Page 1

Volume 15 - No 3 | June - July 2018 | $8.95


Aggregate News



Happy 50 th Anniversary IOQ



Volume 15 - No 2 | April - May 2018


4 6

Editorial. Upfront.




Hitachi rock solid at Strongman mine.



18 In his father's footsteps – Jayden Ellis.


22  A legacy of innovation.


30 Preparing to enter Pike River. 32  aihi lines up another decade of mining. W 32 The future of new gold. 33 Ultra-deepwater mining survey in the Pacific. 34 Seabed mining impact projects.


36  Reducing dependence on fixed plant.


40  Fine material washers – rock stars or recalcitrants?



Aggregate & Quarry Association of NZ


Aggregate News.

AT THE BACK 50 Innovations and products. 50 Advertisers’ Index.

ON THE COVER: Birchfield Coal has brought in a big gun to help with its revival of the historic Strongman mine, which it acquired along with the neighbouring Liverpool permit, from the collapsed state-owned entity, Solid Energy in 2017.

See story page 16

Q&M June – July 2018 3


Q&M covers news, views and trends from the extractive industries, along with features on projects and people in the industry.

Moving ahead together The past decade has been, to put it mildly, very disruptive for our extraction industry. It started with the Pike River mine disaster in November 2010, and escalated as our snoozing Government awoke and desperately tried to catch up after many years of turning its back on extraction in this country. Initial legislative changes threw the quarry industry in with the mining industry, which started the first round of fighting. Then a few fatalities in illegal extraction sites set the mainstream press on the warpath on the quarry industry in general, ignorant of the fact we do not have ‘compulsory’ registration of quarries in this country. The AQA and MinEx are voluntary associations only answerable to its own members. Next came the 2015 H&S legislation and a raising of the bar of required quarrying qualifications through Certificates of Competence, which has proved a painful process that is still in progress. However, there’s light at the end of the tunnel (see AQA President's report on page 44). More recently encroaching urban sprawl to quarry boundaries has started a bun fight, with the media taking sides with the public, between lifestyle blockers and consenting councils, and with established quarries, the meat in the middle. Throughout all this, the AQA, IOQ and Minex have stepped up to the task of representing our industry, and they have done a fine job. The ‘fight’, no doubt, will continue, I am sure, under a new guard. Brian Roche is stepping down and handing over the president’s mantle at the conference in Hamilton, and AQA chief Roger Parton is retiring. Roger started about the same time I took over this magazine and, I have to agree with Brian Roche in saying, he has done a stellar job. I have really enjoyed his straight-up attitude and CEO approach, and his “Swiss clock” efficiency. Thank you Roger. On page 14 we present sobering coverage of the District Court sentencing of OceanaGold following a fatality in its Correnso Mine (Waihi) around this time two years ago, and a prosecution brought by WorkSafe. We have put the actual judgement summary on the Q&M website (, because it provides an insight into how the court comes to the decisions it does in these matters and a situation where: “The Court is faced with a responsible and experienced employer, who had only just taken over a mine, with its existing workforce, equipment and safety procedures, who have sent an experienced and capable employee to address a known hazard in a manner which is accepted practice in the mining industry, and in the course of addressing that hazard, the employee was killed by the very hazard he was sent to address.” Finally, thank you to the companies that forwarded employees for our Q&M Magazine Editor’s Award, recognising ‘tomorrows’ leaders’. We now have three deserving recipients who I will acknowledge and celebrate at the TransDiesel (Volvo) Awards Dinner on July 20. See you there.


Contrafed Publishing Co Ltd Suite 2.1, 93 Dominion Road, Mt Eden 1024 PO Box 112357, Penrose, Auckland 1642 Phone: 09 636 5715 Fax: 09 636 5716 EDITOR

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Hugh de Lacy, Neil Ritchie, Mary Searle Bell, Richard Silcock and Peter Owens ADMINISTRATION/SUBSCRIPTIONS

Email: DDI: 09 636 5715 PRODUCTION

Design: Tracey Asher, TMA Design Contributions welcomed. Please contact the editor before sending them in. Articles in NZ Quarrying & Mining are copyright and may not be reproduced in whole or in part without permission of the publisher. Opinions expressed in this magazine are not necessarily those of the shareholding organisations or the publisher. The views expressed in the Aggregate News section of NZ Quarrying & Mining may not represent the views of Contrafed Publishing or its shareholding organisations. VISIT THESE WEBSITES Aggregate & Quarry Association Institute of Quarrying (NZ) Inc New Zealand Minerals Industry Association Extractive Industries Training Organisation

Alan Titchall, Editor


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CoC changes by mid-year Changes to extractives sector Certificates of Competence (CoC) have been confirmed, and MinEx wants some of them made effective as soon as possible. The association has been backed by the AQA and IOQNZ in

says MinEx chief, Wayne Scott. “We understand that it is possible for First Aid requirements and other issues not impacted by the Review of Regulations.” He adds that “unintended consequences” created by WorkSafe's

pressing WorkSafe’s Board of Examiners (BoE) to make changes to

tougher line with non-complying quarry sites risk such quarries

CoC based on industry submissions backing its own.

poaching CoCs from those which already have certificates in place.

MinEx says, based on these submissions, the BoE has prepared a ‘summary position’ paper for the WorkSafe Board, which will make the final decisions. This position paper has been put on hold due to a ‘Review of

This has pushed MinEx to request changes be made promptly. “A site-specific qualification will help ease some of the pressures that are building,” he says. Meantime, Paul Hunt, the chair of the NZ Mining Board of

Regulations’ that Workplace Relations and Safety minister, Iain Lees-

Examiners says the; “Regulations Review is being undertaken

Galloway, wants completed by December.

by MBIE and the Minister of Workplace Relations and Safety

“However, we understand unit standard requirements and criteria for managers of any site-specific quarry will be gazetted by June,”

has indicated his expectations that regulation changes will be implemented by the end of the year.”

Speaking up for Kiwi coal on the West Coast Straterra, our minerals sector industry organisation, was

In addition to providing needed jobs and contributing to regional

relieved when Energy Minister Megan Woods says our

economic development, “coal plays an important part in our reliant

left-leaning Government has no plans to end coal mining,

economy,” says Straterra CEO Chris Baker.

particularly in the light of the government’s recent decision to ban new offshore exploration for oil and gas.

“We note that the government has committed to phasing coal out of electricity generation by 2030, as have the electricity generators themselves. However, there is much more to coal


than the role it plays in generating electricity in the Huntly power station. “New Zealand exports coking coal from the West Coast. This business provides jobs, much needed export revenue and does not contribute to New Zealand’s carbon emissions account. “Coking coal is an essential input in the manufacture of steel. While an increasing amount of steel is being recycled, there is currently no technology to make steel, at scale, without using coal. “Our coking coal has certain special qualities and is in high demand internationally. If we don’t supply our coking coal,

West Coast Gold Mine Just a short distance from Hokitika, with a total land area of 1,049.3500ha and a license to mine 586.6ha issued in 2009 (with a duration of 20 years). The land runs along the southern side of the Arahura River and has a varied terrain. The area that is currently being mined is on the Western end of the land mass and accessed from Humphreys Gully road which is a well formed public road. Radiata Pine has been planted over approximately 1/3 of the land. The trees are less than 20 years old. This mine is for sale as a going concern and includes the freehold land and all of the plant and machinery required to continue the mining. Excellent production history. Tender (unless sold prior) Closing 4pm, Fri 29 Jun 2018 253 Queen Street, Richmond View by appointment Lydia Heyward 027 432 8532 or 0800 HEYWARD lydia.heyward VINING REALTY GROUP LTD, BAYLEYS, LICENSED UNDER THE REA ACT 2008

customers will purchase elsewhere, often from producers with lower environmental standards. “That means the steel will still be manufactured, there would be no net gain for the global environment but West Coast jobs would be lost. No winners there! “The same basic argument applies to the Government’s recent decision to ban offshore oil and gas exploration. “Coal also plays an important role in producing heat for industrial processes. Much of our export economy (including agriculture and steel) has grown on the back of New Zealand’s comparative advantage in energy. “Without cost effective energy, production costs for many of our exports would be higher and New Zealand less competitive in the international markets in which we compete. “In terms of electricity production, coal and gas continue to play an important role as a back-up to intermittent renewable sources. “Ironically, coal could become a more important option as future gas supplies are impacted by the ban on offshore oil and gas exploration.”


WorkSafe forum success A day-long WorkSafe forum was held in Palmerston North earlier this year on extractives training and supervision. Over 120 extractive sector managers, supervisors, workers and trainers attended the forum, says MinEx chief Wayne Scott, who encourages WorkSafe to run a similar session in the South Island. “The message to employers was to seek good trainers and insist on programmes that work for your business and your staff,” he says. “Almost every speaker said quarry and mining companies should be demanding that the training they are paying for is actually delivering the results that are sought.

Stevenson’s Drury Quarry looking west, 2015.

Fulton Hogan buys Stevenson Construction Materials Last month an agreement was signed whereby Fulton Hogan buys

“Alternative means of training delivery also need to be

Stevenson Construction Materials and Stevenson Properties (2015),

considered to ensure learners are in fact learning and not

which own and operate Stevenson’s quarries and concrete plants,

just sitting through a day to get a ‘tick in the box’.

laboratory services and associated plant and equipment.

“The most detailed comments,” he says, “came

Cos Bruyn, Fulton Hogan’s Group CEO says the purchase will

from IOQ Australia’s CEO Paul Sutton who said

complement the company’s vertical supply chain and provide his

companies had to get into the driver’s seat on training,

company with a long-term supply of quality aggregates to help meet the

right from knowing if the trainer is in sound business

growing needs of the Auckland and Waikato regions.

shape (the IOQA lost a bundle when a major provider collapsed) – through to ensuring their workers were getting customised, relevant content, rather than just photocopies of an old workbook.” Paul’s comments were echoed by other speakers

“We look forward to welcoming Stevenson’s 200 plus strong workforce to the Fulton Hogan family once the purchase is complete. “We thank the Stevenson family for their trust in Fulton Hogan to continue their legacy, and are pleased to retain the Stevenson brand.” Mark Franklin, CEO of the Stevenson Group, on behalf of multiple

including Rona Buckley from Challenge Training who

generations of the Stevenson family, thanked employees and customers

specialises in working with adult learners.

for their support over the past 100 years.

Rona says, “she’s never met a dumb one; it’s how a

The details and the terms of the sale are confidential, with the sale

tutor approaches an adult, many of whom are fearful

expected to conclude by the end of July. The sale includes Stevenson’s

about being able to pass something in which they often

Drury and Huntly quarries, four concrete plants (Penrose, East Tamaki,

have much technical competence but perhaps not high

Takanini and the soon to be commissioned Drury), transport and


laboratory businesses.


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New at Hillhead 2018 UK Quarry extravaganza, Hillhead 2018 takes place from 26–28

generation of excavators, wheel loaders and articulated dump

June at Hillhead Quarry, near Buxton, in Derbyshire, hosting the

trucks; Hitachi will have its new ZW330-6 wheel loader; Hyundai

world’s biggest working quarry exhibition.

its recently launched HX130 LCR (the third compact-radius

Some 525 UK and overseas companies will be present at this

crawler excavator model in the company’s HX series product

year’s event 10 percent larger than before, surpassing the 476

line); Terex Finlay its new J-960, J-1160, I-120RS mobile

exhibitors that attended in 2016.

crushers; and Wirtgen its Vogele PowerFeeder MT 3000-2i Offset

Among the displays, Doosan will be showing its latest

asphalt paver.

Oil and gas exploration ban implications Methanex says banning new offshore gas exploration has

block offers and the lack of consultation with industry that has

significant implications for long-term gas supply as existing fields

gone into making this decision.

have limited resources. Canadian-owned Methanex New Zealand processes about

"While the announcement does not affect production at our Taranaki sites in the short term, it has significant implications

45 percent of all natural gas produced in this country to

for long-term gas supply and electricity supply security in New

manufacture methanol, mostly for export. It contributes some


$84 million annually to our economy, and employs some 270

Meanwhile, the Major Gas Users Group says its members rely

people and supports a wide range of Taranaki-based engineering

upon a secure and competitively priced supply of significant

and other services.

quantities of natural gas to meet energy and feedstock

Methanex operates publicly-funded plants built in the early 1980s when Bill Birch led us into the government’s 'Think Big' era to exploit

requirements. The group represents fertiliser manufacturer Ballance Agri-

recently discovered oil and gas finds. This led to government-led

Nutrients, pulp and paper maker Oji Fibre Solutions, dairy

petrochemical industrial development, at Waitara and Motonui, using

cooperative Fonterra Cooperative Group, New Zealand Steel,

gas piped ashore from offshore Taranaki gas fields.

and New Zealand Refining which operates the Marsden Point oil

Those fields will continue to produce for as long as they are commercially viable, but official estimates of remaining reserves

refinery. The group is hoping to engage with the Government with

suggest there are only another 10 to 11 years of known gas

ministerial meetings to make sure “the importance of gas,

reserves, although exploration and mining permits already issued

including within regional and the wider national economy is clearly

and unaffected run through, in some cases, to the mid-2040s.

understood," says group spokesman, Richard Hale, from oil and

Methanex echoed other major gas users, saying it was “disappointed over the government's decision to end offshore 8

gas consultancy Hale and Twomey. By Peter Owens.

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Clockwise from above left: AJ Woodhouse in action; Dave March; Annie Fitzgerald (left) and AJ.

Kiwi gold-panning winners A small contingent of Kiwis flew across the ditch for the annual

competitors get a bucket of gravel/sand that weighs 18-20

Australian Gold-panning competition this year – Dave Marsh, Artie

kilograms (noting in Australia we were probably panning 15-16 kg)

Lind, Annie Fitzgerald and AJ Woodhouse, and came back with top

and this is seeded with 5-12 pieces of gold, which you need to



The competition was held again in Blackwood, Victoria which

“For each piece of gold you lose, a time penalty of three minutes

lies northwest of Melbourne city and was established during the

is added. Each heat/final will not be run with the same number of

goldrush in 1855.

gold pieces in it so you have no idea how many you are expecting

At its peak during the goldrush, the town had a population of 13,000 and these days the residents only number about 300, says veteran Kiwi competitor AJ Woodhouse who took out the Women's Skilled event in a time of 1.36 minutes. “The day of the competition was a magnificent day and it seemed like there were a lot of new faces competing this year,” she says. “For the first time, an electronic timing system was used, and

to find. And it is easy to lose gold!” However, the sun was shining on the Kiwis in Australia this year. The three-person national team (Artie, Annie and AJ) took out the Trans-Tasman Trophy with a time of 5.17 minutes, the first time New Zealand has held this prize since 2013. “The mission now is to retain it next year,” she says. While AJ Woodhouse won the Women's Skilled event, Annie

it worked brilliantly and definitely helped to differentiate between

Fitzgerald was third in the Women's Skilled event (time 4.57

those really close times (previously stopwatches had been the

minutes); and Dave Marsh was third in the Traditional Pan (time

order of the day).

8.19 minutes).

“It took me back to when I competed at the World Championships in California in 2016 where they always employ electronic timing systems.” At that world event AJ made the finals of both the Skilled Women and the Traditional (Estwing) mixed event finishing 14th and 18th respectively. “In competitive gold-panning, under international rules, 10

In August this year, AJ and Annie are travelling to Slovakia to compete in the World Championships being held in Hodruša-Hámre. If any of our readers would like to offer sponsorship, it would be most gratefully accepted, says AJ. “We are even happy to come and speak for you if you wanted panning lessons/demonstrations. Please contact me on or 021 407074,” says AJ.



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You never know where you are going to end up at the QuarryNZ Friday lunch. Pictured: The Mimico lunch 2016 at the ‘Dangerous Skies’ (WW11) exhibit at the Omaka Aviation Heritage Centre.

You just have to be there The Institute of Quarrying NZ and Aggregate and Quarry Association

Since returning home and taking up the job, Wayne has stepped

of NZ annual joint conference is special this year, as the institute

up to the arduous task of representing our extraction industry and

celebrates its 50th anniversary.

lobbying Government agencies in charge of changing industry

The QuarryNZ Conference will be held in Hamilton from July 1820 at the Claudelands Events Centre, Hamilton, agruably the best conference venue in the country, especially for trade displays. Joining the New Zealand 10Q charter will be international residents of charters from the UK, Southern Africa, Australia, Malaysia, and Hong Kong. The theme, naturally enough, is ‘50 Years and Beyond – Embracing Future Technology in our Industry’ and the event will feature workshops that start on the Wednesday. This is a new concept introduced last year and proved a huge

legislation, and has done a remarkable job. At the end of Wednesday is the Gough’s welcome dinner, which is always a function to look forward to and start the conference ‘networking’ in earnest. On the Thursday, after the formal opening, industry veterans Brian Bouzaid and Gavin Hartley have a joint presentation called ‘The First 50 Years of the IOQ’. Later on that morning (Thursday) there is the International Presidents Panel Discussion followed by a workshop around ‘Operating and Safety Sessions’, by Wayne Scott and Clayton Hill

success after very down to earth presentations from WorkSafe

from Groundwork Plus. Clayton has over 17 years’ experience in the

managers on health and safety issues.

quarry industry and provides industry services to clients in Australia

This year CPD Workshops start on July 18, with the first running between 10.30am – 12.30pm on the theme of ‘Leadership’. They continue on the Thursday (July 19) 10.30am – 12.30pm with the theme of ‘Operating and Safety’ On the Friday, at the same time slot, the theme is ‘Legislation and Emergency Management’. Speakers include Wayne Scott, CEO for Minex, the National Health and Safety Council for our quarrying and mining industries. Born in New Zealand, Wayne migrated to Australia with his young family 31 years ago. He has extensive experience in the quarrying

and overseas focusing on safety and health, quarry optimisation, efficiency improvement, acquisition and divestment, market assessments, materials testing and operational advice. Clayton is also the National President of the IQA, and is also a member of the Queensland Environmental Law Association and the Hong Kong Australia Business Association. On the Thursday afternoon is the traditional field trip, always a great hosting experience, and later that afternoon the Real Steel Hard Rock Club Happy hour. On Fiday morning the CPD Workshop session starts again with

industry, both in NSW and Queensland, and was previously Inspector

the WorkSafe chief inspector presenting a ‘Emergency Management

of Mines – Small Mines Strategy with the Queensland Department of


Natural Resources and Mines. He has an Advanced Diploma in Extractive Industries, a number of Safety and Training qualifications, and is a Certified Practicing Quarry Manager in Australia Wayne is also a Fellow of the Institute of Quarrying and was the Institute of Quarrying Australia National President in 2012 and 2013. 12 Q&M

The Mimico Friday Lunch is something to look forward to and, for the first time, Mimco will be presenting its Environmental Awards at this lunch, intead of at the awards dinner later that night. The conference ends on a high note with the TransDiesel (Volvo) Awards Dinner and the IOQ awards and the Q&M Editor’s Leaders of Tomorrow awards. Make sure you are there!

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Waihi mine fatality sentence Last month OceanaGold was sentenced in the Tauranga District

“Health and safety law requires every business to manage risks to

Court after pleading guilty to the death of a employee at its

workers,” says WorkSafe Acting general manager High Hazards and

Correnso underground mine at Waihi mid-2016 which was not long

Energy Safety – Craig Marriott.

after taking over the operation (the Waihi mines were bought from Newmont Mining in 2015). On 28 July 2016, Tipiwai Stainton, a 27-year old employee of the defendant company, lost his life while building a rock bund with

”It’s a non-negotiable requirement and this case has highlighted that the requirement extends to the risks inherent in the actions taken to mitigate known risks.” Following the incident, OceanaGold developed an innovative, non-

a 50-tonne bogger earthmoving machine across the top level of

industry-standard procedure for placing steel bollards along open

an open stope for the purpose of trying to eliminate the hazard of

slopes, to stop an incident like this from happening again.

falling into the stope, say court records. “The wall and floor of the drive had been marked with paint to

OceanaGold (New Zealand) Limited was charged under sections 36(1)(a), 48(1) and (2)(c) of the Health and Safety at Work Act

delineate the safe operating area limits,” said the judge in his

2015: “Being a PCBU failed to ensure, so far as was reasonably

sentencing decision.

practicable, the health and safety of workers who work for the

“His machine was found at the bottom of the stope, having fallen about 15 metres, leaving him with unsurvivable injuries. “The vehicle he was driving was mechanically checked and no defect which could conceivably have caused or contributed to Mr Stainton's death was located. “It is not possible to determine exactly how or why Mr Stainton's vehicle came to be driven into the open stope.”

PCBU, while at work in the business or undertaking. A final fine of $378,000 was imposed, reparations of $350,000 and costs of $3672 were ordered, and voluntary reparations totaling $660,000 have already been paid. The maximum penalty is a fine not exceeding $1.5 million and the judge assessed the culpability at $700,000. The final fine was arrived at through deductions such as $140,000 (20 percent) for

However, a WorkSafe investigation found that OceanaGold

the reparation the company had already paid (and was payable),

had failed to develop and implement a safe system of work for

another 10 percent for “co-operation with the authorities and the

the creation of 1.5 metre high bunds above vertical slopes.

development of a permanent effective solution to a long-standing

“OceanaGold had identified the risk and the solution of bunds to

safety hazard in the mining industry”, and a further 25 percent for

reduce the risk of a vehicle falling into a void. However, it had

the guilty plea, remorse and contrition, including shut down costs at

not effectively mitigated the risks involved in implementing that

the time and loss of income (estimated to be at least $1 million).

solution,” it says. The defendant company pleaded guilty to a single charge of

The judge also noted that OceanaGold is the sole operator of the only hard rock underground gold mine in this country using the drive

failing to ensure, so far as was reasonably practicable, the health

and stope method of ore body extraction, “and it is only too well

and safety of Stainton, thereby exposing him to the risk of death

aware of all the matters addressed in this judgment. This is not a

arising from a fall from a height. This is the second case brought

case that requires naming and shaming or further training.”

before the District Court involving the death of a worker since the coming into force of the Health and Safety Work Act 2015. 14

It was the first fatality in OceanaGold's 25 years of operating in New Zealand.


Saddle Hill remains defiant The consenting fight over Dunedin’s Saddle Hill quarry has proved longer than most TV series with the latest court decision being called a “victory” by the Dunedin City Council, which has opposed the quarry in a long-running legal fight. Calvin Fisher, the director of Saddle Views Estate that owns the quarry, vows to fight on after the Court of Appeal dismissed his application to appeal an earlier High Court ruling backing the council. That ruling was made in July 2017 when the High Court upheld an earlier Environment Court decision from 2016 that said extraction had been limited to 38,000 cubic metres of material to build a new airport at Momona in the 1960s, based on a resource consent issued at the time that the court said was no longer current. After the Court of Appeal suggested Saddle Views Estate arguments for continuing quarrying did not have “any real prospects

“I think this really shows that it was,'' she says. Meanwhile, Calvin says the fighting is not over yet. While

of success'”, Dunedin Council chief executive, Dr Sue Bidrose

conceding his rights to appeal were closed, he says he will explore

interpreted the ruling as saying the quarry had exhausted any rights

existing-use rights to continue extraction and hoped to discuss those

of appeal.

rights with council representatives, and more legal action could

“Our position is that the [Saddle Hill] ridgeline is now well protected by this decision.” "It has not been an easy process,” she added, “as there was debate about whether the council’s seeking the legal declaration was the right move.

follow if talks failed. “We've still got a quarry,” he reportedly said. “I believe existing-use is the continuing pathway, and we'll be pursuing that.'' Sue says the “onus is on them... to prove their existing-use rights.”

Q&M June – July 2018 15




Hitachi rock solid at Birchfield Coal has brought in a big gun to help with its revival of the historic Strongman mine, which it acquired along with the neighbouring Liverpool permit, from the collapsed state-owned entity, Solid Energy in 2017. IN JANUARY, a brand new, 111-tonne Hitachi EX1200-6 excavator was assembled on site at Strongman by the CablePrice Greymouth team, and has been put to work by Birchfield Coal to remove overburden on top of the residual coal seam at the mine, says director Gary Birchfield, who owns the company with his siblings, Allan, Karen and Evan. “The new Hitachi is a good strong machine, with plenty of grunt and power to handle the tough terrain at Strongman. “Our operator is more than happy with its performance and says it handles the abrasive work and solid rock really well. We were also impressed by how quickly the CablePrice guys put the machine together. “It arrived in bits but they had it up and running within a couple of days.” Birchfield Coal already has several 80 and 90 tonne excavators in its significant fleet, but this is the first excavator over 100-tonne that the company has purchased. “We are using rigid trucks at Strongman, which match well with 16 Q&M

the Hitachi EX1200-6. “The productivity is great. “We spent a bit of time deliberating over the size of the bucket to ensure we could increase production and load the trucks efficiently, without compromising too much on break out. “Because we will be running a drill and blast operation at Strongman, and not doing too much tight digging, the large capacity 6.7 cubic metre bucket we chose has worked perfectly.” The Hitachi EX1200-6 has a new hydraulic system which helps boost productivity and fuel economy, and three work modes – boompriority, normal, and swing-priority, to ensure optimum flexibility for the operator according to each job’s needs. “With all of our frontline machines, we like to make use of the best technology available. Whether it is around fuel efficiency or emission reductions, we like to be at the cutting edge, and the new Hitachi machine certainly provides for this. Our operators also like all the creature comforts in the cab.

Strongman mine “The guys are pretty spoilt these days.” Gary says Birchfield Coal is very familiar with Hitachi’s benefits, as it has been purchasing the brand since the first Hitachi hydraulic excavators arrived in New Zealand. “My late parents, Max and Betty, went into mining in the 1970s, and I remember we had a Hitachi UHO83. We’ve stuck with Hitachi across the decades, because it’s a durable, safe, reliable brand that is well proven.” The relationship between Birchfield Coal and CablePrice also goes back decades, and is one based on trust, he says. “We get very good back up and service from CablePrice Greyouth, which has a big service complex and a great team. It’s important to us to support companies which support the Coast, and the fact CablePrice operates their workshop here, employs a lot of local people, and has some good apprentices coming through, is a win win for everybody. “Their commitment to training staff up on all the new models is also important when you’re a company like us buying new gear with service contracts.” The Birchfields have seen many changes in the capability and technology of mining machines and equipment over more than four decades in business. “The reports and diagnostics you can get out of the machines

these days are really handy. We look at the reports all the time to see how the machines are operating, and even to check on the operators themselves.” Birchfield Coal is contributing to a revival of the coal industry on the West Coast. In addition to the Strongman and Liverpool thermal mines, the firm continues to operate its Giles Creek mine, set up in 1984, which currently produces 100,000 tonnes of coal per year. “We’ve even come back full circle to Spring Creek where we used to have a wash plant years ago, as included in the purchase of the Solid Energy assets, was that very site,” says Gary. •

Q&M June – July 2018 17


In his father’s footsteps Jayden Ellis is technical operations manager for Stevenson Construction Materials group. He joined the company 25 years ago as a trainee laboratory technician. He talks about his career with MARY SEARLE BELL. WHEN HE WAS at school, a teacher told Jayden Ellis that those of his generation would change jobs up to eight times throughout their careers. This irked him greatly, and his thought at the time was, ‘my dad didn't, why should I’? So it was with great satisfaction he recently clocked up quarter of a century working for Stevenson Construction Materials, following in the footsteps of his father Steve, who is the general manager aggregates at Stevenson Resources and has worked for the company since 1973. “When I was at school I had a part time job in produce at Big Fresh, and the potential was there to make a career in the supermarket business – they offered me a role that would see me move into management,” says Jayden. Then his father mentioned there was an opportunity in a civil engineering laboratory at Stevenson, which would involve both lab and outdoor work – a good mix of both brain and physical work, he thought. “My friends were heading to university, but that didn't appeal – I had experienced working and wanted to continue making money, and I thought civil engineering had more interest than produce. I also thought the job title ‘lab technician’ sounded impressive.” In February 1993, as an 18-year-old, Jayden began working in Stevenson’s lab, beginning his studies for his NZCE


qualification in the same week. Stevensons gave him half a day a week to go to tech and paid for every paper he passed. But it was a daunting prospect at the beginning. “I was panicking; I thought I'd bitten off more than I could chew,” he says. “I had done all the sciences and maths at school, along with tech drawing, but I wasn't an A student.” But, not one to give in at the first hurdle, Jayden got stuck in. It took him five years to complete the papers for his NZCE part time, plus an additional three years to get his work experience signed off. By then, he had become the laboratory manager, supervising a team of up to 10 technicians. His team was tasked with carrying out the testing for the various aggregate products the company produced, as well as the earthworks testing for the construction arm of the company. Stevenson’s laboratory is an IANZ (International Accreditation New Zealand) accredited lab. In fact, it was the 17th lab accredited in this country and one of the first privately-owned labs to pass the IANZ strict standards. Jayden is passionate about the lab and has invested time in helping raise the standards of civil engineering laboratory testing in New Zealand.

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“We only have a limited number of aggregate test methods at our disposal that work across most rock types. Proper petrology can be costly and time consuming. Good quarry operators will know their resources well, through trial and error or other means, but we need more transparent and less subjective techniques that can be done easily and quickly to reduce risk and keep the end users of our products happy.”

He helped found CETANZ – The Civil Engineering Testing Association – which represents civil testing laboratories around the country and works toward furthering the quality and understanding of civil testing. He currently leads the technical group and sits on the committee. Although his career development has taken him out of the lab, he will always have a soft spot for the technicians and their work. “I really enjoyed my time in the lab. It was challenging, frustrating and exhausting, and is often overlooked and marginalised. But they're a great bunch of people, and I've made a lot of friends there. “I want to support and help those in the lab, to let them know their job is important.”

Work with the AQA In 2012, Jayden was invited to reform the Technical Group for the AQA. This group focuses on developing new testing standards along with CETANZ, raising awareness, dealing with national specification relating to aggregates, and increasing technical understanding within the aggregates industry. In addition, Jayden is currently deputy-chair of the AQA board; serves on Concrete NZ’s technical group, and is on the board of MinEx, the national health and safety council for the extractives sector. Among the various issues the AQA and other associations are dealing with, one holds particular interest for him: The NZ Transport Agency’s new ‘Draft T/16 Ethylene Glycol Accelerated Weathering Test’, which is also known as the Ethelene Glycol test. Jayden says the test is about to go through NZTA’s ratification process and be published as a new NZTA aggregate test method. “The test has been developed by NZTA’s pavement team as a way of characterising and identifying aggregate products that potentially contain smectites or deleterious minerals that could affect the performance of a pavement. “The goal is to see an improvement in the performance of 20

road construction and is part of the agency’s ‘Quality Right – Zero Defects’ project. “There have been a number of high profile early pavement failures for various reasons. The issue of rock source durability is just one of a number of areas the NZTA is looking at. Others include, quality control of M/4 basecourse using statistics approach and client driven quality plans, and testing minimums.” Jayden explains that the Ethylene Glycol test, aggregate is subjected to a modified crushing resistance test: A sample is split in two and one half is subjected to a normal crushing resistance test and the other half pre-soaked in Ethelene Glycol (much like the Australian wet and dry strength variation test) before crushing, then the results of the two are compared. “At this stage the test seems to be a good indicator of potential rock durability issues,” he says. “As an aggregate producer and former lab guy, I fully endorse the efforts of the NZTA in developing another tool for the toolbox, especially one that can be done relatively easily and quickly. Hopefully it has good repeatability and reproducibility.” Jayden’s laboratory background shows through in his concerns for the industry as a whole: “I don’t think we do enough of the scientific work to fully understand our resources,” he says. “We only have a limited number of aggregate test methods at our disposal that work across most rock types. Proper petrology can be costly and time consuming. Good quarry operators will know their resources well, through trial and error or other means, but we need more transparent and less subjective techniques that can be done easily and quickly to reduce risk and keep the end users of our products happy.” He is pleased that the NZTA has worked collaboratively with the AQA, CETANZ and others on the Ethelene Glycol test, but acknowledges that change always disrupts the norm. “Some of us will have to review our quarry resources and current processing techniques but, ultimately, the taxpayer will get better value for money.” Q&M

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A legacy of innovation

Hans Hollis, operations manager aggregates, Hastings.

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Holcim’s Hastings Quarry has a legacy for getting maximum efficiencies from its equipment for alluvial aggregate production. ALAN TITCHALL talks to Hans Hollis, operations manager aggregates, Hastings, on its past and present machines. HOLCIM’S HASTINGS QUARRY started out as

Fraser Shingle and was bought by Hawkes Bay Farmers Transport in the 1980s, and then sold to Milburn. In 1987 Holcim bought out the Milburn business. In various capacities, Hans Hollis has been connected with the site since he started work for Hawkes Bay Farmers Transport. In the March issue of Contractor magazine we covered the story of Peter Fraser and his modified Australian-designed Kumbee rotary crusher, which was one of the quarry’s original crushers used from the 1970s and into the 21st century.

Hans, can you recall Peter and his crusher modifications? Peter loved technical drawing and designing plant. That was one of his favourite things to do when he worked here. The workshop office housed his large old

drawing desk that sat there for years after he left here [1988]. Someone eventually showed an interest in it and offered to buy it. He had made a lot of modifications to the Kumbee, which was our main crusher after the Jaw, and produced primary material for base courses and chip feed. That machine gave us full confidence that we could produce 1500M3 AP40 before testing that would meet the TNZ M4 AP40 specification, which customers loved. We knew if the base course didn’t pass the TNZ [Transit and now NZTA] spec it would be because of other reasons e.g. a split screen or a blend mistake. With the Kumbee, we’d regularly swap out the cheek plates and turned or replaced the hammers and we purchased the hammers and cheek plates from A&G Price who was the only supplier at the time. The hammers were starting to get too expensive to purchase and we were spending over $3000 a month on them.

Holcim’s Hastings Quarry started out as Fraser Shingle then bought by Hawkes Bay Farmers Transport in the 1980s, and then it was sold to Milburn. In 1987 Holcim bought out the Milburn business. The quarry is large for an alluvial quarry and features a recharge storage area for raw material located three kilometres up stream from the plant. The quarry uses a lot of old secondhand gear for the likes of screening plus a Goodwin Barsby jaw crusher, a cone crusher and a couple of Barmacs. The original Barmac plant produced sealing chip and then was greatly expanded with bits and pieces pulled out of different quarries that had closed down. “Most of everything built here has been taken out of our site surplus material,” says Hans.

Q&M June – July 2018 23


Crushing is with GP200 Cone (main crusher) for what is very hard material

When did the quarry stop using the Kumbee?

The Barmac plant mainly produces sealing chip, asphalt sands and base course. The original Barmac plant, with bins and conveyor set up, was small and compact and couldn’t hold the amount of sealing chip required to satisfy the existing market. Designs and plans were drawn up and bins, conveyors and platforms etc sorted from surplus plant held on site.

We did a whole lot of alterations on the plant going back maybe 15 years ago. While the Kumbee made excellent product, it was getting far too expensive to operate so we swapped it out for an old Simon Cone. Keith Neiderer[1] found out we had a spare Kumbee and was interested in purchasing it. He also told me he built the German screen the Kliemer Rhiemer and was prepared to take the Kumbee as partial payment for a new Kliemer Rhiemer screen. I recall Keith already had a sale for a Kumbee.

Did the chip quality stay the same? The Simons crusher worked well initially, reducing cost and meeting quality expectations. However, we realised the Simons crusher would be a short-term fix and decided to purchase a GP200 Cone that we still use today. The raw river material in the HB region is relatively hard and it can be difficult turning 24

round stone into crushed cube to meet the required spec. We had to change the Simons crusher’s mantle and liner every six to eight months, where we only have to change the GP200’s every 18 months.

What other gear do you use? We’ve got a bit of a mixture: A 36x24 Goodwin Barsby; the GP200 Cone, and two Barmac rotopactors. Both Barmacs are set up side by side to make sealing chip, or one can be changed to produce sand. A lot of our plant is very old with some screens over 50 years old. On the river we use a Komatsu digger 300, a 40 tonne Komatsu ADT, and a 40 tonne Moxy.

Who are you supplying to? We supply to all sectors in the market. Our customers are sometimes our competitors – if our competitors run out of product they will come to us. We’re also providing material to meet the TNZ



Mike Higgins notes that such big-picture environmental considerations as transport pollution are ignored by, for example, the local news media, which are quickly drawn into siding with opposition to quarries.



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Above: On the river the quarry uses a Komatsu 300 rated as a 350, a Komatsu ADT, and a Moxie. Operators on the river have to judge the mood of the river when it comes to water level rises. “We have two operators using ADT dump trucks to extract material off the river beaches,” says Hans. “These operators have to have a good knowledge of river operations to ensure they’re able to read the conditions and changes that can suddenly occur, such as flooding.” One operator has worked on the river for 18 years, he adds. Left: There’s a plan to increase extraction consents to five years after the quarry has experienced a very busy year. Below left: The neighbouring wineries have grown over the past decade. The quarry has sold off land for grape growing to Craggy Range. Other neighbours include a motor cross track and an old army rifle range that is no longer used.

26 Q&M

and Hastings District Council specification. When producing sealing chip, we either manufacture to the TNZ M6 spec or to the Napier Amendment spec. Bridgeman Concrete is a main customer purchasing aggregate from us for the concrete market.

What is the future of the site? Going forward we will continue extracting out of the Ngaruroro River, however the Regional Council is planning for all contractors to extract a percentage of their allocation from the Waipawa River. I’m not too sure whether

this means we will increase our capacity as that will depend on customer demands. I am not sure when this is to happen and how the extraction will take place, but the River is approximately 50 kilometres from our quarry site, so there will be a significant cost involved in winning and carting material back to the plant. We are also discussing increasing our river consents to five years. Meanwhile, it has been a very busy time for all quarries in the Bay having enjoyed a very busy year. The whole industry has seen a considerable lift in market demand over the past year, some great contracts out there. Q&M

The Barmac plant uses two machines side by side; one to make sand, and the other sealing chip.


Industry veteran Keith Neiderer left us for good in June last year. His obituary is in the July/August 2017 issue of Q&M magazine. Neiderer Machinery produced over 250 Aussie-designed Kumbee Hammer Mills made at his Matamata workshop and sold to South America, the Middle East and Africa. Apparently, one sold to the UK 20 years ago is still in use in the Shetland Islands. Q&M June – July 2018 27

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The mine workings, where coal was being extracted, is made up of a tunnel network of around 5.5 kilometres. The workings area is the last estimated location of the 29 workers (miners and tradesmen) who were in the mine when a methane explosion occurred in November 2010. The workings are blocked by a large rockfall at the very end of the drift.

30 Q&M


PIKE RIVER The Pike River Recovery Agency, tasked with the Pike River Re-entry, is based in Greymouth. The agency was set up this year with a specific purpose: to develop a plan for safe manned re-entry to the mine drift; to provide advice to Andrew Little (the Minister Responsible for the Pike River Re-entry) on whether that could be safely achieved; and to oversee the implementation of that plan if it goes ahead.

THE MINE WAS transferred from Solid

Energy to the agency back in February 2018, which means it now has the full responsibility for all aspects of mine management and is subject to the relevant regulatory obligations. Agency chief executive, Dave Gawn, a former Major General in the New Zealand Army and appointed just before Christmas in 2017, has moved briskly to make the agency operative. “The next task for the agency is to assess how safe recovery of the drift may be undertaken – taking into account the range of existing information, including Solid Energy documents obtained on transfer of record, and drawing on expert technical advice,” he says. After Dave’s appointment late in 2017, other key positions were filled early in 2018. Among these is a former Spring Creek Mine manager, Dinghy Pattinson, who was appointed chief operating officer for the agency in March. Pattinson is from Greymouth and brings more than 40 years' underground mining experience to the role with numerous mining qualifications, including first-class mine manager certificates, along with a post-graduate diploma in coalmine strata control from the University of New South Wales. He has also been involved with the New Zealand Mines Rescue Service for the past 33 years. Dinghy will manage the operational elements of the mine re-entry work programme and will have responsibility for ensuring activities at the mine comply with statutory health and safety requirements. While other key positions have been filled, the agency was still recruiting mine staff in April to fill mining statutory roles. All roles are fixed term until June 2019. Q&M

A panel of technical experts met in Greymouth at the end of April for a four-day session to assist in the creation of a plan for safe manned re-entry of the Pike River drift. Q&M June – July 2018 31


The future of new gold KEVIN MURPHY, senior research analyst at

Waihi lines up another decade of mining OCEANAGOLD IS still planning a new underground mine in Waihi

that it wants to start mining in 2020, after consent is approved. Part of this proposed mining area is located under residential properties, between Mueller and Gilmour Streets and OceanaGold consulted with the landowners over its plans back in 2016. OceanaGold's Waihi general manager, Bernie O'Leary says, “the small ore body under residential properties could be mined within two years, but the whole project could extend the life of the mine by more than 10 years.” “Within the open pit we plan to complete remediation of the north wall, which will give us access to the ore at the bottom of the pit, and then use this material to backfill the stopes we plan to mine, and some of the old stopes from pre-1952 mining activities," he says. Work at the Martha pit has been limited since slips occurred on the north wall in April 2015. The effects of the slip were limited to the north wall of the Martha open pit, and mining operations at OceanaGold's adjacent underground Correnso mine were not affected. OceanaGold believes 75,000 ounces of gold worth about $75 million were left behind in the pit after the first slip. Bernie predicts the proposed project would see mining continue in the town for an estimated 11 years and indicated it will lodge a number of consent applications in the near future. By Peter Owens 32

Metals & Mining Research at S&P Global Market Intelligence, says it takes about 20 years for a gold asset to advance from discovery to production. “This timeline implies that the reduced discovery rates of the last decade will limit the pool of projects that could come online in 15 to 20 years. “Unless discovery rates begin an upswing in the near future, there could be a lack of quality assets available for development in the longer term. “The declining discovery rate shows the importance of continuing exploration and funding companies responsible for exploration to maintain a healthy future pipeline of assets available for development.” Although gold exploration budgets have fallen from a 10-year peak in 2012, spending on finding new gold ounces remains at historically high levels, he says, with the US$54.3 billion allocated to gold exploration over the past decade – almost 60 percent higher than the US$32.2 billion spent over the preceding 18year period. However, the increase in dollars spent has not yet resulted in more new discoveries, or discovered ounces compared with the previous period. Only 215.5 million ounces of gold has been defined in 41 discoveries over the most recent decade, compared with 1726 ounces in 222 discoveries in the preceding 18 years. “Although we believe the sharp decline is indeed reflective of the lack of new significant deposits being found, a portion of the shortfall is a natural situation in which the additional exploration required to expand the known endowment of recently found deposits beyond our major discovery threshold has not yet been conducted.” Of the 215.5 Moz contained in the 41 discoveries made over the past 10 years, almost half (105.8 Moz) is contained in the 10 largest deposits (the biggest is Zhaojin Mining Industry Haiyu gold project in China's Shandong province). “While there is clearly a decline in discovered deposits and ounces, this will not impact the short-term project pipeline. As covered in our quarterly gold supply series, there are many quality assets being developed that will come online over the next several years, and far more in the pipeline that will be moving towards production within the next decade.” Q&M

Ultra-deepwater mining survey in the Pacific FUGRO, A DUTCH multinational company that

provides geotechnical, survey, subsea, and geoscience services, has started its first project supporting deep-sea polymetallic nodule mining under a contract awarded by seafloor mineral exploration company Nauru Ocean Resources (NORI), a subsidiary of DeepGreen Metals. Its marine geoscience team is making detailed site characterisation surveys in deep waters in the eastern Pacific Ocean. The project, which began mid-April, is aimed at supporting and advancing NORI’s polymetallic nodule project. The site characterisation surveys will involve acquisition of high-resolution imagery and geophysical data, and sampling of minerals from the seafloor. Fugro will also measure geotechnical properties, catalogue the mineral resource and help NORI to determine optimal mining areas. The data acquisition and sampling will take place in water depths of up to 4500 metres over a 400-square-kilometre-area between the Clarion and Clipperton fracture zones and the work done using an autonomous underwater vehicle (AUV) and specialised seafloor sampling equipment. Q&M

Fugro will deploy its Echo Surveyor VII AUV and specialised seafloor sampling equipment in the project to support NORI’s deep sea polymetallic nodule mining.

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Seabed mining impact projects THE IMPACT OF commercial-scale mining for polymetallic nodules on deep-sea ecosystems remains a big question amongst scientists. Historically, the first commercial deep-sea test mining was carried out almost 50 years ago, and only a few small-scale commercial test mining or scientific disturbance studies have been carried out since. Those studies imply immediate severe impacts after mining, but fewer impacts over the longer term. A paper called ‘Biological responses to disturbance from simulated deep-sea polymetallic nodule (1) mining’ by a number of authors and published in, February 8, 2017 (2) mentions seven sites in the Pacific where multiple surveys assessed recovery in fauna over periods of up to 26 years. “Almost all studies show some recovery in faunal density and diversity for meiofauna and mobile megafauna, often within one year. “However, very few faunal groups return to baseline or control conditions after two decades. The effects of polymetallic nodule mining are likely to be long term. “Our analyses show considerable negative biological effects 34

of seafloor nodule mining, even at the small scale of test mining experiments, although there is variation in sensitivity amongst organisms of different sizes and functional groups, which have important implications for ecosystem responses. “Unfortunately, many past studies have limitations that reduce their effectiveness in determining responses. We provide recommendations to improve future mining impact test studies. “Further research to assess the effects of test-mining activities will inform ways to improve mining practices and guide effective environmental management of mining activities.” Uncertainty around the effects of sediment plumes has been at the centre of seabed mining consents in this country and the future of deep-sea trawl fishing.

New Zealand experiment Last month our National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research (NIWA) launched a very challenging scientific underwater experiment 500 metres deep on the Chatham Rise

to measure longer term effects and potential recovery of seabed communities. The project, which will be repeated for two years, is a collaboration among NIWA, Waikato and Victoria Universities, with additional input from Okeanus Science and Technology (USA) and Delft Technical University (Netherlands). The research is funded by the MBIE. In the first survey, around nine separate highly specialised pieces of equipment were deployed from NIWA's research vessel Tangaroa, that included three undersea observational platforms known as benthic landers, a multi-corer to take sediment samples, seabed moorings, water column sampling equipment, an underwater camera that will be towed above the seafloor and a "benthic disturber" to create a sediment plume. The benthic landers, which have been built by NIWA and not yet used at sea, carry a variety of high definition cameras, lights and instruments to record physical, chemical and biological activity. The dispersal of the plume was then monitored, and surveys done before and after the disturbance to measure the effects on seabed animals. Voyage leader and NIWA principal scientist Dr Malcolm Clark admits that deploying so many instruments on the one experiment is “extraordinarily complex”. The data collected will be used to build up a picture of how the biological communities on the seabed may be affected by the sediment stirred up by mining or bottom trawl fishing. "These activities create plumes of sediment, but we don’t know how the sediment affects seabed life as it settles again on

the seafloor, and how much deep-sea animals can withstand,” says Clark. “We are doing this experiment on a small scale on the Chatham Rise, but it will give us a much better idea of how environmental managers and industry can work to mitigate larger-scale disturbance effects.” Three seabed moorings are also being installed at an undisturbed control site where they will remain for a year. The information they record will be used for comparison with the disturbed area. A laboratory programme will run alongside the work at sea that will provide further information on the resilience of the seabed ecosystem. The research team will collect live sponges and corals and bring them back to a NIWA laboratory where their resilience to various sediment loads will be tested. "We will compare the measurements taken during the Chatham Rise disturbance experiment with a controlled experiment in the lab, which may be able to tell us the tipping point at which these communities either cope well or are significantly impacted. The field and laboratory studies together will be a powerful combination to address when too much sediment is ecologically significant," Clark says. The survey was the first of three with monitoring to be repeated in 2019 and 2020. Q&M (1) P  olymetallic nodules are potato-sized concretions enriched in


nickel, copper and cobalt. These nodules also contain metals and non-metals important to green-tech enterprises, such as electric vehicles and wind energy production.

Q&M June – July 2018 35


Opened in the 1950’s, Blackhead Quarries’ Blackhead Quarry, located at Blackhead on the seaward side of Green Island, produces 300,000 tonnes per year. As with its Balclutha Quarry further south, fixed plant is being replaced with mobile plant. Being near the sea, the Blackhead quarry’s fixed plant, that had been in place for over 30 years, was suffering from extensive corrosion issues. Management was worried about the safety of fixed walkways and the quarry’s 23 conveyors. Five years ago, it decided to build a whole new plant at Blackhead with only nine conveyors and no walkways, and the existing Nordberg C100 jaw crusher, a cone crusher and Barmac 9600 crusher were relocated. The new plant is fully automated and was designed to keep the amount of structural steel work to a minimum, which led to the elimination of walkways. For maintenance, the quarry uses cherry pickers, which give better access to the equipment than walkways and are safer, says Blackhead Quarries.


Reducing dependence

on fixed plant

Tony Hunter, general manager of Blackhead Quarries, is a fifth-generation descendant of one of the company’s original founders.

Blackhead now operates the largest fleet of Metso mobile crushing and screening equipment in the country as it changes its production strategy. Edited by ALAN TITCHALL. IN JULY LAST year Mimico supplied Blackhead Quarries with a Metso Lokotrack LT106 mobile jaw crusher along with an LT200HP mobile cone crusher and an ST3.5 mobile screen for its Balclutha quarry. An additional ST3.5 and an LT7150 mobile Barmac VSI (impact) crusher were supplied a few months later. The quarry operator says that, at a time of increasing infrastructure expenditure in the Otago region, being able to produce large quantities of quality aggregate in a more flexible way allows the company to respond to market fluctuations, which is important for sustaining future business. The company also deploys some of its Lokotrack mobile crushers and screens in contract crushing operations around the Dunedin area and is now looking to purchase another LT106 for a new job that will deliver half a million tonnes of aggregate for a major road building project. Set up in 1986, Blackhead Quarries is a joint venture between Palmer & Son (founded in 1880) and Fulton Hogan and operates a number of quarries in the region surrounding Dunedin. The Balclutha Quarry, located about 80 kilometres south-west of Dunedin, is the largest producer of aggregates in the South Otago area and supplies around 30 different products. The operation mostly produces road and construction materials as well as manufactured sand. A significant part of the quarry’s production also feeds the concrete plant next door. Demand tends to be seasonal – the Clutha district council, for example, has an annual road sealing season, and there are periodic maintenance gravel contracts. Until recently, Balclutha operated an aging fixed crushing plant that required material to be transported up to five kilometres from its primary source to the facility. Craig Upston, quarry manager at the Balclutha quarry, is an industry veteran Q&M June – July 2018 37


Mimico’s Garth Taylor discusses mobile Barmac set-up with quarry manager Craig Upston at Balclutha quarry.

and, having been with the company for 25 years, is a thirdgeneration employee. “The shape of the product is critical for our customers – if we don’t get it right it will be rejected,” he says, and moving from fixed to mobile plant was a matter of future-proofing the quarry, he iterates. “We were planning to replace our older Barmac with a new one, and because the market for Balclutha’s product has a lot of ups and downs, being able to move the crusher around to different sites creates better business flexibility.” The quarry was originally opened some distance from the town of Balclutha, but with the growth of the town bringing suburbia closer to the quarry, the issue of dust has become more of a problem. By eliminating the fixed plant that was close to the road and moving to tracked crushers, quarry staff can choose where crushing occurs, says Upston. And the reduction of truck movement and decommissioning of the fixed plant has made it much easier for the company to manage dust. It was Upston who first proposed putting a new Barmac on tracks and then, in five years’ time, adding a tracked cone and jaw crusher. As it turns out, the company’s management loved the idea and acquired all three Lokotrack versions in the same year. “We already had a lot of Metso gear and had a great run with the crushers, so it made sense to keep on dealing with the same company,” he says. 38

The move to tracked equipment was also driven by the need to quarry without access to electricity. Additionally, if the quarry had to relocate, it would be easy to move the equipment elsewhere. “If you bolt it to the ground there is no flexibility,” says Upston. “All the mobile plant is self-powered. We don’t have any three-phase power at the new quarry face, so mobile, dieselpowered crushing and screening is the only way to go.”

About staff in the end Tony Hunter, general manager of Blackhead Quarries, is a fifth-generation descendant of one of the company’s original founders, and now has overall operational responsibility for all of the company’s quarries. Technology aside, Hunter sees his people as the company’s greatest asset. “There are all those buzzwords people use like safety, productivity and profitability, but it all comes down to people,” he says. “We have a 25-year club here, comprising more than a quarter of our staff, which means a lot of experience.” The business is like a big family that has existed for five generations, he adds. “It’s an inter-generational thing we have here, and as much as we get covered in dirt and dust, it’s a lot of fun and a very good life.” Q&M

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Fine material washers

ROCK STARS or RECALCITRANTS? [Lessons from across the Ditch] The fine material washer – also known as a sand screw – is historically one of the most maligned of sand washing instruments. JIM HANKINS, the principal of Rivergum Industries in Endagine NSW, recaps the history of the screw and explains why it is actually one of the most underrated – and underestimated – tools for effective sand processing.

The AggreDry plant features a Guardian 1.8m x 6m horizontal triple-deck screen and a twin 914mm washer. 40

Figure 1. Illustration of the patented AggreDry dewatering and underflow return.

SAND SCREWS – possibly one of the oldest mechanical means

of washing sand – have been used for decades. Their use, misuse and abuse abound. In Australasia, there are a diverse range of views on the viability of sand screws with regards to washing sand for construction aggregates. Sand screws are variously categorised as inefficient, unreliable mechanical nightmares, responsible for fine sand losses, and more recently compared to other production equipment, whereby the stated throughput of most manufacturers is questioned. Several issues have led to “urban myths” about sand screws – in Australia, at the very least. While commenting on and refuting some of these myths, this article will also attempt to detail developments on the use of sand screws as a primary sand washing process.

What is a sand screw? A sand screw is essentially a helix or helical surface around a central cylindrical shaft. The design is commonly attributed to Archimedes (based on the Archimedes pump or screw pump). Sand screws are known by a variety of names in a range of industries, most related to dewatering, and have been used in Australia to wash salt, wash and separate plastic, carry out particle separation with copper processing, wash and recycle glass, dewater mineral sands and coal fines, and wash sand, including manufactured sand. The basic functions of sand screws have been covered previously. However, some clarification and reinforcement of the basic operations might be useful for the industry. Essentially, the sand screw acts as an auger, separating the sand from the pool of water. The feed material is introduced, usually vertically, through the opening in the feed box, generally with water. A correctly designed or engineered sand screw has a separation plate, to force the sand “down” in

Essentially, the sand screw acts as an auger, separating the sand from the pool of water. The feed material is introduced, usually vertically, through the opening in the feed box, generally with water.

the pool of water. For fine material to escape or overflow the weirs, it has to go under this plate and then rise in the pool of water. The sand screws turn at about 60 peripheral metres per minute (200 fpm); depending on the diameter of the helix or spiral, this equates to 15 to 30 revolutions per minute for typical production sizes. When sufficient sand drops to the bottom of the tub or pool of water, it is gently lifted by the auger action of the helix or spiral. Sitting at an angle of 18°, the sand screw begins to auger sand out of the pool of water. A curved plate typically exists under the helix/spiral. As the sand leaves the pool of water, the excess water drains through the sand and runs into the flushing trough. The flushing trough is provided with water, at the upper end of the sand screw, with sufficient velocity to flush the fine sand particles that have flowed into the flushing trough back into the pool of water. This allows the dewatering effect to operate at the highest efficiency. As the sand travels up the curved plate and tub wall, it continues to dewater. With a basic sand screw, most manufacturers will advise a likely output of 80 percent solids or 20 percent moisture. This should be sufficient to send material up a typical stacker. In comparison, a hydrocyclone, on its own, will discharge only about 60 to 65 percent solids. Q&M June – July 2018 41


Urban myths The problems and urban myths surrounding sand screws arise when poor copies are sold and operated, or sand screws are sold with limited knowledge on how they operate. In Australia, there are poorly designed or poorly engineered sand screws that do not have the correct tub or weir size. There are ones without flushing troughs, and no port to inject water. There are sand screws that have been installed at the wrong angle. When not enough water is used, the pool of water begins to thicken in density or specific gravity. The higher this density or specific gravity goes, the larger the particle size that will overflow the weir. If the sand screw is run at the wrong speed, particularly too fast, then more particle sizes stay suspended in the pool of water, and don’t settle. This allows more particle sizes to overflow the weir. Sand screws are sized on the maximum amount of water they can process while retaining certain size particles. The speed of sand screws is determined by the amount of fine material in the raw feed. If you do not run a sand screw with the correct amount of water, or if you do not run it at the correct speed, you will lose fines and you may have a wetter product (wetter than expected). If you don’t replace a worn feed box, you may break a shaft when the sand feed subsequently wears out the wall of the shaft. If you don’t replace worn or broken wear shoes, also known as flight shoes, then you will wear out the helix/spiral. Numerous personnel in the field of selling sand washing equipment will recite problems with sand screws.

However, the majority of those problems occur when the equipment is run with a lack of knowledge. Sand screws are the most efficient way to wash sand for construction aggregates.

Evolution In the 100 or so years sand screws have been operating, new motors, new gearboxes and new bearings have been incorporated into the units. Each manufacturer has a specific way of dealing with the lower end of outboard bearing. Similarly, variations on gearboxes and arrangements with motors are prevalent. A variety of wear materials are available for the wear shoes, as well. However, one major enhancement in the past decade was the development of the AggreDry washer. Superior Industries supplies a range of sizes of these unique machines, with the patented AggreDry dewatering and underflow return, incorporated into the dewatering screens, integrated into the design of the sand screw. Figure 1 provides an illustration of this process. Moisture content for the AggreDry washer can be as low as eight percent, with producers advising they can load trucks immediately, with material coming straight off the stacker. This eliminates the need for stockpile “drying” to enable product to be loaded out. Once the fundamentals of sand screw operation are understood, they retain fines, at the desired size, use less water and produce a drier product. In this time of rising electricity costs, they also use less power than alternatives. Q&M

Mimico now distributes Superior Industries’ equipment Matamata Industrial Machinery Imports (better known as Mimico) is now the sole New Zealand distributor for Superior Industries’ washing systems and conveying equipment. As demand for more stringent material specifications grows and quarries progress further into their reserves, the need to wash aggregate materials increases, it says. “Superior Industries supplies wet processing solutions to meet the needs of the market and will wash and classify bulk materials to an impeccable specification.” The product range on offer includes Superior’s Aggredry Dewatering Washer for fine materials and Alliance Low Water Washer, says Mimico, and both will be on display at the QuarryNZ conference in Hamilton next month. Other products include the RazerTail Truck Unloader (one of Superior’s conveyors here now) and the TeleStacker Conveyor for radial stacking. “Innovation is the slingshot that catapulted Superior to


becoming the number one conveyor manufacturer in the world for bulk material handling,” says Mimico and the company’s advancements during the latter half of the 20th century revolutionised the technology. Chris Gray, Mimico’s general manager says; “It’s important that we provide our customers with industry leading equipment and, in Superior’s range of washing systems and conveying equipment, we are definitely adding that to our offering. “Also, and just as important for Mimico as a family company, it’s great to be working with a company that shares similar values to ourselves.” Jeff Steiner from Superior Industries says the company sees “great potential” in our market. “We are intensely proud of our equipment. At Superior, providing innovative products is the key component to our success.” More information:

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The quarry industry has come a long way in a short time on improving health and safety. Here, J. Swap Contractors joint managing director Lewis Swap, right and Quarry Development manager, Mike Higgins, left, host new WorkSafe chief inspector Extractives Paul Hunt at Toatoaroa Quarry, one of his first quarry visits in his new role.

Challenges met; more to come This is my last introduction to an Aggregate News column. After three years as chair of the AQA it’s time to hand over the baton at July’s QuarryNZ conference though I am still seeking to stay on the board. I’ll make some final comments at the AQA AGM on July 18 as conference starts but I’m going to start that process by looking back now on what’s been achieved and what’s still ahead for our industry and the organisation that proudly represents it. For one thing, I feel we are starting to get on top of the complex changes required of us in respect of health and safety. When I started this role, the new Health and Safety at Work Act had just been passed. My first column was headlined Challenges ahead – and that was right. It’s been a demanding time of us all but I feel we are now on the home straight. Sure, there’s still no new regs but these are now underway with a Ministerial deadline of December. Certificates of Competence are also being reviewed and a Site-Specific qualification, allowing small 1-2 person sites to operate with less onerous requirements, seems set to emerge. The provision of good training for our sector remains hit and miss. I think this is one of our most important remaining challenges. I commend IOQ Australia CEO Paul Sutton’s comments on page 46 that our industry must get into the driver’s seat if we are going to get the right trainers delivering appropriate training. Another thing we need to grasp is that we are a half billion dollar industry which will only get its deserved place in the sun if we put in the effort and resources. I commend those who step up and front for the quarry sector, such as Marlborough’s Antony Clark who ably put our case in 44

front of half a million TVNZ viewers in April at very short notice. (See further comments from me on page 47). We continue to face opposition on where we site and run quarries so it’s great to see recognition of what quarries Brian Roche can become; Halswell Park quarry in Christchurch has been chosen as one of a handful of internationally recognised Green Flag parks located in New Zealand (see page 48). I wish to acknowledge a few people and apologise I can’t thank all who’ve assisted me as chair. Our long-serving CEO Roger Parton will depart AQA after conference. His cheerful efficiency has ensured we run like a Swiss clock, albeit on less than a Swiss budget. My deputy Jayden Ellis has provided me with much support and wise counsel that has been truly appreciated. And Communications and Technical Advisers Brendon Burns and Mike Chilton provide great value in their part-time roles – this Aggregate News is again mostly Brendon’s work and Mike’s Technical Report, as always, chocka with good insights on page 49. Finally, I hope I will see you at this year’s conference here in Hamilton. It’s going to be bigger than Ben Hur. If you attend the AQA AGM you can help select a new Board who with its Chair will, I’m sure, be more than ready to meet the next round of industry challenges. AQA See you in the Tron in July. Brian Roche

Chair, AQA

Conference ready to rock A full programme, CPD hours, a half century to celebrate and a couple of knees-up opportunities – that’s some of what is in store for those attending July’s annual QuarryNZ conference. Organiser Malcolm Blakey says interest is running hot with, as of mid May, only 15 of 80 trade spaces still available and about half of delegate registrations already confirmed. This will be AQA CEO Roger Parton’s last conference as he is standing down after attending conferences since 2007. “This is poised to the best conference I have been involved in. The venue is world-class and we’ve reshaped the programme to give the maximum bang per buck for all attendees.” Among the hallmarks, the 2018 conference celebrates 50 years since the Institute of Quarrying NZ was formed. IOQ presidents from various countries are attending, so there is the chance to swap notes with people with an international perspective. Underscoring the changed conference format to provide maximum CPD hours, it opens with a two-hour CPD workshop on leadership at 10.30am on Wednesday July 18. The AQA and IOQ AGMs follow after lunch, both carrying CPD hours. Brian Roche is stepping down after three years as AQA chair but is seeking to stay on the board, filled via a delegate vote. “We need a vigorous board to tackle all the challenges our industry faces; that requires members to consider stepping up for office or at least taking part in the vote,’ says Brian.

The first afternoon is then free with the opportunity to view the trade displays. The cavernous Claudelands Event Centre allows most machinery to be housed under cover – useful in a Waikato winter. Thursday starts with a review of the IOQ’s first 50 years, put together by Gavin Hartley and Brian Bouzaid. There are trade presentations and then a CPD workshop on operations and safety led by MinEx CEO Wayne Scott and Clayton Hill, IOQ Australia chair and also principal of Groundworks Plus. An afternoon field trip follows with the popular Real Steel team providing its usual Hard Rock Club Happy Hour (with will we be asked to wear this year?) and then a free night to mix with old mates and make new ones. Friday sees a panel discussion by international IOQ presidents, an address from the new WorkSafe Chief Inspector Extractives Paul Hunt and the ever-useful session from AQA’s Technical Advisor Mike Chilton. More CPD workshops follow before the Mimico Friday lunch and associated Environmental and Community Awards. The conference wraps up that evening with the TransDiesel Awards dinner. We recommend you book now at to avoid disappointment. AQA

Will it be rockstars or what at the Real Steel Happy Hour at this year’s QuarryNZ conference? June - July 2018 45

Aggregate News

Make training a priority says IOQ Australia CEO Paul Sutton.

Get your hands on the training wheel IOQ Australia’s CEO Paul Sutton is coming to New Zealand for QuarryNZ 2018. Recently he spoke at a WorkSafe forum about the effort required to get fit for purpose training… Paul Sutton says the quarry sector must do its homework on the training it provides for staff. Not least because you are paying for it – and lives can be at risk if it’s not right. At the Palmerston North WorkSafe forum in March he recalled a rushed insulation programme some years ago in Australia where insufficient training was provided before people went into ceilings and under houses; four were electrocuted. Then there was an explosion in Melbourne at a gas facility. Two died. The coroner found the deceased had been through ‘tick and flick’ training. He outlined a number of steps a quarry or mining operator should go through in choosing a good training provider. •F  irst, ensure you have sufficient budget to get the training that’s required. •C  heck the qualifications of each facilitator to see if they have both subject matter knowledge and experience and educational qualifications. •C  onfirm if the provider is in sound financial shape to ensure a viable long term delivery relationship. •E  nsure the provider understands the extractive sector and is also able to work with adult learners. Do they engage the students in the learning process or is it a death by PowerPoint lecture? • Set the expectations for the training for you and your staff. Are students encouraged to link to what they do at their sites? •E  nsure there is customised content. You don’t want standard material drawn using old photocopied workbooks. • Training needs to be part of a learning journey. Avoid the 46

‘Pelican’ trainer – flies in, drops a bundle and flies out. •G  et a total cost, in writing with the expectations of what you and your staff will receive. • Check if there is a refund policy and ask for it in writing. • Ask for a comprehensive list of references to ensure the training material is current and meeting the expectations of the industry and the regulator. • Look for training that can mix classrooms and sites – ideally 50/50 – the ‘blended’ learning approach. • Involve your staff in the need for training. If someone goes to a course ‘Because the boss told me I need to come’, you aren’t likely to get the best results. • Align the training to their job descriptions, performance reviews and career prospects. • Don’t set unachievable expectations. • Be positive about training – it’s critical to your operation's success not just something that you have to do because WorkSafe requires it. • After a course, ask your staff what were the three top things they learned. • Ask what could be done better on site as a result. • Get them to talk about learnings and ideas at toolbox or management meetings. • Celebrate their successes. • Ask the trainer for feedback on each staff member. Paul Sutton says the extractives industry has to get in the driver’s seat on training. If you are not happy about the training, then tell the trainer and if needs be, the NZ Qualifications Authority. AQA

Aggregate News

Antony Clark fronts a One News interview at a Simcox Construction quarry in Marlborough.

Getting our messages out there By Brian Roche, AQA Chair Most quarry operators tend to shy away from media and that’s understandable given the industry is often in the gun for complaints about noise, dust or trucking. But we need to get our stories out there – and nothing is as authentic as a quarry operator talking with real passion about what they do. Over summer, there was a piece done by TVNZ One News where AQA and MinEx were jointly calling for WorkSafe to act against small rogue quarries which continue to flout health and safety requirements. MinEx CEO Wayne Scott fronted that interview ably, with assistance from Winstones which allowed its Belmont quarry to be used as a backdrop. Not all such news, however, happens in main centres. In late April, One News reporter Kaitlin Ruddock confirmed she was doing a story in Marlborough about the local council facing big increases in roading costs as river aggregate supplies dwindle amid huge demand after the 2016 Kaikoura earthquake. AQA communications advisor Brendon Burns – who lives in Marlborough – rapidly offered to provide the reporter with an interviewee, though it had to be that day and someone local to meet her deadline. AQA member Simcox Construction won a Mimico award last year for their community engagement and general manager Antony Clark had already fronted media well. He agreed to do the television interview. Brendon provided him with these key messages: •M  arlborough’s 20% lift in roading costs reflects shortages

and demand for aggregate around the country; •W  e have a strong economy with much demand for roads and homes; • Every one of these require aggregate – it’s the very foundation of all we build; • The big cost comes if we have to truck material any distance • Yet it’s getting harder and harder to get quarries in urban fringes consented; • If that continues, New Zealanders will have to pay more and more for their roads and homes. If you haven’t yet seen the item, have a look and judge for yourself how someone with no special training was able to front a media interview. The point is that the quarry sector needs to take every opportunity to get its message across. We all need to front issues and make our point. Otherwise we lose out to others who have the courage to front – and some of them will, negatively. Every AQA member can ask for assistance and there are resources such as the above key messages. Collectively, we need to up our game. The AQA Board is seeking more opportunities to host Ministers, Mayors, MPs and councillors at quarries so they can understand what we do and what we contribute. As a quarry owner or operator, you should be prepared to front such visits at your site(s) or find someone on your team who has that capacity. Hats off to Antony Clark for doing that job so well on all our behalf. AQA June - July 2018


Aggregate News

Quarry now internationally recognised park

Halswell Quarry on the outskirts of Christchurch has been awarded the South Island’s first Green Flag Award. Launched in Britain to recognise and reward well-managed parks and green spaces, the Green Flag scheme now operates in Europe, Middle East, Australia and New Zealand where Halswell Quarry is now one of 18 such parks. It joins such prestigious spaces as, the Auckland Domain, New Plymouths Pukekura Park and Wellington’s OtariWilton Bush. No other NZ quarry has yet achieved such a status although there are a number of former quarries which have become parks. Christchurch City Council operations manager, Regional Parks, Kay Holder


says the award to Halswell Park highlights its special attributes. “It’s certainly no ‘walk in the park’ to win the award,” she says. “Years of hard work and a strong commitment by the community and Council staff to develop Halswell Quarry have finally paid off with the prestigious award. The Green Flag certainly sets the benchmark in acknowledging exceptional spaces.” Halswell Quarry is a unique 60 hectare park with a combination of recreational walks, historic sites and botanical collections. Important historical buildings from the quarrymen's days have been

preserved. The once noisy rock face is now a quiet amphitheatre facing onto parkland with short walks and wetland areas. A walk goes around the dramatic quarry face and there is a network of walking trails throughout the reserve. The quarry played a major role in the building of Christchurch over its 140 years of quarrying. The quarry was believed to be the oldest continually operating quarry in Australasia. Its distinctive bluegrey stone was used in many of the city's prominent buildings including the Canterbury Museum and the Provincial Council Buildings. AQA

AQA Board Chair

Technical Issues for AQA Members MITO Industry Council

• AQA is attending the first meeting of the MITO Industry Council in mid-May • T he industry council is a forum of MITO industry members whose role is to appoint the (between five and seven) MITO directors.


Brian Roche Ravensdown

Deputy Chair Jayden Ellis

Stevensons Construction Materials

Board Members Andrea Cave

Winstone Aggregates

•C  ivil Contractors NZ and AQA are reviewing the Roading New Zealand 9805 document – Quality Assurance of Aggregates for Roads. • T he document is almost 10 years old and is becoming out of step with more recent NZTA developments, including for example the changes proposed for M/4 basecourse. The review will refresh the document and change any areas that are no longer current. AQA is very happy to receive your input on any changes you would like to see.

Auckland Transport Recycled Aggregates

• A uckland Transport is working on its Series 0800 Specification for the Supply of Aggregates document, with the last area of focus being recycled materials. • AT is aligning the specification with the limits of contaminants in Auckland Council’s E30 Contaminated Land specification. • T he Technical Committee is meeting AT in mid-May to discuss using recycled aggregates in AT roading projects and working towards AT’s green strategy.

Auckland Council Stormwater Management

• A uckland Council is consulting on its “Stormwater management devices in the Auckland region” guidance document. • T here are quite a few specifications relating to the aggregate used as part of the stormwater management systems. •C  omments are welcomed, especially from those providing drainage aggregates in the Auckland region. •F  or any of the above consultations, please contact AQA Technical Adviser Mike Chilton –

Mike Higgins J Swap

Tony Hunter

Blackhead Quarries

George Kelcher Road Metals

Brett Swain

Southern Screenworks

Jared Johnston Fulton Hogan

Technical Committee Chair

Clare Dring

Fulton Hogan

Greg Arnold

Road Science

Jayden Ellis

Stevensons Construction Materials

James Mackechnie Concrete NZ

WorkSafe Consultation

•W  orkSafe has called for submissions on its 10-year Health and Safety at Work Strategy, closing on 8 June 2018. • T he strategy aims to develop a world-class health and safety system that will improve health and safety outcomes for New Zealanders at work over the next 10 years. •P  lease feel free to comment directly to WorkSafe or otherwise to AQA for on-passing to MinEx for an overall industry submission. • T here are seven workshops relating to this consultation around NZ, that started May 14 in Wellington.

Stacy Goldsworthy Civil Contractors

David Morgan GBC Winstone

Cobus van Vuuren GBC Winstone

Aggregate & Quarry Association of NZ PO Box 32 019, Maungaraki, Lower Hutt, 5050 Chief Executive Roger Parton tel 04 568 9123 fax 04 568 2780 email June - July 2018 49


Smartphones from Cat Caterpillar has rolled out a range of rugged smartphones, Cat phones, across New Zealand. This tough and durable smartphone range was purpose-built for those in the construction and extraction industries, among others. The range is led by Cat S60 model and is the world’s only smartphone with an integrated thermal camera. The Cat S60 is now available via Spark online and in selected Spark stores, JA Russell and Cat Gough dealerships, and will also be available via PB Tech, and online at JB Hi-Fi and Noel Leeming. Leading features of the S60 include: An integrated thermal camera, powered by FLIR, the global leader in thermal imaging technology, which can pick up heat and measure surface temperatures from a distance of up to 30 metres and is drop-proof up to 1.8 metres and waterproof up to five metres for up to one hour, making it the most waterproof phone on the market. The range also includes the Cat S31 and Cat S41 models, which will be available through selected PB Tech stores and online at JB Hifi and Noel Leeming. Q&M

New Xcentric Ripper Mining Series Boss Attachments, the exclusive dealer for the Xcentric Crusher, is now the distributer for the all-new Xcentric Ripper Mining Series. Xcentric International is a manufacture of advanced hydraulic work tools for extraction and processing of rock and concrete. It has more than 10 years’ experience in the design and manufacture of the technologically advanced hydraulic ripper attachment for the mass extraction of rock in mining and civil applications. The company says in most instances the Xcentric Ripper is up to five times more productive than hydraulic breakers. “The all-new Xcentric Ripper Mining Series is focused on mining applications, where the highest production values are required, as well as continuous work shifts where reliability and excavator operator comfort are of great importance,” it says. “The working technology is basically the same as in the standard version. However, the new mining series have been reinforced and have a remodelled working platform which deliver a much higher energy impact force to the work tool with a lower frequency. “Designed to increase production, at lower operating costs and reduced noise levels, the all-new XR Mining series is a revolution for high volume rock excavation.” Q&M

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