imagined. What we can predict is that the tremendous digital transformation that is thrust upon us in our personal lives will force its way into mining. Hey Siri? Watch the mine for me while I make a coffee. 

What we can predict is that the tremendous digital transformation that is thrust upon us in our personal lives will force its way into mining. Hey Siri? Watch the mine for me while I make a coffee.

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Evolving today’s jobs for the future

Jarryd Townson, Principal Modernizer / Director, VIVIFY

’J

obs of the future’ may be a buzz phrase, but does anyone truly understand its meaning? When considering jobs of the future we need to start with the ‘now’ and the ‘why’, then stop talking and start doing. That’s where ‘Trade X’ and ‘Data X’ were born. Recent dialogue alludes to the theory that our current jobs are changing and will eventually diminish. These rumours add to doubt, mistrust and uncertainty in people’s minds. We see research that demonstrates how jobs will be impacted and which ones may no longer exist. However, as a society we are fearful of suggesting which ones they will be, due to the speed of evolution in technology and the lack of insight and understanding. This type of fear-mongering feeds the concept that society won’t be employable, and our children will be masters of machines. The ‘vanilla’ conversation is often around the fact that people will need to up-skill or re-skill, due to the implementation and evolution of automation, augmentation, robotics, virtual reality, IOT and IIOT, AI, machine learning, block chain and 76

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more…but this will only apply to the people that are in the workforce now. Ultimately, the conversations are only based on current knowledge and perceptions – not future thinking. We see trends in the development of upskilling our current roles/jobs and in many ways, industries are working on micro-credentialing to evolve the current workforce. However, it’s vital to start moving future generations into new roles now, rather than waiting until it’s too late. Think of it as giving children a tutor for something they aren’t good at, yet not providing a mentor for the things they excel in. Trade X, the trade of the future The fourth industrial revolution is upon us - the age of intelligence, where everything is rapidly becoming smart, connected and personalised. We are utilising new manufacturing methods and automation is becoming the norm; however, our trades are not yet keeping pace. We need to be evolving our trades for the future workforce who are starting employment now, in tandem with upskilling people that are heading for retirement. A two-pronged approach will not disadvantage our youth/ future workforce. At some point, the completion of a ‘future trade’ will intersect with the completion of upskilling the current workforce. We need our new tradies prepared for the

future, rather than needing to upskill along the way, to then potentially still be left behind. It is unrealistic to expect that they would start in a traditional role now and then be micro-credentialed as they grow. With only a known handful of trades seen to evolve over the past 100 years, there’s proof of the need for evolution. The best example of this is the trade of a blacksmith evolving to boilermaker and welder/fabricator, mostly due to a change in tools, technologies and techniques. There’s a similarity to the situation that we now find ourselves in, with the inclusion of additive manufacturing methods, IOT devices, Robotics and Automation. ‘Trade X’ is a proposed five-year qualification that would encapsulate traditional TAFE elements, coupled with elements traditionally learned at University. It is less about reinventing the wheel and more about combining components of existing trades with additional 4IR thinking and/or elements. Some of these qualifications may already be designed for up-skilling/re-skilling with the concept of micro-credentialing and would make a positive progression to constructing the additional skills and knowledge required for the future. ‘Trade X’ ensure the inclusion of overarching skills that are relevant for the future including:


• Mechanical fitting • Auto electrical components • Basic welding/fabrication • Electronics incorporating additive manufacturing methods, robotics, automation, coding and CAD Data X, the elephant in the room As technology evolves, we are faced with an overload of data, often coined ‘Big Data’. With phrases like, ‘data is money’, society starts to get concerned about who will control and access data, and most importantly, how will we use it. The latter is the most important because we are creating, housing and talking about data. We believe that the next generation of data analysis role could be called ‘Data X’ or what is now being coined as an ‘Interoperability Architect’ - the next role to sprout from the evolution of innovation. The skill and craft of an Interoperability Architect (or Aggregator) will be the ability to combine ‘big’ data that is now being captured from various sources (sensors, nodes and so on, probably

maintained by ‘Trade X’), then identify new correlations, opportunities and implementation capabilities to feed into machine learning/AI processes. This would provide interoperability across a digital ecosystem for an omnipotent, panoramic outcome. The concept of an Interoperability Architect is derived from the evolution of technology now being designed by mechatronics engineers and others, that will be maintained, improved and repaired by ‘Trade X’, coded by developers, measured by IOT and IIOT devices and the like, evaluated by data analysts and aggregated by Interoperability Architects. So, when considering what you’ll suggest to your children as a job for the future, will you get them to do what’s been done for centuries or choose something that is evolving with time and technology? How long these roles, or something similar, will last before the next iteration arrives is unknown. But if we don’t start now, we will be left behind.

Tech & Transformation

• Basic pneumatics and hydraulics

So, when considering what you’ll suggest to your children as a job for the future, will you get them to do what’s been done for centuries or choose something that is evolving with time and technology?

The future is now, so let’s not wait to predict what we already know. 

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Photo: Josh Kelly

Looking Beyond coal Looking Beyond Coal

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looking beyond coal

New economy minerals: the Queensland perspective Tony Knight, Chief Government Geologist, Queensland Department of Natural Resources, Mines and Energy

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n recent years the Queensland Government has been using the term ‘new economy’ when describing the source of rapid demand growth for a range of minerals used in manufacture of various new technologies. And what’s more, the Government has not only been talking about the new economy but investing significant funds to help build new supply chains in Queensland for the minerals needed for the manufacture of those new technologies.

But what is the new economy, and why does it have such prominence right now? After all, didn’t we first hear about the new economy back in the dot com era of the 1990s? In those days it was used to describe the transition from a manufacturing-based to a services-based economy, propelled by widespread growth of the internet and the numerous opportunities it created for new businesses. In hindsight though, through the lens of the dot com bubble, we can say that the ‘new economy’ call was made a bit too early and there was still a long way to go on the data and digital transformation journey. As we fast forward to today, in this third decade of the 21st century and look carefully at what is happening around the globe, we do see clear signs, or more properly, seismic shifts that are changing the fundamental underpinnings of our economy. And the fact that we stand at the confluence of these great shifts, of these global transitions, is why the term ‘new economy’ is appropriate.

Photo: Josh Kelly

In the changing world of the new economy, the measure of success will be broader than in the past, calling for greater balance between the measures of sustainable prosperity - people, planet, profit and progress.

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While the global population continues to grow, and with it demand for more of basically everything, it is the transitions in energy, industry and sustainability that are driving the most profound changes in our modern economy. In energy our last great transition was the shift from reliance on wood to coal (and later oil and gas) as our primary energy source. This reached a tipping point some 400 years ago. We are at another tipping point now, moving from our past reliance on combustion of thermal energy fuels to a future with much greater direct capture and storage of energy from renewable sources, supplemented by cleaner, lower emissions and more efficient energy technologies. The transition from wood to coal took centuries. Steam trains in the US for example, only shifted to burning coal in about 1870, some 250 years after coal became the dominant fuel in Britain. The transition from thermal to renewable and lower emissions energy will likely only take decades. In industry great transitions are more frequent, with new technologies making production more efficient as evidenced 80

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by the industrial revolutions that brought mechanisation, mass production and computers (placing the dot com era in the third industrial revolution). Today, in what is termed the fourth industrial revolution, the convergence of physical and digital systems and the technologies of artificial intelligence offer the means to radically improve the efficacy and efficiency of systems across the entire span of industry and the economy. But perhaps the greatest and most important transition underway is the embrace of sustainability by modern society. After many millennia of growth and development, this change is driven by recognition that the global population, and the innate desire of people to improve their living conditions, must be balanced with the finite resources of the earth. It is the driver of the shift in our primary energy sources. It is the driver of our need to find ways to be more efficient and more effective with what we have and what we use, as embodied by the concept of the circular economy. And most importantly for our economy, it is the driver of change

in the investment sector, where the principles of “environmental, social and (corporate) governance” or ESG, are now investment criteria. In combination, these transitions are fundamentally changing our economy. That change is probably best expressed by the 2019 release of the “Statement on the purpose of a corporation” by the US Business Roundtable, an association of the CEOs of America’s largest companies and investment funds. The statement expanded the purpose and responsibility of corporations to include “customer value, investing in employees, fair and ethical supplier relationships… care for the community and environment…. in addition to long-term shareholder value”. Amongst the many who endorsed the statement was Larry Fink, Chairman and CEO of Blackrock, the largest moneymanagement firm in the world.


looking beyond coal

Queensland’s opportunity Queensland has a long history of turning the opportunities offered by our rich mineral and energy resource endowment into success, creating great value and widespread benefit. Indeed it was discovery of gold at Gympie in 1867 that put the new State of Queensland, which had only separated from NSW some eight years earlier, onto its feet financially. We’ve built upon that initial success to develop entire industries centred on supply of the mineral and energy commodities the world needs – coal from the Bowen Basin, base and precious metals from the North West and North East Minerals Provinces, bauxite from Cape York, and gas from the Cooper, Bowen and Surat Basins foremost amongst them. But the new economy brings opportunity for us to develop a new arm of the resources sector, one with huge potential for growth, and where our potential includes not only what we supply, but how. While the new economy is driven by new technologies which create demand for a host of minerals for use in defence, medical and aerospace applications amongst many others, the greatest opportunity in economic terms is in energy. The opportunity space across the energy spectrum spans generation, transmission and storage. In generation, last year Queensland released its ‘Hydrogen Industry Strategy’ which sets out to supply ‘green’ hydrogen to large energy markets in North Asia and Europe, and to domestic users too. Green hydrogen is produced from water electrolysis using renewable energy; and there are other variants (blue, brown and grey) which use some form of hydrocarbon (coal or natural gas) as the hydrogen source, but which require treatment or disposal of the carbon component. In transmission, the widespread electrification of our energy systems, and in particular the shift to distributed generation of electricity will only serve to increase demand for copper as networks grow in both size and capacity. But given that we’ve been using copper for some 8,000 years, it’s not surprising that all the easy to find and easy to mine copper has been discovered and extracted. There is a global challenge to find major new resources, which is why we need to push the frontiers of exploration, discovery and mining into deeper and more difficult terrains. It’s also why we need to re-look at what we’ve previously left behind after mining of primary ore, to find ways to extract copper from low grade ores and mine tailings. This ‘secondary

prospectivity’ is emerging as an increasingly important area of resource assessment and fits well into the objectives of the circular economy in maximising the value of what we’ve already mined. But it is the growth in demand for energy storage capability that opens up many new opportunities for our minerals sector here in Queensland. While today we hear much about lithium-ion batteries, exemplified by those used in Tesla’s electric vehicles and home ‘Powerwall’ products, the range of elements being trialled in various battery applications spans the minerals and metals alphabet from A (aluminium) to Z (zinc). To truly electrify the new economy, a wide range of battery types will be required, some providing high capacity and fast discharge, others lesser but longer duration discharge, to suit particular applications across our industrial, transportation and commercial sectors. It is likely that a range of battery technologies will ultimately be developed, with growing demand for a diversity of minerals including cobalt, vanadium, silver and manganese. The move to electrification of our energy systems will also drive demand for a range of other minerals that offer advantage in terms of energy efficiency, weight reduction, strength and durability. What’s happening right now? We are by no means alone in recognising the great opportunity offered by the roll-out of new technologies in renewable and clean energy, coupled with broader applications to improve the efficiency and efficacy of many aspects of our modern economy. Governments at all levels in Australia, and our strategic and trading partners around the world share a similar view. At an international level the drivers are not only demand growth, but also strategic, where concerns about resource security are rising in response to global trade and political tensions. This problem is exacerbated by the concentration of supply of certain minerals in certain countries, which those countries can use to achieve political or strategic advantage. That is one of the reasons why, in November 2019, the Australian and US Governments entered into a critical minerals partnership (and likewise with India in 2020) to work together to create new supply chains. BBMC Yearbook 2020

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The term ‘critical minerals’ reflects their importance to their users and is best exemplified by rare earth element supply wherein some 95% of global supply currently comes from China, yet each US-built F35 fighter jet requires 435kg of rare earth elements. The terms critical and new economy minerals can be considered synonymous. The Australian Federal government’s focus on critical minerals saw establishment earlier this year of the Critical Minerals Facilitation Office, which is working to help establish not only new supply chains, but also to support the necessary research, development, accreditation, market and investment requirements needed. In Queensland we are developing a ‘New Economy Minerals Precinct Strategy’ which seeks to develop an upstream precinct centred on Mt Isa and focussed on extraction and processing, and a downstream precinct centred on Townsville and focussed on refining, value-add and export. In parallel, a ‘New Economy Minerals Investment Prospectus’ was released in 2020 to use in attracting the required investment into Queensland needed to establish new supply chains. In more practical terms, the Geological Survey of Queensland is working with the Japanese Oil, Gas, Metals National Corporation (JOGMEC, Japan’s resource security agency) to assess opportunities for supply of various new economy minerals from Queensland, including from both primary ores (through jointventure with local exploration and development companies) and secondary ores in mine waste and tailings. The Geological Survey of Queensland (GSQ), using the $13 million funding provided under the New Economy Minerals Initiative (NEMI), is also engaged in a range of geoscience projects to delineate and quantify the State’s new economy minerals potential. A wide range of geophysical, geochemical, mineral synthesis and analytical programs are underway, with focus on both the North West and North East Mineral Provinces. 82

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In addition, the GSQ has awarded two rounds of Collaborative Exploration Initiative grants since November 2019, with initial funds boosted by the additional $10M (over four years) announced early this year. Those grants are primarily directed to explorers seeking new economy minerals, with the most recent round expanding the search area outside the North West Minerals Province to include the North East Minerals Province, South West Queensland, and Wide Bay – Burnett region. A key part of the GSQ work, being conducted in collaboration with the Sustainable Minerals Institute/ Bryan Research Centre at University of Queensland, is to look at various methods to extract ores from waste using non-traditional techniques, including for example phyto-mining, using plants to concentrate minerals for later harvesting. The objective includes finding ways to minimise the environmental footprint of mining and resource recovery in future. “…not only what we supply, but how” Queensland’s long history of mineral and energy resource development has led to establishment of world-class supply chains, with mineral processing, transport and export facilities well developed and supported by depth of experience in commodity-specific engineering, metallurgy and materials handling. In contrast, our supply chains for new economy minerals are largely absent or immature. It means we will have to develop them afresh. But with an eye to the future we can do that in a way to differentiate Queensland from other jurisdictions, and to make us a preferred investment destination. In short, the ‘how’ we supply will be as important as what we supply if we are to attract the long term, patient capital needed to fund industry and supply chain development.

Capital markets are sending very clear messages to industry of the importance of satisfying ESG criteria as a condition to attract capital. Customers are doing the same, driven by growing demand from their consumers to be able to confirm the provenance of minerals used in products like electric vehicles. Tesla, for example, is supporting various initiatives to reassure customers about the ethical supply of minerals used in their products. Likewise DaimlerBenz/Mercedes has revised its supply contracts to include clauses relating to working conditions, human rights, environmental protection, safety, business ethics and compliance. Queensland’s strong regulatory frameworks, adherence to the rule of law, respect for contractual agreements, recognition of landowner, cultural heritage and native title rights in land, and low sovereign risk will offer increasing advantage in terms of proving our ethical and responsible supply credentials. Hard work and reward ahead The opportunity before us, for Queensland to take a leading position in the new economy, will require strategic vision, call for long term and patient capital, and collaboration between industry, government and academia. It will be hard work, but it was ever thus, and Queensland has a rich history of turning opportunity into success. But in the changing world of the new economy, the measure of success will be broader than in the past, calling for greater balance between the measures of sustainable prosperity - people, planet, profit and progress. It will be a challenge, and require many changes, but it is a challenge we must turn to our advantage and future prosperity. 


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Where has all the good news gone?

Lisa France, Environment & Energy Consultant, France Group

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ll we seem to hear about in mainstream media lately is negative stories about mining companies and anti-mining protests. Why aren’t we hearing anything about the inroads being made in emissions reduction through new technology? Or stories about how the mining sector has embraced renewables and microgrids to drive their costs and carbon footprint down? Or maybe more of the many stories about how the mining sector is supporting the needs of our regional towns through skills training and apprenticeships, health services, educational support, mental health programs or funding for community groups? Instead of acknowledging the good work being done by resource companies in reducing their carbon footprint and encouraging them to keep investing in R&D, new technologies and renewables, the anti-mining lobby are consistently looking to lynch these companies. To me, this seems like the wrong approach if we hope to get the resource sector to reduce their carbon footprint. Wouldn’t we achieve more if we put down the pitch forks and start working together on solutions to address climate change? As industry advocates know, there IS good news out there about energy, environmental performance and emissions reduction. But there are so many naysayers on both sides of the political and policy arguments, we often lose sight of

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practical progress being made by companies and individuals. The sentiment in the community is polarising when it comes to energy. You either support fossil fuels or you support renewables. And then there’s those of us in the middle that see the merit in both. And why shouldn’t we? Regardless of which side of the climate change debate you sit on, we can all appreciate that 7 billion people on the planet are definitely having a detrimental impact on the environment. There is no question that emissions need to be reduced – but that doesn’t mean shutting down everything reliant on fossil fuels overnight. The good news: we are heading in the right direction when it comes to addressing climate change. We now see resource companies using solar,

wind, hydro, biodiesel, geothermal, hydrogen and in some cases microgrids with a varied energy mix. Given that the mining sector accounts for approximately 10% of Australia’s total energy use, it’s not surprising to see mining companies investing heavily in alternatives to the traditional diesel, natural gas and grid electricity sources. The next big milestone in integrating renewables into mining operations is achieving 100% green power - no diesel, no fossil fuel. Larger mining companies are already designing new mines to operate with wind, solar and electrical vehicles; using renewable excess power to make green hydrogen and using stored hydrogen to meet the mines’ heating requirements and fleet fuel.


When all cost and benefits are considered, it is possible to have an efficient mine at a power cost similar to fossil fuel costs, that meets its production requirements year on year with zero emissions. On a related topic, not often spoken about openly in the corridors of power in Australia, significant progress is being made in Canada in the Small Modular Reactor (SMR) space for nuclear power. Australia and Canada share many attributes, including having a considerable number of remote communities and remote resource development sites where it’s challenging and expensive to provide power, let alone low-carbon power. Given these conditions, many SMR developers are looking to Canada, with a nuclear regulator willing to consider this form of lowcarbon generation, to lead the way. The Ontario Power Generation Corporation (OPG) has a program in place to select and implement an SMR generation facility within their Darlington Generation Facility, just to the east of Toronto, by 2028.

looking beyond coal

To achieve 100% renewable integration, we know long term storage is required. However, we could introduce the new paradigm of ‘variable mining production’, to produce more mine ore during high availability of green resources and produce less during low availability. This strategy drastically reduces energy storage requirements, removes the cost of building a thermal power plant and reduces the cost of diesel infrastructure and operating cost.

When all cost and benefits are considered, it is possible to have an efficient mine at a power cost similar to fossil fuel costs, that meets its production requirements year on year with zero emissions. Meanwhile, my former colleagues in Canada have been busy with a number of studies for energy producers and mining companies across Canada to consider the potential application of supplying electricity and processing heat using SMR’s for either the remoteness of their site or the need to reduce their overall carbon footprint. This is just one example that shows why, against the backdrop of the great progress already being achieved by resource companies here in Australia, we must look across the global landscape for other ideas and opportunities. It’s time for communities, for industry and for government to work together to find solutions rather than looking for reasons to be outraged. Everyone has a role to play. For example, we need to see encouragement for the great work being done in energy efficiency and emissions reduction. Let’s see governments work with mining companies and other regional businesses to establish complementary and environmentally beneficial investment that will allow emissions from mine sites to be beneficially re-used by other industries.

Photo: Hatch

What we desperately need to see is bipartisan support at both a Commonwealth and State level for reducing emissions. The market will then respond through renewable energy uptake; increased utilisation of emissions reduction technology and energy efficiencies in mining practices Industry has the capability to solve the energy crisis, they just need a stable political environment that allows them to invest and innovate and a community willing to partner in their progress.  BBMC Yearbook 2020

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Photo: Anglo American - Grosvenor

People Over Profit People Over Profit

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Why mental health matters in mining

Martin Vasilescu, Country Manager Explosives, Davey Bickford Enaex

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n today’s high-pressure society, mental health is as important as physical health in contributing to our overall wellbeing, and with increasing numbers of people affected by mental health issues, and the competing concepts in the conversation around it, it matters now more than ever.

According to Beyond Blue, three million Australians currently live with anxiety and depression. This, combined with the findings from the Australian Bureau of Statistics National Survey of Mental Health and Wellbeing around the detrimental effects of substance abuse and poor mental health, means that 12% of the total Australian population report experiencing a mental health challenge in any given 12-month period. When you consider that mining makes up around 2% of the total workforce, it’s fair to assume these figures are reflected in our industry too. This means that approximately 49,000 out of 245,000 Australian mining employees will experience a mental health challenge this year. But what are the biggest struggles? According to research published recently in the Medical Journal of Australia, one of the most common issues within mining is psychological distress. In fact, psychological distress occurs in mining industry workers at a rate of almost three times the national average and is particularly prevalent amongst

FIFO workers. And, let’s face it, it’s not hard to see why. The combination of physically taxing work, financial stresses, long shifts and being away from family is enough to take its toll on anyone, if not managed well. But, fortunately, like society as a whole, the industry’s come a long way. Mental health awareness has increased, and employers understand the importance of maintaining it. Subsequently, programs and support have become increasingly accessible over the past decade. Awareness has also produced charitable organisations such as MATES in Mining. Started in 2012, this organisation offers help to those who are reluctant to seek it, by building communities of people who know what to look out for and help their mates. Supported by both unions and the mining industry, this charity has rolled out its program at multiple mine sites across NSW, Qld, NT and WA, and latest figures show that almost 15,000 people have now been trained in general mental health awareness. BBMC Yearbook 2020

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people over profit

Approximately 49,000 out of 245,000 Australian mining employees will experience a mental health challenge this year.


While continued awareness and proactive management of mental health is important, this year’s pandemic has challenged many of us on a whole new level. When COVID-19 swept the globe, it was apparent that life as we knew it would change. Working from home became the norm, social gatherings were limited, and for many, there was no business as usual. However, given the nature and ongoing demand for resources, this was never going to be the case for mining. Therefore, the industry had to reassess how it worked, and adapt to accommodate a more remote and less accessible workforce while still delivering to customers. So, what actions were taken? Johan Hawinkel, Mining Engineer and Key Account Manager at Davey Bickford Enaex, sees the COVID-19 adaptations as an extension of the way customers were supported prior to the pandemic. For example, while phone support has always been part of the service supplied to customers, traditionally it has only been used to troubleshoot. “During COVID, we increased our phone support and committed to a much more proactive approach, reaching out to customers on a systematic basis to understand how they were performing under the new conditions and if we could assist in any way,” Hawinkel explained. He adds that the development of virtual training packages has enabled theory training to be delivered remotely, subsequently cutting down on travel exposure. “The lessened frequency of site visits resulted in people spending more time at home and less bound by rosters. Virtual meetings and check-ins on Zoom have helped people stay connected both professionally and socially,” he said. 88

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“While in the pre-COVID world, roles were defined and workload equally distributed, we’ve now joined forces with our customers to accommodate for each team member’s strengths, but also personal and family circumstances,” said Hawinkel. “People with a vulnerable family member wouldn’t travel but take on all office-based equipment logistics. People less at risk would take on the travel and site assistance, but would have no additional responsibilities when back in the office.” Increasing focus on technologies “The pandemic has certainly been a trigger to look at different ways to train and support our customers,” says Hawinkel. “Currently we’re exploring the use of Google glasses for remote trouble shooting and the use of learning management systems for more effective remote training.” But, it’s not the same for all technologies. In fact, the capability of some existing technologies has been reinforced during COVID. Just ask engineer Richard Turnbull, an expert in remote digital blasting. “We’ve found that the whole process has been very smooth, and it’s proven that our blast design software with cloud functionality is working well,” he says. “We’ve been able to build a project within the blast software that allows our client engineers on site to open all of the designs directly for review. Being able to make changes and suggestions on the fly with clients has meant we’ve had the highest level of integration with them, without having to physically be there. It’s brought us to the forefront because it proves what we’ve been saying for a number of years now.” Clients have also embraced a new way of learning. With online training available for the digital blasting process systems, there’s no need for them to be on site for weeks at a time, and their practical on-site skills training has become more streamlined.

With the restrictions on travel and site access, COVID has also meant that clients are jumping online more regularly, rather than a plane. Connecting online and having the opportunity to liaise with a diverse group of people has further fuelled the capabilities of working remotely. But, aside from the physical advantages of working remotely, what are the mental health ones? “I've only been away three weeks in the last six months, so I’ve really connected with my family and had a lot more downtime to relax,” says Turnbull. “I’ve definitely been less stressed and less tired because I’m not on the road for hours on end and I’ve more flexibility around the hours I work.” Turnbull notes that, while there are employees who will be missing the consistency of practical work, the likelihood is that they’re feeling mentally better in one way or another. Like him it may be related to more family time, less time spent travelling, the pursuit of a new hobby, more education or just less stress on the whole. “Travelling to and from site and going through medicals and inductions to gain access can be quite involved and stressful,” he says. “There’s no doubt that being able to log in remotely or dial in to a video call is, for more people, mentally easier.” While the future of the pandemic remains uncertain, there’s one thing we do know. The way we work has changed, for now and the foreseeable future, and remote technology and processes will continue to adapt. If early signs are anything to go by, the outcomes are proving healthy for all ... in more ways than one. 


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The future of women in work: defining Hers Jo Sainsbury, Kickass Women

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hardly recognize myself these days. I’m not talking about the way I look, but rather what I do.

That’s what I thought to myself as I embarked on a career that I would never even have considered in my youth. The last 60+ years have seen the numbers of women in the workplace increase hugely since they entered the economic system to supplement the male earning capacity lost to two world wars.

Photo: Josh Kelly

So, it won’t be a surprise if I say that the greatest barriers to non-traditional careers for women in male dominated industries are stereotypes imposed by society.

Complex social movements have contributed to this change: the feminist movement, equal opportunity legislation, the expansion of the services sector and the knowledge economy, the ever-increasing cost of living and increased access to further education. For over 30 years I was working as a Bank Teller, Executive Assistant, HR Coordinator, WH& Safety Officer and Project Manager, building on my toolkit of skills and experiences working in the accepted world of Corporate. I was doing work that was considered “acceptable” as a woman’s career. And I did love it. But acceptance isn’t the same thing as demand! Doing work that’s “acceptable” for women isn’t necessarily the best for us or for the world, frankly. Women now enter a much broader range of occupations, away from mainly supportive, nurturing roles such as nursing and teaching to every walk of occupation and professional life. We can applaud the work success of those women and hope all people learn from their wisdom and achievements. Indeed, some of these women are personal heroes to many others who are striving for career success. Changes affecting women in the workplace We are living through a fundamental transformation and the pace of change in the way we work is accelerating. Around the world, the nature of work – where we work, how we

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The spread of automation and technology adoption could potentially displace millions of female workers from their current jobs, and many others will need to make radical changes in the way they work, demanding new skill sets and reshaping work models. These momentous changes raise huge organisational, talent and HR challenges – at a time when business leaders are already wrestling with risks, disruption and political and societal upheaval. The pace of change is accelerating. Competition for the right talent is fierce. And ‘talent’ no longer means the same as ten years ago; many of the roles, skills and job titles of tomorrow are unknown to us today. How can women prepare for a future that few of us can define? With skill requirements changing faster and becoming more job specific, the future of work will require much more and much better on-the job learning than there is available today. This isn’t the time to sit back and wait for events to unfold. In fact, a report from McKinsey Global Institute in 2019 reported that globally, 40 million to 160 million women may need to transition between occupations by 2030, often into higher-skilled roles. If they make these transitions, women could find more productive, higher paid work and if they don’t, they could face an ever-growing wage gap or leaving the labour market entirely.

Women also face structural barriers that could impact their ability to successfully make these transitions and compete on a level playing field in the employment arena. To make these transitions, women will need new skills, however, the many women working with lower or little education may have further difficulty securing work in other sectors. Even women remaining in their current jobs will need to refresh their skills; they could be more prone than men to partial automation of their jobs and will need to learn to work alongside automated systems. Long-established barriers will make it harder for women to make these transitions. They have less time to reskill or search for employment because they spend much more time than men on unpaid care work; are less mobile due to physical safety, infrastructure, and legal challenges and have lower access to digital technology and participation in STEM fields than men. Careers, industries, and work in traditionally male-dominated areas When we think about train drivers, truck drivers, plant operators, construction workers, engineers, electricians, plumbers, carpenters and a myriad of other bluecollar workers, few of us immediately imagine women performing these roles. However, whilst this is true of all the professions, and broadly across all manufacturing and service sectors, there are still some stark limits to perceived parity. Women in non-traditional roles experience unique challenges that are aggravated by working in fields where they are traditionally underrepresented and excluded. Skilled trades and working on large worksites are often uncomfortable, dirty, dangerous, outdoorsy, hands-on and overall, non-girly. But there are many women who want to and do work in these non-traditional roles. In my own experience on the journey of having to re-enter the workforce after a number of years of unemployment, I learnt firsthand how hard it was to re-enter the workforce because of the demand for skill sets I didn’t have. The stark truth of it was that the nature of work had all changed. This was to become a major turning point in my life. I had to make a decision and dare to step out of my comfort zone, and as a result I embarked upon (and am now

enjoying) a crazy adventure. I became a Coal Train Driver, and have been driving trains for the past seven years. I learned in my transformation from highheels to high-vis that women are indeed capable to do traditionally male work. I also learned that many women are deterred from participation in some of the world’s most thriving and essential businesses and male-dominated industries. So, it won’t be a surprise if I say that the greatest barriers to non-traditional careers for women in male dominated industries are stereotypes imposed by society. They are based on the outdated view that gender has a certain influence on a person’s capacity to successfully perform the job, stereotypes about the nature of ‘women’s work’ and because of the lack of professional and family role models, discouraging workplace cultures and structural problems within those organisations. A perception exists that non-traditional roles or careers are limited and that they aren’t a place for women, or that women working in industry can't be fulfilled or have families. We must collectively work together to dispel these myths. The overarching myth we need to dispel is the one about having to be big and strong to work and succeed in a male dominated industry. The fact is, while there is certainly a physical component to many non-traditional roles, there is also a diversity of skills required to be any type of worker. Job roles all vary and require intelligent individuals with literacy, mathematical and analytical skills, as well as creativity in all realms. They are not masculine skills; they are just skills; and there are no differences between men and women in either capability or potential in this area. There is no one future-proof career, only better options for you. It has been recognised that the skills and expertise of women are an essential and viable untapped talent pool and a rapid accelerating source of economic recovery and future growth. As we look to the future, this growth will only continue to accelerate. Many Australian businesses have already taken substantive steps to reduce barriers to women’s participation and increase the number of female employees, including those into nontraditional roles in the areas of science, technology, engineering and mathematics. BBMC Yearbook 2020

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work and what we do – is changing. Technological advances, the rise in connectivity, social and demographic shifts, and resource constraints are affecting the availability and quality of jobs, demanding new worker skills and reshaping work models. The world of work is undergoing a radical transformation in the age of automation and the introduction of artificial intelligence (AI) technologies, which are beginning to sweep through. These ‘thinking machines’ and the forces revolutionising work are getting stronger. The future of work asks us to consider the biggest questions of our age. What influence will the continuing march of technology, automation and artificial intelligence (AI) have on where we work and how we work? Will we need to work at all? What is our place in an automated world?


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The future of women in the workplace One thing is clear and that is adaptability in organisations and in women themselves will be essential for navigating the changes ahead. It’s impossible to predict exactly the skills that will be needed even five years from now. It is predicted that by May 2023 here in Australia, female employment will grow by 8.8%, compared with 5.6% for males. Women and organisations need to be ready to adapt. Inevitably, much of the responsibility will be on women. Women must attain the skills, including technological skills and the mobility and flexibility that the future of work demands – giving them equality of opportunity to step into careers of their choosing. Women must be prepared to develop emotional controls to include stress management, anxiety management, conflict resolution techniques, relaxation techniques and methods to deal with discrimination and harassment. Another area to be considered is negative selftalk and self-limiting behaviour. These behaviours can be addressed through specific soft skill courses and performance accomplishments. It’s about rediscovery 92

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and finding hope and opportunity in changing times.

demand knowledge and skills to increase their employability in the future of work.

This argues for concerted action by leaders in the private, public and social sectors to implement measures that enable women to break through these barriers. These leaders need to step in, step up and step out and innovate ways to increase the visibility, raise their voice, act, enable and influence the introduction and implementation of guidance and development programs which will prepare women beyond the classroom.

There are so many reasons why having women in these industries is beneficial and vital: it will future-proof our workforce, it addresses gender equality within the sectors, provides role models for girls and young women. Optimising women’s productivity, creativity and energy is a win-win game and secures long-term profitability for businesses, organisations, governments and societies.

The journey is far from over. To increase recruitment and improve retention, companies need to acknowledge and remove gender bias from their work culture, develop training programs and local mentorship groups specific to the needs of women, include more females in the hiring process, and encourage women to become role models for other women. Schools and educational programs need to highlight the value of non-traditional jobs for women and young girls so that they can see these industries as viable careers and career pathways. It is crucial to attract women to enter these industries and equip them with in-

But to me, the most important reason to grow the number of women in non-traditional roles is so that the world we live in can be equally enjoyed by everyone. We need a diversity of experiences, perspectives and stories to build a world that is more empathetic, innovative and equal. Let's all work to define a future of work that works for women. We, as individual women, can't do it alone. It all starts when businesses begin to reshape their futures, transitioning to more inclusive operations. This will shape the future of women's work. 


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Indigenous Engagement – learning from Juukan Gorge

Margarita Escartin, Non-Indigenous Practitioner and Cassie Lang, Indigenous Practitioner

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arly this year I was interviewed on the subject of Indigenous engagement for the Bowen Basin Mining Club’s Crib Room Podcast series. This was shortly after the destruction of the Juukan Gorge by Rio Tinto, while the industry as a whole was still considering potential ramifications. Since then, there has been considerable global public backlash to that event for both Rio Tinto and other major mining companies. Some of the world’s largest institutional investors increased pressure to provide more information about their management of Indigenous cultural heritage, approach to Indigenous and First Nations community engagement and to justify their social licence. It’s no wonder EY’s Top 10 Business Risks and Opportunities for Mining and Metals 2021 lists ‘Licence to Operate’ as the number one issue for miners. My intent is to ensure this article provides instructive insight for resource and energy companies and practitioners. Co-contributor, Cassie Lang has made some significant contributions to this piece from both her legal and Indigenous viewpoints. From conversations I’ve had with colleagues and clients, it’s fair to say the aftermath of Juukan Gorge has created general nervousness. People were surprised at the extent of the consequences, and perhaps are still 94

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contemplating investor activism and broader stakeholder expectations in the future. I have reflected heavily on my own practice and engagement frameworks over the last few months, not only to ensure that I can continue to facilitate compliance with Indigenous land and access issues, but also to assist clients with how they might address the expectations of investors, lenders and the broader community. This incident has also created a clear opportunity for internal reflection so that companies can be confident that they have sought consents and permissions from Indigenous stakeholders based on fair and transparent transactions and to assess the foundations of company community relationships. Overall, it’s about our relationships with our communities. Having a robust relationship founded on mutual respect with the Indigenous Peoples on the lands on which we all work should generate positive and lasting social impacts and help companies and communities.

Having a robust relationship founded on mutual respect with the Indigenous Peoples on the lands on which we all work should generate positive and lasting social impacts and help companies and communities.


Time Take the time to build rapport and trust so you may be given the opportunity to understand the aspirations, vision and issues of their broader communities. Regulatory and legal frameworks, such as the Native Title Act 1993 (Cth) or environmental approvals, are often the trigger for firsttime engagement which can place parties into an adversarial context. Determining when to engage can be difficult, particularly as early feasibility stages are still shaping a project. That said, exploration and early geo-technical investigations through cultural heritage processes can be an opportunity to start a relationship. Have an initial meeting, share your company’s plans and advise people you will come back to them when you are more advanced in your planning. Understanding Understanding should start with the most detailed knowledge of what a project looks like over five to ten years and the capacity of the company to do and deliver. Often engagement and negotiations default to education, training and jobs, which is absolutely appropriate as this can be achieved. However, the question is whether your business has the internal resources and cultural capability to implement and manage an Indigenous training and employment strategy? If it doesn’t, that’s okay, and there is nothing wrong with communicating that to your Indigenous stakeholders. Build your capability with your Indigenous communities as a partner, taking input from them on their specific community needs and how your business can address those as the project gains momentum. Most importantly, take the time to listen and really understand what Indigenous community representatives are saying to you. Don’t assume you know

what communities need and want. Let communities lead their own aspirational or development agenda, then assess whether your business can support this through project opportunities or broader social investment initiatives. I am a strong advocate for a peoplecentred and open dialogue approach to engagement with Indigenous communities, where community is given the time and space to identify their social, natural and economic capitals and build pathways towards sustainable positive social outcomes. Communication Any long-term relationship can only work if there is robust, honest and transparent communication between parties. It’s important to ensure project agreements have thorough communication protocols and that parties communicate regularly. Cultural heritage agreements generally provide for regular meetings to discuss the results of heritage surveys and updates on project construction and operations, and these regular engagement opportunities can also be used to discuss other issues. Equally, project agreement should have communication at the core of agreement governance so that all parties can be held to account for the commitments and project outcomes. Open, honest and transparent communication is key in helping each party manage and understand their own expectations and those of the other side. All negotiations should be underpinned by sharing full technical and planning information with Indigenous community representatives, then permitting them time to comprehend and interpret this information and enable further consultation with their communities if required. They need to be able to make thoroughly informed decisions. In current times, where investors and lenders are also looking to strong Environmental Social Governance (ESG) systems, it’s in a company’s best interest to satisfy themselves they have done everything possible to create an environment where

documented, informed decisions are made. Don’t be afraid to say no, and only agree to things you know you can do. My ‘no, but…’ conversations have often led to creative and outof-the-box thinking, which in turn has generated collaborative and innovative approaches to mutual challenges. You may find that shared outcomes with shared responsibilities are often the most enduring and lead to the development of genuine partnerships. Finally, understand it’s okay to speak up when there’s an issue or something goes wrong. In the same way that safety or environmental incidents are reported, if there is ever an incident on site involving cultural heritage and or Indigenous personnel, communicate it immediately. This strengthens the relationship between you and the group as it demonstrates your integrity, honesty and willingness to work together, not just when things are easy but also when things get hard. To some this may all be self-evident, to others overwhelming. Where you are new to the space and or wanting to review engagement frameworks, initiatives or better understand the cultural competency of your organisation, seek specialist advice. A good advisor should work with you to lay the foundations and or suggest improvements, but ultimately leave your organisation to own and manage the relationship with your Indigenous stakeholders. At the end of the day, these are the parties who will be at the table for a very long time. While Indigenous engagement processes have been a feature of the mining and resources sector for some time, it is important that we all revisit the way we work on a regular basis. The industry must be as focussed on continuous improvement of relationships with its Indigenous stakeholders as it is on productivity and safety. An approach that considers the importance of compliance and relationships has a better chance of achieving mutually beneficial and sustainable outcomes and enduring relationships between companies and communities.  BBMC Yearbook 2020

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people over profit

These three fundamental elements are essential to establish and maintain strong relationships with Indigenous stakeholders and their broader communities:


Mining for fresh perspectives

Andrew Telburn, Partner, Reddin Consulting Group

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A diverse industry brings with it many benefits including fresh and even disruptive perspectives that propel us into the future.

n the face of our greatest challenges, it takes diversity of thought and perspective to keep the world moving forward through the toughest of times. If 2020 taught us anything - it was this.

This year we saw industries everywhere pivoting, doing things differently, finding new ways not only to survive, but to grow and thrive. The mining industry is one of the most innovative industries in the world, but more of the same will only get us so far. A diverse industry brings with it many benefits including fresh and even disruptive perspectives that propel us into the future. The benefits of diversity and inclusion Building a strong diverse workforce means difference in all its forms, including gender, age, cultural background, disability, religion, and sexual orientation. What follows are fresh ideas and new problemsolving skills that come with different life experiences. The flow effect is reputational benefits and the ability to attract, engage and retain top talent right through the value chain. All this sounds wonderfully sensible until we look at the reality of diversity in many mining organisations today.

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Avoiding ‘more of the same’ While there are some large companies leading the way, the majority employ few women in top jobs. Most senior executives are mining engineers and very few people with a disability are employed. This means that the succession plans are simply ‘more of the same,’ raising the question; ‘how are we going to foster fresh thinking to move us into the future?’ and more importantly, ‘how do we safeguard ourselves from being left behind?’ This can seem like an impossible task, but the answer isn’t a light bulb moment or a dramatic shift in the way we currently do things. Rather, it’s small iterations and creative actions consistently over time that chip away at the old and usher in the new. It is the cumulative effect of many actions that lead to real and lasting change. The key is to continue to develop and roll out many things to build a diverse workplace; some big, some small, some successful, some not – and that’s okay. It’s all part of the journey. Remember, this isn’t a sprint, it’s a marathon. Small steps that can make a difference, but you must be willing to start somewhere. Ask these questions:

• are we missing a whole spectrum of potential talent, including the graduate pool, by failing to look outside our industry? • are we missing out on top talent due to workplace inflexibility? (Ever heard of a Job Share?) • what would it take to make the mining industry an attractive prospect for top talent outside our normal and established recruitment pools? By asking some basic questions from the outset, you’ve already started that small iteration towards change. You’ve put a toe in the water. Finding the ‘fit’ When it comes to recruiting we’ve all heard that ‘fit’ is key to a winning team, but many managers view ‘fit’ in terms of their immediate team, forgetting the bigger picture and often ending up with people who are so like-minded that there is very little diversity of thought, resulting in compliance rather than challenge and therefore progress. While it may certainly seem to work in the short-term, research conducted by by the Saratogo Institute (now part


people over profit

Photo: Josh Kelly

of PWC) indicates that this approach sees fewer than 50% of hires having the necessary skills and attributes to become future company leaders. It also shows that 45% of hires could be considered ‘easy way out hires’ because, although they they have the skills and experience needed, they lack the ‘fit’ factors that underpin change and drive fresh thinking. In this instance employers miss a good 20% of prospective talent that have the qualities needed to drive change, but get missed in the shortlist process because they haven’t gained specific industry experience. Defining Critical Success Factors The same research shows that in any one organisation there are typically somewhere between four and six Critical Success Factors that set their highest achievers apart from the pack. These factors are not necessarily common across a range of organisations, but truly reflect the culture of the specific business. If they are present in a candidate, they can predict a tremendously successful long-term fit. The closer the fit with your Critical Success Factors, the more successful the hire is likely to be. The key here is not to recruit solely on skills, but on organisation-wide cultural fit based on your defined Critical Success Factors - and then investing

in technical training skills for that hire. This begins to break down traditional recruitment barriers and opens the organisation to new prospects from a diverse talent pool. One of the most important points that many mining companies miss when recruiting for diversity is promoting the broader appeal of the industry. Putting aside pay, there is the opportunity to travel and live in places many never thought was an option to them. It is critical that we do not underestimate the value of this to the right candidate. Another industry that has been constrained by traditional thinking is the maritime sector. This industry has been seriously hamstrung by a strong preference for Master Mariners, for which there just aren’t enough graduates. Maritime is essentially logistics and supply chain across the world’s oceans, but it is shipping that supplies our coal mines from Port Hedland on one coast of Australia to Hay Point on the other. Is it not reasonable that any leaders in the maritime industry should have an implicit understanding of the dynamics of mining? By removing the blinkers, a whole new talent pool emerges bilaterally. We can apply these same principles to the challenges the mining industry

now faces. With COVID-19 travel restrictions still in place in many Australian states and the industry generally moving away from FIFO as the costs mount, we are already seeing mining houses seeking to hire exclusively from the state in which its operations reside. The result - an even smaller and, of course, rapidly shrinking talent pool as everyone looks to fish from the same pond. Start with the first steps Now is the time to start the change iterations, to dip your toe in the water. To invest in strong on-boarding and skills transfer, and not in the higher salaries of a shrinking talent pool. Develop a broad talent pipeline and a new assessment model. Define the Critical Success Factors that reflect the values and culture of your organisation and the highest achievers within it. Put in place strong diversity policies, embed them through the organisation and most importantly, look after your people and lead by example. Only then can we reap the benefits of a truly diverse workforce. The need for change in our industry is clear, not just because it’s good for business, but because it’s the right thing to do for future generations of Australians that will carry on our industry’s important legacy both within this country and across the globe. 

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A bad year in which to learn good lessons Dr Kieren Moffat, CEO, Voconiq

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he nature of relationships between communities and the companies that work alongside them continues to evolve at a rapid pace, no more so than in this year of upheaval, uncertainty and disruption. But rather than seeing 2020 as an aberration, this year could be viewed as a window into a future where uncertainty, change and the need to be resilient are dominant rather than exceptional circumstances.

Defining community resilience So, let’s start this reflection with a look at what makes a community resilient. It’s complex, but there are several factors that underpin community resilience, according to research on the topic. They include qualities like economic vitality, preparedness for shocks and having solid institutions to help manage change. Strong local leadership to navigate through troubled waters is also important, as is the strength of social networks within communities, the capacity to communicate within and between these networks effectively, and the mental outlook of individual community members themselves. The resources industry mostly operates in and around regional and remote areas of Australia, which adds additional complexity. 98

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While mining communities may be used to managing change – living alongside an industry where ‘boom and bust’ are part of its nature – regional and remote communities can also be impacted more sharply when upheaval comes. During a commodity price downturn, for example, workforce reductions mean that mining company employees who also play key leadership roles within community may leave, almost overnight. The capacity of these groups to support their members and the community more broadly is also diminished right at the moment when that cohesion is most needed. Unique pandemic responses This change has been different for regional and remote communities, however. The physical distance of communities from major urban centres has largely insulated them from

the spread of COVID-19 while also reinforcing for some a sense of isolation. In our work on community responses to the pandemic in mining communities through 2020, we’ve seen this complexity play out. Communities around the country have been largely confident in their ability to manage the challenges of the pandemic at a local level, but harbour deep concerns about the complex impacts that the virus has and will continue to bring. Specifically, Australian mining communities have consistently said that their two greatest concerns are the transmission of the COVID-19 virus to their communities via workforce movements and the local economic impacts of the pandemic on small businesses and those community groups that rely on events to raise critical funds. At

the same time, ratings of trust in mining companies and government at state and federal levels improved, sometimes dramatically, through the early months of the pandemic emergency. What we learned about trust and responsiveness Together this paints an interesting picture of large parts of regional and remote Australia that is worth thinking about in the context of community resilience. During those early months, say March to June, uncertainty was highest, and life changed dramatically for all of us. Many mining companies initiated significant community funds or redirected sizeable economic resources to support communities, suppliers, workforce safety through roster changes and significant COVID-19 testing regimes and protocols. All this activity was initiated within weeks of the pandemic declaration,


people over profit

with usual air travel stopped and interstate borders closed. To say that managing through that time was hectic for those companies is the understatement of the year. It would have been understandable if relationships with local communities had suffered at least in the short term. But trust in many companies improved. Our analysis of the community survey data that we were collecting through that time showed us why: the quality of interactions that community members were having with company personnel improved. This may seem strange, given community events were cancelled and face to face contact was stopped overnight for community engagement teams. But what this meant was that these teams were phoning community stakeholders, groups, individuals and other impacted people to check in and use those insights to guide the delivery of financial support locally. The great irony of lockdown was that mining companies, like all of us, were forced to think actively and differently about how we engage people and that led to deeper, more authentic interactions. Higher levels of trust were also associated with the liberal and equitable distribution of significant economic resources during those early months – what we call

distributional fairness in the relationship. It was also clear that while the movement of people (i.e. Fly-in, Fly-out and Drive-in, Drive-out) was a real and ongoing concern for community members, they also rated company safety protocols to manage these risks quite positively. Again, in a very real sense, community members could see the companies in their region hearing their concerns and responding effectively and quickly to mitigate the risk. Company responsiveness is always a strong driver of community trust and we saw that play out in many places. Creating lasting resilience So, what does this have to do with resilience? How do these examples and observations speak to the capacity of communities to continue to cope and to manage their way through future challenges? For me, the way that many mining companies responded to COVID-19 reflected some of the core qualities required in a mining companycommunity relationship for resilience to grow. From the company side, seeing and understanding the nature of the challenge through the eyes of community members is fundamental. This shift in perspective isn’t always easy, but when used to guide company communications, planning and responses, it is

powerful. Sharing information and supporting local networks for its distribution contribute to this power. Distributing resources liberally and equitably in an emergency is a key resilience factor, as is demonstrating strong, decisive leadership. More than that, supporting local government institutions to support community was also evident in many places, coordinating action to protect and support community members. And engaging meaningfully and authentically with community members outside of formal meeting structures and processes was a powerful driver of trust in these companies. As usual structures for this engagement were unavailable, community engagement teams went ‘back to the future’ and worked systematically to connect in other ways – this had real, positive impact. What we also saw in our work was community viewing companies differently. COVID-19 changed almost everything very quickly, and we saw community members reevaluate, or perhaps see their relationships with companies operating alongside them in a new light. They were no longer just mining companies but sources of continuity and reassurance when most other economic activity halted. We saw the same kinds of improvements in ratings of agricultural industries through

this same period, and for the same reason – industries that could continue operating, provide continued employment and generate economic activity when so much else was faltering – were seen as ‘essential’ where previously we may have taken them for granted, or not really thought about the value they add to our busy lives. And what then for the future? In my view, this crisis has several acts left to play out before any kind of normalcy returns; challenges yet to come for which we could meaningfully prepare, using 2020 to identify where our strengths and weaknesses lie, such as: • focusing on the foundations of relationships, and not just the functions of them, is where I think mining companies and communities really would get best value from energy invested. • hanging on to the benefits that authentic, personal interaction between company personnel and community members have in the relationship as companies return to a ‘business as usual’ mode. These foundations are what makes everything else more efficient and effective in a crisis or shock and allows for such turbulent times to create opportunities through change. Community resilience is complex, but 2020 has shown that when the chips are down, relationships matter. As we look forward to a new and hopefully more positive year, we would do well to reflect on how to deepen those between the mining industry and the communities they operate alongside.  BBMC Yearbook 2020

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Legislation

How Governments can play their part in improving the lifecycle of a mineral discovery Kate Dickson, Queensland Manager, Association of Mining and Exploration Companies

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tate and Federal Governments enjoy significant benefits from all the stages of the resources industry. This has been made clear, particularly during COVID-19 where exploration and mining could continue to operate safely, effectively, and with low and manageable risks and away from major population areas. In order to at least maintain or improve resource project development speed and reduce costs, there are some easy levers Governments can pull to help, such as: 1. Support industry initiatives 2. Infrastructure investment 3. Policy and regulatory stability Before we jump into what governments can do, let’s look at mineral project development and company value throughout these stages. Over the page, the chart adapted from Austex’s ‘Typical share price movement as project status changes’ represents the life stages of a junior mining or exploration company through different development phases. The Y-axis represents the company value throughout the various stages and the X-axis timeline is dependent on factors

like the deposit type and the jurisdiction the project is in, with the jurisdiction often impacting the approval timeframes for projects. Ideally, companies want to spend the least amount of time in the low value sections of the chart. So, how can Governments help with this necessary part of the process? Policy, grants and strategic infrastructure can assist resource projects when ‘traditional’ funding and valuations make project development difficult. But we’ll dig into this further later. The main areas where projects struggle, are at the ‘New Project and early exploration’, ‘Feasibility’ and ‘Permitting and project financing’ stages. State and Federal Governments are seeing the benefits of the exploration industry to the economy considering the recent announcements about the industry’s contributions to COVID-19 economic recovery. Most of the announcements have been to assist companies at the Pre-discovery stage. But there are levers within Governments’ control that can improve the success rate for projects struggling through the ‘Feasibility’ and ‘Permitting and project financing’ stages. 1. Support Industry Initiatives Grants are by far the easiest and quickest ways to get companies on the ground doing exploration. This helps companies in the ‘New project and early exploration’ stage. The Collaborative Drilling Initiative (CDI) in Queensland has been very successful, with recent rounds being significantly over-subscribed. Part of the reason the

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Queensland model is so popular is because it’s a full grant, not matched funding like similar programs in other jurisdictions in Australia. A possible way to make this great program even better would be for the companies to be given the money up front. The current process requires the explorer to spend their own money and then get reimbursed. Another benefit of injecting money into exploration phase is that a small amount at this riskier end of the process can have significant multiplier benefits for a successful project. From an investor perspective (any investor, be it private or government through a grant), a comparatively small investment at the early stages can make all the difference. The successful CDI model could be expanded to innovation and collaboration between industry and the environmental regulator. A Collaborative Rehabilitation Initiative (CRI) would be welcomed by industry as it would reduce the time and cost associated with trialling new rehabilitation techniques and improve knowledge and outcomes for rehabilitation projects.

2. Infrastructure Investment Once a resource is found, the next most difficult stages are ‘Feasibility’ and ‘Permitting and project financing’. It is in these stages that strategic infrastructure can help projects increase their value and source investment more quickly and much easier. There are areas in parts of Queensland where there are substantial hurdles for potential projects to overcome. These include: • Transport and logistics - Many projects are significant distances from the coast (and therefore ports) and accessing high efficiency and low cost logistics infrastructure is too prohibitive for small, emerging projects on a ‘stand-alone’ basis. The Bowen Basin Coal Infrastructure was developed with State Government assistance. The emerging minerals regions need this type of vision and planning to see similar and significant ongoing benefits to the State. • Electricity Costs - High energy costs and access to energy are key concerns for emerging minerals projects in regional areas like the

North West Minerals Province, and with the region’s energy prices being amongst the highest in Queensland, projects like CopperString 2.0 will benefit both existing and emerging producers. The CopperString 2.0 high voltage transmission line to the North West Minerals Province is exactly the type of project that is going to help projects in the ‘Feasibility’ stage and help mining projects transition to a lower emission industry. • Mineral Processing - For new areas and mineral types, a common user processing facility would likely struggle to get fully funded without Government assistance, but there is an opportunity to invest in a potential ‘game changer’ for the new economy minerals. For many deposits, complex laboratory testing is required to ensure that an effective processing approach is available to extract the target ore. Currently, individual companies spend millions of dollars and significant time on this. If analysis was funded by the Government then more projects would survive the ‘Feasibility’ stage, get through the

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Legislation

process more quickly and be able to spend more time and money on more sustainable extraction options. 3. Policy and regulatory stability Policy and regulatory stability is last in the list, but is the easiest and most important! Without good policy and regulatory stability throughout the lifecycle of project development, projects are subjected to unanticipated delays and can easily lose investment attractiveness. Developers generally understand that certain stages of project development take longer than others, as these delays can be scheduled into the project. However, when the goal posts are moved and uncertainty is introduced into a jurisdiction, this has a ripple effect, not just to the project impacted or even the commodity, but also throughout the sector. Policy Perception and Investment Attractiveness are the key measures in the annual Fraser Institute Survey. When you are fortunate enough to have a resource-rich jurisdiction, most of the ‘investment attractiveness’ questions answer themselves. So, what can governments do to set themselves apart from other resource-rich areas? Fix the policy perception (and the policy reality!) Policy perception includes elements such as:

• uncertainty concerning the administration • interpretation, and enforcement of existing regulations • environmental regulations • regulatory duplication and inconsistencies • taxation • uncertainty concerning disputed land claims and protected areas • infrastructure • socioeconomic agreements • political stability • labor issues • geological database • security In the 2019 Fraser Institute Survey, Queensland’s Policy Perception Index dropped due to concerns about uncertainty around disputed land claims, socioeconomic agreements and community development conditions, and security. This brings us to the final point. We all have a role to play in shifting community perception. But if we don’t have the right messaging coming from our elected officials and policy makers, we are going to keep losing opportunities for the resource industry with flow on impacts to every business and opportunity along the value chain.  BBMC Yearbook 2020

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Corporate criminal responsibility in the natural resources sector

Photo: Josh Kelly

Adam Fairhurst, Associate Director, Forensic Services, BDO Australia

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o your organisation’s officeholders regularly review corporate compliance procedures and regulations? If not, now is the time to act. Just as safety compliance is paramount to protect your people, corporate compliance is paramount to protect you and your organisation. Putting it in perspective Imagine receiving a notice to appear in court on behalf of yourself and your organisation, alleging you are criminally liable for the actions of one or more of your organisation’s employees. How is it that an officeholder can be held accountable for something they are unaware of? Unfortunately, under Australian legislation, “ignorance of the law is no excuse”. As an officeholder for a company, this could be a very real circumstance. Criminal allegations levelled against an organisation and officeholders bring with them a raft of risk issues and consequences, both personally 104

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and professionally, no matter the circumstances. Regardless of any outcome, reputational damage is a certainty and it only gets worse from there. Whether it is legal costs or subsequent monetary penalty, the financial consequences may also be material, and then, there is the possibility of imprisonment. The gravity of the potential outcomes of criminal prosecution highlights the need for proactivity when it comes to corporate compliance procedures and regulations. Once claims are lodged with relevant authorities, it will be your conduct and the established organisational policies that will determine the outcomes of any action taken.

Better yet, a proactive approach will assist to avoid these potentially careerdefining circumstances. The landscape is changing Adding further complexity to the compliance landscape is the Australian Law Reform Commission’s (ALRC) recent inquiry into the review on ‘Corporate Criminal Responsibility’. The outcomes of this inquiry will likely see the compliance goal posts change, with continual ongoing transformation. Mining companies listed on the Australian Securities Exchange (ASX) could greatly benefit from proactively reviewing their compliance programs, governance, and whistleblowing


The ALRC inquiry The ALRC inquiry focuses on corporate criminal responsibility1 and, in particular, the application of criminal law to a corporation itself, for conduct of the corporation. The inquiry makes a number of recommendations that guide mining organisation leadership team thinking around the implementation of necessary controls. The recommendations are open-ended and appear subjective. Taking the time to understand the recommendations will assist mining organisations and their officeholders to avoid taking undue risks. The ALRC website summarises the impact and overview of the recommendations1 on corporations as: Impact • Corporate conduct should be regulated primarily by civil regulatory provisions • Corporations should be subject to a criminal offence only when: • The denunciation and condemnation of the conduct is warranted • The stigma of being a ‘criminal’ would be appropriate • The deterrence from a civil penalty would be insufficient • The potential harm that may occur justifies a criminal offence • It is in the public’s best interest. Overview • The law should contain one clear method of determining when a corporation is responsible for a crime. That method should apply in the vast majority of situations. A corporation should be criminally responsible for the conduct of a person acting on its behalf. The nature of the relationship between the person and the corporation should be more important than the person’s job title or job description, when determining whether the person is acting ‘on

behalf of’ the corporation. • The law should contain one way of determining whether a corporation is considered at fault for particular misconduct. This should reflect the moral liability of the corporation. A corporation should be considered at fault when an employee, officer or agent of the corporation has the relevant state of mind for the particular criminal offence. A corporation should have a defence of having taken ‘reasonable precautions’. • The Government should consider applying the new model of ‘failure to prevent’ offences of misconduct overseas by Australian corporations. • There should be new criminal laws that address systems of conduct or patterns of behaviour that result in multiple contraventions of civil penalty provisions. • The law should require courts to consider a number of specified factors when sentencing a corporation (so the general public has greater confidence that corporations are being sentenced appropriately and consistently for criminal corporate misconduct). • Courts should be able to impose a range of non-monetary penalties when sentencing a corporation, including: • Publication or disclosure • Community service • Corrective action • Facilitating redress • Not participating in certain commercial activities. • Courts should be able to make orders dissolving a corporation, if it is the only appropriate sentencing option. • Courts should be able to make orders disqualifying a person from managing corporations, if that person managed a corporation that has been dissolved by a court. • The Australian Government, together with state and territory governments, should develop a national debarment regime, to ensure corporations with an interest in undertaking government work will have a significant incentive to not get involved in criminal activity. The public will, therefore, be able to have greater trust in the process of awarding government contracts.

Legislation

awareness activities. Such actions ensure organisational risk issues are actively mitigated, and when they do occur, that they are investigated appropriately.

Criminal allegations levelled against an organisation and officeholders bring with them a raft of risk issues and consequences, both personally and professionally, no matter the circumstances.

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• Courts should be able to make orders for the preparation of pre-sentence reports for corporations, and should be able to consider victim impact statements. For example, courts will be able to tailor non-monetary penalties that take into account the corporation’s compliance culture, as well as any steps the corporation has taken to improve its procedures, discipline its personnel, and compensate victims or repair any harm. Victims of corporate crime will have a voice when corporations are sentenced. Courts will be better able to assess the impact of the misconduct, and the suitability of a compensation or redress order. • There should be judicial oversight of Deferred Prosecution Agreements (DPAs) and publication of the reasons for any approval of a DPA in open court. This is recommended to avoid the same criticisms as those made of enforceable undertakings in the Financial Services Royal Commission 2. There is further context explaining the methodology and reasoning for the ALRC’s inquiry findings, within the Corporate Criminal Responsibility, ALRC report2. The Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC), as the corporate regulator, is taking ALRC’s inquiry findings seriously by enforcing these recommendations and carrying out investigations. ASIC has been criticised previously for adopting a light touch with its prosecutions and judicial penalties, and change is afoot in terms of their appetite for prosecution on the back of the inquiry findings. A case to consider On 11 June 2020, the District Court of Queensland delivered its decision in R v Brisbane Auto Recycling Pty Ltd & Ors [2020] QDC 113, convicting the defendant company, Brisbane Auto Recycling Pty Ltd (BAR), of industrial manslaughter and imposing the highest workplace health and safety fine to date of $3 million. The two directors of BAR, Mr Hussaini and Mr Karimi, were also found liable, each being convicted of reckless conduct - category 1 under sections 27 and 31 of the Work Health and Safety Act 2011 (Qld) (WHS Act). Both received sentences of 10 months imprisonment, suspended for 20 months3.

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Given the inherently risky nature of the physical operating environments in the mining industry, the above circumstances could be relevant for any mining organisation’s officeholders. Safety is paramount and for some is very well managed, but risks remain. Consider the organisational officeholders’ responsibility for an individual, representing the entity offshore, who is accepting or facilitating bribes. What if another was over-inflating large invoices for major project contractors and sharing in the kickbacks? These are scenarios that, like it or not, could occur every day, and they pose a significant financial, reputational and liability risk to officeholders and entities alike. Regulatory action focuses on the identification of the root cause that allowed the activity to occur because, ultimately, it takes the position that is the officeholder’s responsibility to take reasonable precautions to prevent inappropriate or criminal conduct. Of course, defining “reasonable precaution” is not a simple as it sounds. What mining organisation officeholders can do Regular review of governance, risk and compliance (GRC) procedures will assist in risk mitigation and may provide the basis for building a ‘reasonable precautions’ framework. At a minimum, officeholders, or those responsible for GRC should frequently review the following procedures within their organisation: • regulatory and legislative compliance • operational governance and monitoring activities • controls and risk management registers • safety practices, particularly regarding training and governance • financial practices, controls and systems • social and community engagement strategies • whistleblower awareness, to ensure staff have the confidence they will be protected for reporting a wrongdoing • investigation methodologies and practices, whether for safety incidents, internal serious concern matters, frauds or code of conduct breaches.

While mining companies are often highly cognisant of personal safety in front line roles, organisations often underestimate the potential impact of more common workplace issues. The all too pervasive thought is ‘that does not happen here’. Such workplace issues can put the responsible organisation and officeholders under scrutiny if they have not been proactive in their controls, governance or training, and have not led by example when it comes to the organisation’s ethics and integrity procedures. Ignorance is not only “no excuse” for legal breaches, under the ALRC recommendations, it is also “no excuse” for a failure to proactively consider and mitigate risks. Better to understand and apply ‘reasonable precautions’ than risk the alternatives.  This publication has been carefully prepared, but it has been written in general terms and should be seen as broad guidance only. The publication cannot be relied upon to cover specific situations and you should not act, or refrain from acting, upon the information contained therein without obtaining specific professional advice. Please contact the BDO member firms in Australia to discuss these matters in the context of your particular circumstances. BDO Australia Ltd and each BDO member firm in Australia, their partners and/or directors, employees and agents do not accept or assume any liability or duty of care for any loss arising from any action taken or not taken by anyone in reliance on the information in this publication or for any decision based on it. 1

The complete report, can be found via the ALRC website https://www.alrc.gov.au

2

https://www.alrc.gov.au/wp-content/uploads/2020/05/ ALRC-CCR-Summary-Report-web-1.pdf

3

https://hallandwilcox.com.au/thinking/australias-firstever-industrial-manslaughter-conviction-what-are-theimplications-for-employers/

BDO Services Pty Ltd ABN 45 134 242 434 is a member of a national association of independent entities which are all members of BDO Australia Ltd ABN 77 050 110 275, an Australian company limited by guarantee. BDO Services Pty Ltd and BDO Australia Ltd are members of BDO International Ltd, a UK company limited by guarantee, and form part of the international BDO network of independent member firms. Liability limited by a scheme approved under Professional Standards Legislation. BDO is the brand name for the BDO network and for each of the BDO member firms. © 2020 BDO Services Pty Ltd. All rights reserved.


Together, we’ll move mountains. In the mining business, downtime is the enemy. Mobil™ offers three ways to fight it: • Lubricants that withstand extreme conditions • Services that help optimize equipment reliability • Industry expertise that covers decades.

Learn more at mobilindustrial.com

Mobil lubricants are distributed by East Coat Lubes eclubes.com.au 1800 069 019 BBMC Yearbook 2020

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Queensland’s water resource legislation – an overview Liam Davis, Partner and Claire Meiklejohn, Senior Associate, McCullough Robertson

A

ccess to water is a critical and ever-evolving issue for the resources industry. The scrutiny of project impacts on water supplies is exacerbated by increasing demand, coupled with recent drought conditions. As both the State and Federal Governments have tightened water regulation and assessments for the resources sector in recent years, it has never been more important for mining companies to carefully consider their existing water arrangements (including approvals and access, contingency planning, water-sharing, and dealing with mineaffected water), likely future requirements and potential legal solutions available. The following is a useful summary of the primary legislation regulating water resources in Queensland. If you operate a resources project that relies on water from the environment, or are considering acquiring such a project, it is vital the project has access to adequate water supply going forward, and all necessary approvals are held to authorise any impacts to water.

Photo: Josh Kelly

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In the absence of a clear and well-considered water strategy, proponents risk delays or cutbacks to exploration and production, resulting in significant impacts on individual operations, mining towns and regions, and the Australian economy. There may also be opportunities for the resources industry to provide community benefits and improve water security through

projects funded under the recently announced Queensland Government’s Resource Community Infrastructure Fund. Water management framework in Queensland In Queensland, all rights to the use, flow and control of water are vested in the State. The water management regime in Queensland is managed by the Department of Natural Resources, Mines and Energy and the Department of Environment and Science. The Water Act 2000 (Qld) (Water Act) creates a framework for managing the allocation and use of water and other resources. The supporting regime is based in statutory water plans, specific to different catchment areas in Queensland. A water plan is the primary tool for managing water allocations and providing for water security and environmental flows. Water plans also prescribe the volume of unallocated water which is available within its catchment area. It may also impose limitations on taking or interfering with various water types for certain purposes and establish criteria for deciding applications for water allocations and water licences, in the plan area.


Underground water

The term ‘water entitlement’ refers to both water licences and water allocations. A water entitlement is an authorisation to take or interfere with water from a specified location for a particular process. A water licence must be associated with land tenure or a resource tenement. The application process for a water entitlement generally involves public notification, which any person may make a submission about the application. Applications are decided in accordance with the Water Act and the relevant water plan (where one exists).

Water approvals are now a key strategic matter for resource projects in the current climate following recent substantial regulatory reform. Rights to take or interfere with underground water in Queensland vary between the taking of water which occurs as a direct result of the authorised mining activities, eg. by de-watering the coal seam, known as ‘associated water’.

A water allocation is a broader right, generally allowing its holder to take a nominated volumetric amount of water during its period, subject to any conditions or specifications set out in the allocation. Unlike a water licence, a water allocation can be traded (subject to the trade rules) in its own right, distinct from other property rights. Allocations are often be managed in accordance with operations licences. A water permit may also be available for shorter term take or interference with water for a specific and time-limited purpose, such as a construction activity. The Water Act also provides for a number of other more minor permits and licences, generally required to conduct particular physical works. Specific water regulations applicable to resources projects For resource activities, the Water Act provide various statutory rights to take and interfere with different types of water, in conjunction with related obligations including in relation to making good impacts, and monitoring reporting.

The general provisions of the Water Act and plans, including requirements to obtain a water licence, apply to taking or interfering with underground water when otherwise related to but not directly required for undertaking authorised activities, eg.: a) water for human consumption, or b) water taken for use in mine operations. Associated Water Since 2016, it has been clear that mining lease holders are entitled to take associated water to conduct authorised activities without first obtaining a water licence, subject to compliance with a range of related obligations. This has given miners the same statutory rights historically enjoyed by petroleum producers. Prior to this time, a number of miners had been required to obtain water licences for associated water, eg. to dewater and access a deposit. The statutory amendments also introduced the concept of an Associated Water Licence (AWL) which retains some relevance for projects that were on foot prior to December 2016. Importantly, AWLs are subject to public notification and appeal rights. New mining projects which

Legislation

Water entitlements

enjoy statutory underground water rights, must have the relevant impacts assessed as part of the application for an environmental authority (EA). Underground water management obligations When exercising underground water rights, resource tenement holders must record and report the volume of associated water taken and, specifically for mineral development licence (MDL) and mining lease (ML) holders, notify the regulator of the time that exercise of underground water rights commences. The Water Act prescribes other obligations to monitor and manage impacts on underground water, including: a) underground water impact reports; b) provisions for projects within cumulative management areas (Surat CMA); and c) make good obligations, including baseline and impact assessment for potentially impacted landholder bores. Water monitoring authorities The underground water management obligations for a resource project will often require the proponent to monitor water at locations outside the area of its tenement, where land access has already been addressed. In this scenario, a water monitoring authorities (WMA) under the Mineral Resources Act 1989 (Qld) or Petroleum and Gas (Production and Safety) Act 2004 (Qld) is a potential pathway for: a) authority to undertake the monitoring activities offtenure; and b) a mechanism for land access.

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WMAs are ‘resource authorities’ for the purposes of the Mineral and Energy Resources (Common Provisions) Act 2014 (Qld) (MERCP Act). That means the land access framework under the MERCP Act is available to holders of a WMA. A WMA can also be obtained over land which overlaps other mining or petroleum tenure held by third parties. Surface and non-associated water

If you operate a resources project that relies on water from the environment, or are considering acquiring such a project, it is vital the project has access to adequate water supply going forward, and all necessary approvals are held to authorise any impacts to water.

Certain requirements under the Water Act also apply, subject to the provisions of the applicable water plan, to taking or interfering with water in a watercourse, lake or spring, including by impoundment and subsequent use. A water licence may be required for any such take or interference. Overland flow water, however, is generally unregulated throughout the State. Watercourse diversion Resource projects may require the diversion of watercourses in order to access the resource deposit. Proponents have a statutory right under the Water Act to interfere with (but not take) the flow of water in a watercourse where the impacts of the interference are assessed as part of the EA application for the project, and there are EA conditions which address the watercourse diversion. A water licence may also be separately required under the Water Act in some circumstances. Federal regulation In addition to Queensland’s statutory regime for water management, the ‘water trigger’ was introduced into the national Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (Cth) (EPBC Act) in 2012, meaning that for: a) coal seam gas (CSG) projects; and b) coal mining development water resources are now a matter of national environmental significance (MNES). The EPBC Act requires projects that will have, or are likely to have, a significant impact on MNES to be referred to the Federal Minister who will determine whether or not it is a ‘controlled action’ requiring assessment and approval.

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This means that CSG or coal mining projects – both greenfield and brownfield - may require Federal Government approval if they are likely to have a significant impact on a water resource in addition State approvals. The water trigger remains complex to understand when considering transitional protections under the EPBC Act. Summary The water regulatory framework for resources projects is complex and multifaceted. This article provides a non-exhaustive summary of some of the approvals and related issues our clients need to navigate. Please do not hesitate to contact a member of our specialist resources approvals and compliance team for assistance in navigating approvals which might be required for your resources project in Queensland, such as: a) the impact of expansions on existing EPBC Act referrals, approvals or historic transitional protections; b) land access for water monitoring obligations; c) make good agreements; and d) whether a specific interference with or take of water may trigger an approval requirement. 


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Mining Services directory Mining Services Directory

BBMC Yearbook 2020

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Mining Services Directory ACCOMMODATION & BUILDINGS

ACCOMMODATION & BUILDINGS

Civil Contractors

To discuss long term opportunities contact Bradley.Morgan@civeo.com

Style, convenience and the ultimate in relaxation at our hotel in Mackay. Conveniently located in the heart of Mackay, Rydges Mackay Suites offers business and leisure travellers a deluxe accommodation experience in a prime locale. Our Mackay hotel offers complimentary on-site parking, free Wi-Fi, 24-hour reception and 24-hour room service.

A proud Queensland-owned company, ALLROADS have amassed over 18 years experience in civil construction. Our clients benefit from our integrated multidisciplinary approach to delivering projects across the mining, commercial building, transport and urban development industries; offering a diverse range of earthworks, road and concrete construction, water, wastewater, electrical and surveying solutions.

Make a reservation or find out more at www.civeo.com

Visit www.rydges.com/mackay-suites  or call 07 4969 1000

Visit www.allroads.net.au or call 1300 2557 6237

Civil Contractors

Consumables

Drilling, Boring and Blasting

On Country Roads Civil & Mining provides civil construction, recruitment, resourcing, and cultural heritage management solutions. In choosing On Country Roads Civil & Mining, our clients have the knowledge that they are supporting the growth, development and upskilling of Indigenous communities and businesses and are championing diversity in the civil construction, mining and defence industries.

TG Coolants are Australian manufacturers of Non Flammable and Readily Biodegradable products that have been in circulation within the Mining Industry in excess of 13 years. We have 2 blending facilities 1 in Perth and the other in Mackay along with the employee safety and enviromental advantages our OEM compatible Envirolife Platinum Long life coolant is consistently dropping engine operating temperatures by up to 10 degrees.

AdbS has 30 years of technical and operational experience across varied OC and UG commodities, building the foundation to provide expert drill & blast solutions. Combined with experience across multiple explosive suppliers, AdbS has an in depth understanding of the application of explosive technologies, operational delivery and supply chain requirements.

Call 07 4019 2297

Call us on 0407 407 844

Drilling, Boring and Blasting

Drilling, Boring and Blasting

Drilling, Boring and Blasting

We have been manufacturing hose for 220 years. It's knowing that every metre of hose undergoing numerous quality assurance tests throughout the manufacturing process, coupled with our unwavering commitment to excellence that makes Angus the Trusted Choice in Hose.

Australasian Mining Services is an international supplier and manufacturer of drilling consumables to the mining and exploration industries. We have built our reputation on outstanding commitment to product quality, innovation and customer service. AMS head office is located in Perth, with branches in Townsville, Kalgoorlie and Singleton.

iCutter Industries is an Australian owned and operated Indigenous business that service the drill and blast mining sector from our base in Mackay, Queensland. With over 30 years combined experience within the exploration and mining drilling divisions, we are widely known as fixed cutter specialists.

Visit www.austms.com or call 07 4728 3433

Visit www.icutterindustries.com or call 0448 184 443

Civeo is a global workforce accommodation specialist dedicated to helping people maintain healthy, productive, connected lives while living and working away from home. With villages at Coppabella, Dysart, Middlemount, Moranbah and Nebo, there’s a Civeo solution near your site.

Visit www.oncountryroads.com.au or call 1800 845 116

Visit www.angusflexiblepipelines.com.au or call 07 3256 7622

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Mining Services Directory Engineering Products & Services

Environmental

Environmental

Aletek is a leading provider of heavy-duty exhaust systems, thermal insulation blankets, emission control (DPFs), and sound suppression solutions. From design to manufacture, we provide innovative solutions for the mining industry. Aletek strive to be recognised as a global leader dedicated to improving safety and efficiencies.

Alios circular economy solutions for the resources sector. Alios is a specialist mining services rehabilitation company using innovative hydromining and material processing technologies to convert rehabilitation liabilities into profitable circular economy outcomes offset the costs of rehabilitating tailings facilities by reprocessing the contents to produce saleable product.

Is the RNTB for the Barada Barna People. The BBAC has over 20 coal mines, gas projects and various exploration tenements over its country. The BBAC are focused on sustainable employment within all industries with in the Bowen Basin. Another focus is on JV's with suitable companies to help reach our goals of sustainable employment.

Visit www.aletek.com.au/ or call 1300 886 628

Visit www.alios.com.au or call 0438 781 587

Call 0447 005 471

Environmental

Environmental

Environmental

Hydrogeologist Field Services are passionate about groundwater and provide field services to cover the hydrogeological life cycle, from conceptualisation through to closure. We have over 40 years experience and are well placed to offer groundwater and surface water sampling, bore supervision, hydraulic testing and specialist downhole and environmental surveys.

Nitro Solutions is an innovative and agile environmental consultancy offering pragmatic and experienced environment and approvals support to mining organisations throughout their project lifecycle. Based in Brisbane, we provide tailored services ranging from due diligence to environmental management and approvals, ecological surveys; and rehabilitation and closure planning.

Wall Planning & Environmental Consulting are Central Queensland locals, strategically located between the Galilee & Bowen Basins. We work extensively in the facilitation of projects in the Resource, Property & Energy sectors and have a deep understanding of complex projects in remote regions. Our success is demonstrated by our effective engagement with stakeholders and communities.

Visit www.hydrofs.com or call 0403 975 903

Visit www.nitrosolutions.com.au or call 07 3297 1744

Visit www.wallplanning.com.au or call 07 4445 5051

Environmental

Equipment & Services

Equipment & Services

Xylem is a leading water technology company committed to “solving water” by creating innovative and smart technology solutions to meet the world's water, wastewater, and energy needs. In a world of ever-growing challenges, Xylem delivers innovative water technology solutions throughout the entire cycle of water. Let’s Solve Water

EPSA's Rental Division provides short or longterm rental solutions for power generation, temperature control and compressed air equipment. Emergency, temporary, commercial, remote power and cooling solutions for a range of projects from large Multi MW power stations and cooling packages through to individual units.

The Ezy Group of companies consists of Ezy Vehicle Rentals, Ezy Mechanical, Ezy Mechanical Towing, EL Flexible Signs and Ezy Sign Solutions. We specialise in mine spec vehicle rentals, fleet maintenance and mining / safety signage for mining and allied Industries. Find us in Mackay and Moranbah.

Visit www.xylem.com/au or call 131 914

Visit www.energypower.com.au or call 1800 800 441

Visit www.ezygroup.net or call 07 4952 6555

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Mining Services Directory Equipment & Services

Equipment & Services

Equipment & Services

FleetCo is a global dry hire provider of heavy mobile mining equipment. Whether you require short or long-term equipment hire, we provide you with quality, reliable, well maintained equipment. Being backed by Thiess' industryleading scheduled component planning and rebuild capabilities, we give you the security and comfort of high availability so that you can focus on what matters most.

Larsen's™ Air Conditioning Hire specialises in confined space cooling requirements and also general HVAC backup. Based in Rockhampton with fully compliant equipment and supported with modern facilities, we can meet all your requirements. We offer 24/7 support in CQ for power stations, gas, refineries and mining.

Visit www.fleetco.com.au or call 07 3159 9800

Visit www.larsenhire.com.au or call 0448 818 466

EQUIPMENT & SERVICES

EQUIPMENT & SERVICES

EQUIPMENT & SERVICES

Lube Technology supplies pump-free field and workshop lube exchange systems. Our systems are virtually maintenance-free, eliminating contamination, waste and spills, and our fully epoxy-lined tanks are ideal for capturing & replenishing coolant. We will work with you to develop a lubricant exchange model to suit your business.

Martin Auctioneers and Valuers is a family owned and operated business providing valuation, sale and auction campaigns throughout Australasia of:

NQ Water sells, designs, installs, hires and maintains water-related equipment for the industrial, agricultural and domestic sectors. Backed by a fully equipped workshop, NQ Water provides a range of products/services, drawing capacity for the design, supply and manufacturing of pipe work/fabrication work, auditing services for pumping equipment, pipeline and water management procedures.

TECHNOLOGY QUEENSLAND

Filter Technology Queensland provides fluid and air filtration units as fixed or mobile configurations. Our on-board filtration systems keep fluids consistently clean with reduced contamination. Using filtration extends oil life and increases component life, while lowering fuel consumption and reducing wear with less environmental impact and less downtime. For more information call 07 4837 1271 or email sales@filtertechnologyqld.com.au

Call 0409 061 950 or email sales@lubetechnology.com.au

EQUIPMENT & SERVICES

- Fixed plant; - Mobile plant and light vehicles; - Spare parts, consumables and minor equipment. Please get in touch for information on our services and an obligation free quote on 0413211499 Visit www.martinauctions.com.au

Visit www.nqws.com.au or call 07 4952 2252

EQUIPMENT & SERVICES

EQUIPMENT HIRE

"Driving the World"

Offroad Trucks Australia (OTA), are the national importer of Tatra trucks, a heavy duty all-wheel drive vehicle that has been manufactured in the Czech Republic for over a century. Working together for 20 plus years, OTA have supplied purpose built off-road vehicles to a range of industries across Australia in 4x4, 6x6, 8x8 and 10x10 configuration.

SEW-EURODRIVE is a global designer, developer and manufacturer of mechanical power transmission equipment, systems and motor control electronics. Its broad spectrum of integrated solutions includes geared motors and gear units, high torque industrial gear units, highefficiency motors, electronic frequency inverters, servo drive systems and decentralised drive systems. It has complete engineered solutions and after-sales technical support.

Visit www.offroadtrucks.com.au or call 08 9459 8911

Visit www.sew-eurodrive.com.au or call 1300 739 287 to be directed to nearest office

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Xylem is a leading water technology company committed to “solving water” by creating innovative and smart technology solutions to meet the world's water, wastewater, and energy needs. In a world of ever-growing challenges, Xylem delivers innovative water technology solutions throughout the entire cycle of water. Let’s Solve Water Visit www.xylem.com/au or call 131 914


Mining Services Directory EQUIPMENT HIRE

Onsite Rental Group (Onsite) is a specialist B2B equipment rental business. We have 30+ years experience in this industry, with 450+ employees across 35+ branches. With more than 70,000+ pieces of equipment, our strategically placed national branch network ensures we fulfil our customers' rental plant and machinery requirements wherever their next project is located. Visit www.onsite.com.au or call 134 040

Exploration

Fuel & Lubricants

Chevron Australia Products delivers quality fuel products and services across Australia. We manage and operate 14 depots and three seaboard import terminals. We have been manufacturing hose for 220 years. It's knowing that every metre of hose undergoing numerous quality assurance tests throughout the manufacturing process, coupled with our unwavering commitment to excellence that makes Angus the Trusted Choice in Hose. Visit www.angusflexiblepipelines.com.au or call 07 3256 7622

Our commercial division is responsible for the establishment, monitoring and delivery of products and services to the mining industry. We offer services such as high-quality bulk fuel supply, oils and lubricants, fuel equipment solutions, customised fleet fuel card solutions and expert advice on fuel management and health and safety. Visit pumaenergy.com.au or call 1300 723 706

Fuel & Lubricants

Geological & Surveying

Government & Council

JSG Industrial Systems provides access to high quality fuel flow management equipment including meters, pumps and nozzles from worldleading brands such as Kobold, ALL-FLO and Flomax. JSG has been delivering its products and systems to the Bowen Basin through a network of local distributors servicing the mining and industrial sectors.

Geotechnical consulting services specialising in geotechnical design, project management and strata management system optimisation. Geological consulting services including exploration program design and management and geological mapping. Strata Monitoring Application (SMA) - A unique and advanced software application for geotechnical data management and analysis

Mackay Regional Council is a big supporter of the resources and METS sectors. Our Economic Development team is committed to facilitating development and investment in the region, and is an ideal first point of contact for general business enquiries or for companies looking to expand or relocate to the region.

Visit www.jsgindustrial.com or call 1300 277 454

Government & Council

Visit www.geotechnicoal.com or call 0404 494 995

Visit www.investmackay.com or call 1300 622 529

Heavy Machinery / Equipment

Heavy Machinery / Equipment

2MT Mining Products provides a range of market-leading consumable wear products for mining extraction applications, Columbia Steel dragline chain, Advantage dragline rigging, MTG ground engaging tools, 2TUFF hard-faced wear plate for minerals processing wear prevention, 2TUFF blades and edges for dozers graders and wheel loaders, as well as direct replacement products (DRPs).

Founded in 1903, Gordon Brothers offers alternative funding solutions via asset backed direct lending and special situations financing, asset remarketing options unlocking liquidity for clients by buying and selling underperforming or redundant assets as well as valuation services providing the insight that companies and lenders need to make decisions.

Michelle LANDRY

Federal Member for Capricornia www.michellelandry.com.au Authorised by Michelle Landry MP, Liberal National Party of Queensland, 159 Denison St, Rockhampton QLD 4700.

Michelle Landry grew up in Rockhampton and was elected as the Federal Member for the central Queensland seat of Capricornia in 2013. Re-elected for a third consecutive term in May 2019, Michelle is well known as a tenacious advocate for her electorate. Find more information at www.michellelandry.com.au

Visit www.2mtminingproducts.com or call 1800 940 765

Visit www.australia.gordonbrothers.com or call 0413 627 716

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Mining Services Directory Heavy Machinery / Equipment

Heavy Machinery / Equipment

Heavy Machinery / Equipment

Hastings Deering is the exclusive distributor of Cat equipment, technology, parts, and service throughout Queensland. We offer the broadest range of mining solutions for both surface and underground mining. We believe our people are our advantage; our workforce is diverse and powerful and it's our differences that makes us truly understand our customers.

JCB CEA is the Australian distributor for JCB agricultural and construction equipment. Selling and supporting an extensive product line up our range includes backhoe loaders, hydraulic excavators, mini excavators, skid steers, compact track loaders, telehandlers, Fastrac tractors, rough terrain forklifts and wheeled loaders. We aim to provide solutions-based products to a diverse range of industries.

JSG Industrial Systems provides access to SKF and Lincoln Industrial Lubrication Systems across the Asia-Pacific. With unmatched technical knowledge and drive for quality engineered systems, JSG has been delivering its products and systems to the Bowen Basin through a network of local distributors servicing the mining and industrial sectors.

Visit www.hastingsdeering.com.au or call 131 228

Visit www.jcbcea.com.au or call 1300 522 232

Visit www.jsgindustrial.com or call 1300 277 454

Heavy Machinery / Equipment

Heavy Machinery / Equipment

Heavy Machinery / Equipment

The National Group comprises of leading companies from the mining, resources, transport and logistics industries. We provide the sale and hire of heavy earthmoving and ultra class mining equipment, including the provision of mine site personnel. We also offer supporting services such as national transport, international shipping and logistics management.

Offroad Trucks Australia (OTA), are the national importer of Tatra trucks, a heavy duty all-wheel drive vehicle that has been manufactured in the Czech Republic for over a century. Working together for 20 plus years, OTA have supplied purpose built off-road vehicles to a range of industries across Australia in 4x4, 6x6, 8x8 and 10x10 configuration.

Visit www.martinauctions.com.au

Visit www.nationalgroup.co or call 1300 096 618

Visit www.offroadtrucks.com.au or call 08 9459 8911

IT & Technology

Maintenance & Repair Services

Maintenance & Repair Services

AirBridge Networks specialise in the high-speed transmission of IP data over long distances. This allows for quality data services to be delivered into rural and regional locations with substandard connections, in turn creating opportunities for growth and prosperity in remote communities by removing the limitations created by the lack of connectivity in rural locations.

At Coxons Group Australia, we supply, repair, and overhaul radiators and cooling components. We minimise equipment downtime with innovative solutions, including nosecone exchange and service exchange. This unique service dramatically reduces downtime. We send a fully assembled nosecone module to your site while the used module is returned to us for overhaul.

Leading the way in service and repairs for the mining and utilities industries. With over thirty years' experience our speciality includes the service & repair of electrical motors, generators pumps, gearboxes and onsite support services. EMACS is Ex-certified to AS3800, with a proven track record when it comes to CST's and flame proof motors.

Martin Auctioneers and Valuers is a family owned and operated business providing valuation, sale and auction campaigns throughout Australasia of: - Fixed plant; - Mobile plant and light vehicles; - Spare parts, consumables and minor equipment. Please get in touch for information on our services and an obligation free quote on 0413211499

Call 1300 825 410 or Lv 15/15 Lake Street, Cairns Corporate Tower

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Visit www.coxonsgroup.com.au/ or call 1300 120 468

Visit www.emacs.com.au or call 07 3271 5599


Mining Services Directory Maintenance & Repair Services

Maintenance & Repair Services

Maintenance & Repair Services

For 25 years, G&S Engineering has safely executed electrical and mechanical overhauls, maintenance, shutdown and construction projects for asset owners throughout Australian resources, port and infrastructure sectors. G&S Engineering offers comprehensive asset management services encompassing the entire project life cycle including construction, operations, maintenance and optimisation, to final decommissioning and deconstruction.

Richglen Maintenance Services is a CQ business specialising in a variety of mechanical, electrical and structural repairs of draglines, shovels, CHPP's, conveyors and associated plant. Including general maintenance, project work and shutdowns. Your business is our focus! We're available 24 hours for emergencies and are dedicated to completing all projects on time.

Seat Shop Australia is a local family owned and operated business specialising in the supply and repair of high quality vehicle, machinery and office seating, plus spare-parts and accessories, to suit all applications. Our streamlined approach saves you time and effort by combining all seat related services, across multiple brands, under the one supplier.

Visit www.richglen.com.au/ or call 1300 878 470

Visit www.seatshopaustralia.com.au/ or call 1300 820 180

Mineral Processing

Parts & Accessories

MMD is a world leader in providing mineral processing equipment. As an OEM we pride ourselves in designing, manufacturing and the installation of bespoke solutions for the mining industry. MMD can provide OEM equipment, designs, or full turn key solutions.

The Tough Dog Fleet advantage program is a strengthened focus from Tough Dog on providing tailored suspension solutions for the Fleet and Commercial sectors. Tough Dog is committed to providing products that are of a high quality and consistently high manufacturing standard backed by our 3 Year Unlimited Km Commercial Warranty.

Visit www.g-s.com.au or call 07 4963 7777

Maintenance & Repair Services

SMW Group is Central Queensland's leading one-vendor solution for heavy equipment fleet maintenance, repair and rebuild services. Our design, engineering and fabrication innovations will save your project time and money. We're ideally located in Rockhampton and Mackay for swift response to Bowen Basin sites, or to work on your project in our modern, expansive workshops. Visit www.smwgroup.com.au  or call 1300 SMW GROUP

Call 07 3193 2800

Call 02 9672 8899 or visit 14 Darling St, Marsden Park, NSW

Professional Services

Professional Services

Professional Services

We provide your complete media solution. Our industrial experience means the best results for your photography, video production or web design project. We can also streamline your marketing and strategy vision, and yes, we take care of digital and social presence too.

We are a boutique consultancy, specialising in the strategic direction and implementation of marketing activities for customers in the resources sector. Our team is passionate about collaborating with our customers, to bolster the growth of their business and achieve meaningful results. We offer a broad range of marketing and communications services.

At King Street Creative, we KNOW branding. We're the wand to your wizard, or the wind beneath your wings… we’re your secret weapon. King Street Creative has the branding know-how to pull together your marketing assets for print and digital, from flyers to billboards, business cards to social media graphics, we know design and branding.

Visit www.ironbarkmarketing.com or call 0406 702 177

Visit www.kingstcreative.com.au

Visit www.appletonstudios.com.au  or call 0426 213 338

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Mining Services Directory Professional Services

Martin Auctioneers and Valuers is a family owned and operated business providing valuation, sale and auction campaigns throughout Australasia of: - Fixed plant; - Mobile plant and light vehicles; - Spare parts, consumables and minor equipment. Please get in touch for information on our services and an obligation free quote on 0413211499

Professional Services

Professional Services

Mine Super is an industry super fund committed to the retirement outcomes of our members and being a trusted partner in the communities we serve. Turn to Mine Super for award winning super and pension products, financial advice, and insurance tailored for workers in the mining and supporting industries.

The team behind Strategic Mining Communications have years of experience in creating relationships between key mining industry businesses and stakeholders. With the ability to help you present your business (through websites, capability statements, events and more), our specialty is getting you in front of the people who matter.

Visit www.martinauctions.com.au

Visit www.mine.com.au or call 136 463

Visit www.strategicminingcomms.com

Professional Services

Professional Services

Professional Services

Veris is a market leading national surveying, digital & spatial and planning business offering a range of services to facilitate geospatial data management. Our team has access to the most technologically advanced systems to provide specialised imagery & analysis, cartographic plans, GIS products and custom graphics; giving you the best data for key decisions.

Wall Planning & Environmental Consulting are Central Queensland locals, strategically located between the Galilee & Bowen Basins. We work extensively in the facilitation of projects in the Resource, Property & Energy sectors and have a deep understanding of complex projects in remote regions. Our success is demonstrated by our effective engagement with stakeholders and communities.

We provide fast & elite lending service for mining equipment. Instant asset write-off finance golden opportunity to get new equipment at the Government's expense. Best rates and deals. Quick easy process. Save time & money. Flexible business hours.

Visit www.veris.com.au or call Chris Horwood on 0428 336 630

Visit www.wallplanning.com.au or call 07 4445 5051

Visit www.willfinance.com.au or call 0430 710 508

Recruitment & Training

Recruitment & Training

Recruitment & Training

Kickass Women is all about a future for women working in non-traditional roles in the Rail, Mining, Resources, STEM and Construction Industries. Kickass Women can offer women basic entry level training opportunities and a variety of interesting career prospects to help find your version of success and your Kickass attitude!

After years of being on the tools and training the trainers of mine sites across the Bowen Basin, I have now started my own business Onsite Safety Training Compliance (OSTC). Through our experience of working with different industries and businesses, we offer high quality, practical, realistic on the ground training.

Australian Operator Training is a specialist in safety and training services particularly to the mining, oil and gas, transport and agriculture industries. We offer a full range of services in the training industry, including - Machinery Tickets - Safety Consultancy - Classroom Training - Verification of Competence - Onsite Training - WHS Policy and Procedure Development Visit www.aot.net.au/training/ or call 07 4982 2541

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Visit www.kickasswomen.com.au or call 0427 291 440

Call 0423 925 931 or visit us at 6/61-63 Grosvenor Drive, Moranbah, QLD, 4744


Mining Services Directory Safety & Security

Safety & Security

Safety & Security

BB Print CQ's No. 1 Printing Service since 1992. Locally owned and operated business servicing Mackay and surrounds. We specialise in print for the Mining Industry, having supplied to various mine sites since our doors opened. We offer excellent customer service, quality printing, competitive pricing and most of all take pride in everything we do.

Muster Fire Suppression Systems introduces innovation into the fire suppression industry with leading edge technology for automatic detection and actuation. Muster is a preengineered system designed for environments where superior performance and innovation are consistently demanded. Made available by JSG Industrial Systems, Muster is capable of monitoring mobile mining equipment 24/7.

With more than 125 years experience, Wormald is the specialist in fire safety. Operating in over 35 locations and a large local presence in the Bowen Basin and the Mackay Region, Wormald is the perfect choice when it comes to fire protection of your assets. For more information visit www.wormald.com.au

Visit www.bbprint.com.au or call 07 4957 6588

Visit www.musterfire.com or call 1300 277 454

Software

Software

Reduce onboarding costs by over 50%. Streamline your induction process. Be in control of your compliance. PIAGO's cloud-based, integrated onboarding platform is the solution to one of the most critical yet costly activities for any mine site. Call PIAGO now for a chat to find out more about GO! Site Approved.

Polymathian are world leaders in the application of Industrial Mathematics to complex problems faced by industry using advanced techniques in numerical optimisation, simulation, machine learning and statistical analysis. Maximise value from mine to market by making better strategic mine planning and operational scheduling decisions. Find out what Polymathian can do for you.

Visit www.piago.com.au or call 1300 955 838

Tailings Management

An Australian-owned company, Hall Contracting possesses extensive experience in tailings management and working within highly regulated environments. Our services include tailings, production water and environmental dam dredging; slurry pumping; wastewater management and emergency dewatering; land rehabilitation; and civil construction. We work with clients to customise safe, sustainable and effective solutions.

View our range at www.polymathian.com or call 1800 951 252

Visit www.wormald.com.au or call 0408 438 687

Tailings Management

Alios circular economy solutions for the resources sector. Alios is a specialist mining services rehabilitation company using innovative hydromining and material processing technologies to convert rehabilitation liabilities into profitable circular economy outcomes offset the costs of rehabilitating tailings facilities by reprocessing the contents to produce saleable product. Visit www.alios.com.au or call 0438 781 587

Tailings Management

Transport & Logistics

Identified Protective Coating Services manufactures and applies a product called Simple Coat. Simple coat is a non-toxic, environmentally flexible membrane that has the ability to create a seamless membrane seal in almost any situation. It is a fantastic solution to line tailing ponds.

Centurion is an Australian, family owned company with more than 50 years of experience in transport and logistics. Centurion is a leading integrated logistics partner in commodity rich communities of Australia utilising more than 2,000 assets combined with advanced logistics technologies.

Visit www.identifiedservices.com.au or call 0498 034 411

Visit www.centurion.net.au/ or call 08 9278 3000

Visit www.hallcontracting.com.au or call 07 5445 5977

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Mining Services Directory Transport & Logistics

Transport & Logistics

Transport & Logistics

Transfer s

FLS Australia offers a full range of logistics services both international and domestic. From single pallets to full vessel charters, we have the right solution and experienced personnel to support your business. Our in-house customs clearance team will help minimise import duty and maximise your profits. Call Thomas on 0427 985 448.

We have nearly one hundred years experience in providing safe and trusted solutions to the mining and resources sector. We are driven by innovation, technology and customer satisfaction every day, so rest assured your people are in safe hands.

L&F Transfers are known for their Safety, Service & Ease of Doing Business. We transport crews for some of the most prominent and successful mining companies in Australia who operate to the highest standards and expect nothing less from us.

Visit www.fls-projects.com or call the office 07 3852 6625 or 0427 985 448

Visit www.greyhound.com.au/resources/ or call on 1300 304 199

Visit www.lftransfers.com.au or call 1300 731 528

Transport & Logistics

Transport & Logistics

Transport & Logistics

Transport, Warehousing, Dangerous Goods Storage, Shipping Container Movements & Project Logistics Specialists

Operating for over 37 years, Northline is an Australian, privately owned global transport and logistics business. Our global reach is supported by a multi-modal transport and 13-branch national warehousing network. Our core services include National and International Freight Management, Warehousing and Distribution and Project Logistics within the Mining, Construction, Oil and Gas industries.

Offroad Trucks Australia (OTA), are the national importer of Tatra trucks, a heavy duty all-wheel drive vehicle that has been manufactured in the Czech Republic for over a century. Working together for 20 plus years, OTA have supplied purpose built off-road vehicles to a range of industries across Australia in 4x4, 6x6, 8x8 and 10x10 configuration.

Visit www.northline.com.au or call 1300 722 534

Visit www.offroadtrucks.com.au or call 08 9459 8911

Visit www.nlwgroup.com.au or call 07 4774 3507

Transport & Logistics

As the official airline partner of the Bowen Basin Mining Club, Qantas maintains a strong presence within the industry and resource communities that we connect. Qantas has regular services to Mackay, Moranbah, Emerald, Gladstone, Mount Isa, Townsville and Rockhampton. To book, visit www.qantas.com or call 13 13 13

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Underground

Quarry Mining ‘s team of experienced technical staff specializes in products for rotary drilling solutions specific to use in underground coal mines. • Primary and secondary roof support drilling • Handheld roof and rib bolt drilling • Specialized tools and adaptors for bolt installation • Grouting equipment for small access areas • Ventilation – fans and venturis Call 07 4998 5295 or 5/35 Iridium Drive, Paget QLD 4740

Want to be seen in next year’s directory? Express your interest now by emailing yearbook@ bbminingclub.com


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BBMC Yearbook 2020  

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