AUSTRALIA • CHINA • INDIA • JAPAN • NEW ZEALAND • ASIA PACIFIC
DIGGING&DRILLING AUGUST - OCTOBER 2013 • Issue 5
AustralaSIA’s QUARTERlY Oil, Gas & Mining Magazine
Roy Hill Mining Project $10 billion Roy Hill iron ore project overcomes key hurdles
Sir Richard Branson Exclusive Interview Sir Richard Branson talks about Virgin Australia regional airline acquisitions
2 DIGGING & DRILLING MAGAZINE | JULY 2012
Editor’s Letter Australian media seem to be telling anyone who will watch, read or listen that ‘the sky is falling’ in the Australian resources sector, anything to improve ratings would be my guess. Australia’s economy is currently undergoing some substantial transitions but it is important to remember that we have one of the healthiest economies in the world. A recent Bureau of Resources and Energy Economics (BREE) report points to the transition underway in our resources sector, from the investment phase leading to the production and export phase. It is important to remember that the challenges presented to Australia by these transitions are tackled from an irrefutable position of strength. These transitions are challenging, but Australia is well equipped to deal with them because of our nation’s fundamental strength. We’ve experienced the largest resource investment boom in our history and we have weathered the biggest global economic crisis in 70-years with a growing economy. I am confident Australia will deal with these shifts successfully.
Len Fretwell Publisher / Managing Editor Digging & Drilling Australasia
The BREE report shows that some early stage projects were significantly impacted by the sharp fall in commodity prices late last year, the value of Australia’s investments remain close to record high levels at $268 billion. The level of resource investment is expected to remain historically high for some time and commodity export volumes should grow as the production phase grows. The BREE report also highlighted, the value of completed projects over the past six months is the second highest ever recorded at $15.3 billion and this will contribute to greater export capacity in the near future. Interestingly, world trade has now achieved pre-GFC levels and Australia has more free trade partners than ever before. It is Australian Federal Election time this September and the Mining Tax has generated major debate from both sides of politics and from the resource sector. Clearly, the Mining Tax has not had any real effect, apart from undermining confidence in the sector. Surely, the mining companies require lower taxes to encourage the considerable investments needed to generate mining income. I offered both the Australian Prime Minister and the Leader of the Opposition equal space in this edition for a message to the energy and resource sectors. The Prime Minister declined my offer but you will find a message from the Hon Tony Abbott MHR on page-5. We are always looking for interesting energy and resource sector news and innovation content and I invite industry members to contact me direct with any news that may be of interest to our readers. I hope you enjoy reading this edition of D&D Australasia and I look forward to your feedback. Best Regards
Len Fretwell Publisher / Managing Editor
AUGUST 2013 DIGGING & DRILLING MAGAZINE 3
WHAT’S IN THIS 06» ISSUE
IN THIS ISSUE 03 EDITOR’s LETTER 06 MOMENTS IN PICS: Australian Gas Technology Conference 08 News in Brief: MINING News highlights for the month 09 News in Brief: Oil & Gas News highlights for the month 10 Sir Richard Branson Exclusive D&D Australasia Interview 18 ProjectPostCard: Wheatstone fields in the Carnarvon Basin 20 Roy Hill Mining Project 24 MacLean Engineering’s first AC-3 Anfo Charger to be sold in Australia 28 Perth Glory Football Club Tour South Africa 30 More Mines Open, Rare Earths Less Rare Digging & Drilling Level 28 AMP Tower Australasia 140 St Georges Terrace Perth WA 6000 P. O. Box 445, South Perth 6951 Tel: +61 1300 284 637 Fax: +61 (8) 9300 9435 Feedback firstname.lastname@example.org News inquiries email@example.com Advertising inquiries firstname.lastname@example.org • Mobile: 0417 001 080 Editor Len Fretwell Writers Robin whitlock, Stephen Dawson, ANDREW BURRELL GUEST Writers Kinsley Hayford Graphics Elvin Wong Subscription SUBSCRIPTION@diggingdrilling.com Publishing Digging and Drilling is a Trading name of LF Family Trust Information ABN: 97 893 623 301 VISIT US AT www.diggingdrilling.com COVER Iron Ore Conveyor Digging & Drilling Australasia welcomes comments and suggestions, as well as information about errors that call for corrections. We are committed to presenting information fairly and accurately. Disclaimer: Reasonable care is taken to ensure that Digging & Drilling magazine articles and other information are up-to-date and accurate as possible, as at the time of publication, but no responsibility can be taken for any errors or omissions contained herein. The opinions expressed are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of Digging & Drilling Magazine. The publisher, editors, contributors and related parties shall have no responsibility for any action or omission by any other contributor, consultant, editor or related party.
4 DIGGING & DRILLING MAGAZINE AUGUST 2013
The Hon Tony Abbott MHR Leader of the Opposition Federal Member for Warringah
Message from the Leader of the Opposition, the Hon Tony Abbott MHR
MINING IN AUSTRALIA Over the last decade, the Australian resources industry has undergone a great expansion. However, the sector still faces significant challenges – many of which, unfortunately, have been imposed on it by the Labor Government. If elected, a Coalition government will abolish the mining tax and the carbon tax to help reenergise the entire mining industry and to help restore Australia’s international reputation as a safe and reliable place to invest. By lowering taxes and reducing Australia’s sovereign risk profile, we will declare to the world that Australia is ‘open for business’ again and that will lift confidence and investment in our industries. The Coalition will also offer state and territory governments the ability to act as a one-stop-shop for environmental assessments and approvals. We will maintain environmental standards while simplifying the application of the Federal Environmental Act, and all associated bureaucratic arrangements. This will lead to increased transparency, accountability and importantly, timely decision making. The Australian people will benefit significantly more from a bigger and stronger mining industry that pays more taxes and invests in more mining projects in Australia rather than overseas. The Coalition will deliver a more positive environment for mining in Australia and for the hundreds of communities and tens of thousands of employees dependent on the industry. Yours sincerely
TONY ABBOTT 25 July 2013 ________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ PARLIAMENT HOUSE CANBERRA ACT 2600 Telephone: 02 6277 4022· Fax: 02 6277 8562 www.tonyabbott.com.au
MOMENTS IN PICs »
Oil Sands & Heavy Oil Technologies
6 DIGGING & DRILLING MAGAZINE AUGUST 2013
Australian Gas Technology Conference
AUGUST 2013 DIGGING & DRILLING MAGAZINE 7
NEWS IN BRIEF »
Mining News highlights for the month
BHP Billiton hangs on to Crinum coalmine
Miners flailing as 10-year gold rush grinds to a halt
BHP Billiton has decided against selling a struggling coalmining operation near Emerald, Queensland, one of several assets in Australia mining companies have been seeking to offload amid a slump in coal prices.
IT has been a quarter from hell for Australia’s gold industry, and the wallets of the nation’s gold mining executives are lighter as a result.
BHP had launched a review of its jointly owned Gregory Crinum operation in February, several months after a loss-making mine was closed.
The sector has been reeling in recent weeks, with a wave of redundancies, salary cuts and write downs illustrating how painful life became as the 10-year bull run in gold prices ground to a swift halt.
CARBON OFFENSIVE SHIFTS TO OIL BUT SPARES NATURAL GAS
Apache’s Bianchi wildcat finds gas off W. Australia
Oil is next in US President Barack Obama’s carbon offensive. With a regulatory barrage under challenge in court and Congress, the administration has been trying to slash coal combustion in the generation of electric power.
Apache Energy has made a natural gas discovery with its Bianchi-1 wildcat, which was drilled in retention lease WA-49-R offshore Western Australia.
Now the president is pulling oil—without natural gas— into the line of fire. In a speech in Chattanooga, Tenn., he supported “accelerating our clean energy and natural gas revolutions.” Then he declared: “Now is the time to double down on renewable energy and biofuels and electric vehicles and to put money into the research that will shift our cars and trucks off oil for good.”
The find is within a separate fault block down-dip and 6 km northeast of the company’s April 2011 Zola-1 gas discovery and about 11 km north of the earlier Antelope find.Wireline logging and pressure testing confirmed 112 m net gas pay in Bianchi-1 in the Triassic-age Mungaroo formation.
SANTOS LNG Portfolio on Track
PAPUA NEW GUINEA - Indochine intersects high grade gold
Santos Ltd says its liquefied natural gas (LNG) portfolio is on track, as the group looks to unlock more of its resources.
NEW powers for health and safety representatives in all mines following the Pike River disaster are a “scary proposition” and should be limited to coal mines only, a gold mining company says. Bernie O’Leary, who manages Oceana Gold’s Macraes Mine in Otago, on Thursday, urged parliament’s industrial relations select committee to pare back the proposed new inspectors’ roles in the Health and Safety (Pike River Implementation) Bill.
Santos chief executive David Knox told shareholders at the gorup’s annual general meeting the LNG portfolio was critical to the business, but also flagged a new willingness to innovate. “The result is a very different Santos to the one you saw four years ago, but it will deliver significant value to shareholders,” Mr Knox said. “Our strategy to unlock the company’s resources and to do so safely, sustainably and profitably – will not change.
The bill includes recommendations from the Royal Commission into the Pike River Coal Mine disaster in November 2010 which left 29 men dead following explosions in the mine.
NEWS IN BRIEF »
Oil & Gas News highlights for the month
Chevron Reports Second Quarter Net Income of $5.4 Billion U.S. energy giant Chevron Corp. (CVX) reported weak second quarter earnings on lower crude prices and soft downstream margins. Earnings per share (excluding adjustments for foreigncurrency effects) came in at $2.62, below the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $2.96 and the previous year’s $3.57. The integrated supermajor’s quarterly revenue decreased 8.4% year over year to $57,369.0 million. However, it managed to beat the Zacks Consensus Estimate by 1.5% amid elevated North American gas prices. Exxon Mobil Corp. (XOM) – the world’s largest publicly traded oil company – reported lowerthan-expected earnings yesterday. In fact, the quarter under review has been disappointing for ‘Big Oil’ with European biggies Royal Dutch Shell plc (RDS.A) and BP plc (BP) also coming out with belowpar results. Upstream: Chevron’s total production of crude oil and natural gas decreased by 1.6% from the year-earlier level to 2,582 thousand oil-equivalent barrels per day (MBOE/d). Volume gains in U.S. and contribution from the newly
commenced Angola liquefied natural gas (LNG) project were more than negated by normal field declines. The U.S. output remained flat year over year, while Chevron’s international operations (accounting for 74% of the total) delivered experienced a 2.1% decline in volumes. Moreover, losses on the production front were accompanied by depressed crude oil prices, with the net effect resulting in an 11.9% yearover-year decline in upstream earnings to $4,949.0 million. Chevron’s production outlook remains one of the most robust in its peer group, with a number of major initiatives scheduled to come online during the next few years. Major start-ups during the last few months include the LNG project in Angola, deepwater Usan project in Nigeria and the Caesar/Tonga project in the deepwater Gulf of Mexico. Amongst the major upcoming projects, Chevron’s Gorgon and Wheatstone natural gas initiatives in Australia are progressing well, while the Jack/St. Malo and Big Foot initiatives in the deepwater
Gulf of Mexico remain on track for 2014 start-up. Downstream: Chevron’s downstream segment achieved earnings of $766 million, 59.3% lower than the profit of $1,881.0 million last year. The results were negatively influenced by lower refined product sales margins and higher repair/maintenance expenses in its domestic business. Additionally, last year’s results were buoyed by the sale of its South Korean assets. The second-largest U.S. oil company by market value after Exxon Mobil spent $9,452.0 million in capital expenditures during the quarter. Approximately 91% of the total outlays pertained to upstream projects. As of Jun 30, 2013, the San Ramon, California-based company had $20,630.0 million in cash and total debt of $19,964.0 million, with a debt-to-total capitalization ratio of about 12.3%. As part of the stock repurchase program announced in 2010, Chevron repurchased $1,250.0 million worth of shares in the second quarter.
Retention Lease Approved Woodside Petroleum Ltd said on Friday changes to its Browse gas field retention lease that would allow it to pursue a wider range of development options have been approved. The company decided in April to shelve a plan to develop the gas field via a $45 billion onshore plant and said it would instead consider a variety of other options, such as a floating liquefied natural gas (LNG) plant or a smaller onshore plant. “The joint venture participants still need to actually choose a final concept for the development,” Laura Lunt, Woodside spokeswoman told Reuters on Friday. The variation to the Browse retention leases, granted by the state of Western Australia, will apply to the end of 2014.
Woodside and its joint venture partners in the development are widely expected to opt for a floating LNG plant. Analysts estimate that choosing to use floating LNG technology would mean a cost savings of 20 percent. Global energy firms have invested $140 billion into six LNG plants in just two and half years as Australia ramps up production on its way to becoming the world’s largest exporter of the clean burning energy source. But Australia’s LNG sector has seen investor interest cool due to cost overruns and with competition from North America, where new supplies of gas have been exploited from shale. Earlier this year, Woodside chief executive Peter Coleman said a floating facility has
“the potential to commercializes the Browse resources in the earliest possible time frame.” Woodside also signed a technology agreement to develop Browse using technology owned by Royal Dutch Shell. Shell, the second-largest shareholder in Browse and a 24 percent owner of Woodside, is considered to be the global frontrunner in developing floating LNG technology and has lobbied to use it to develop the Browse gas field. Other joint venture partners include BP Plc, PetroChina, Mitsui & Co and Mitsubishi Corp.
Sir Richard Branson Exclusive D&D Australasia Interview
Earlier this year I was invited and had the great pleasure to meet and speak with Sir Richard Branson at a function in Perth, Western Australia. I found him to be a very friendly and approachable gentleman and was able to arrange the following exclusive Q&A interview with this truly iconic figure. Len Fretwell with Sir Richard Branson D&D Q: As Tiger Airways and Skywest Airlines were both budget airlines primarily operating in the fly-in-fly-out and regional markets, do you have any plans to make changes to the operation of these acquisitions or further expand in these growing segments? SRB A: When Virgin Australia re-launched in 2011, we wanted to become the airline of choice in every market. After joining with Skywest and Tigerair Australia, we now have a very strong offering in all segments of the market and cater for travellers of every nature â€“ whether it is business or leisure. With the best value for money across every market segment,
Virgin Australia is now very well placed to grow across all areas and move us forward in a positive direction. D&D Q: How do you think these Virgin Australia acquisitions will benefit jobs and tourism in these important market segments, especially in growing regional markets including Western Australia? SRB A: The Virgin brand has a reputation for bringing benefits to customers and tourism whenever it enters a new market â€“ and itâ€™s the same for Virgin Australia. In fact, when Virgin Australia launched Business Class across its domestic network just over a year ago, fares came down by approximately 20-30%.
Through the Skywest deal, we can now offer a great service from the East to West Coast of Australia, unlocking new opportunities to raise the competition through our great value fares and customer service. In terms of Tigerair, we have supported their growth and this will benefit jobs and tourism in Australia by bringing more competition to the budget travel market segment. We will also look to add value to the airline by sharing our expertise all areas to further strengthen Tigerair and its value to travellers in Australia.
D&D Q: What are your plans for these new Virgin Australia regional airline acquisitions, will there be any changes to the service or routes? SRB A: It’s still early days. At the moment, we are trying to integrate the two businesses into Virgin Australia and rebrand them both in the air and on the ground. Australia has one of the most dispersed populations in the world and value for money flights is vital to the country’s growth. One of our key aims for the future will be expanding Virgin Australia so we can continue to bring competition to travelers throughout Australia. D&D Q: Do you see many other business opportunities in Australia? SRB A: I was recently in Queensland, the home of Virgin Australia, where Virgin Blue was founded, to meet the team at Bank of Queensland to talk about how we are going to expand Virgin Money in Australia. We see enormous opportunities to work together and build the brand here into a truly national competitor. D&D Q: Your support of charities is well known, how do you choose the charities that you support? SRB A: My support for charitable organisations is guided by the causes and issues that I care about. You can imagine that we receive a good number of requests
each year, and many of those reach us through Virgin Unite, the Virgin Group’s non-profit foundation. So, the first question we ask is whether a cause aligns with our goals and passions. If the answer is yes, we try to figure out whether a charity is an appropriate partner and will make good use of our investment. What is the potential impact, and are there other ways of achieving even greater impact? Most importantly, we are looking for ideas and proposals that are entrepreneurial. Indomitable entrepreneurial spirit has always been at the heart of Virgin’s success, and so it makes perfect sense to us to look for that spirit in the projects and initiatives that we support. I have always believed that throwing money at a problem doesn’t solve anything. For lasting impact, you need an entrepreneurial solution. That’s what Virgin is all about. D&D Q: How would you describe the experience of being Knighted by the Queen and what effect has this honour had on you? SRB A: Being knighted was such a terrific honour. It was such a lovely occasion and my family and I enjoyed every second of it. Ever since, I have tried to live up to it and continue to grow the Virgin Group in a positive way. We’ve always been fearless of the big monopolies and ventured into stagnant industries that frustrated us because we thought we could do better.
I have always been proud of Virgin and our people’s efforts to “change the game for good”. Since my knighthood, I have started to dedicate more and more of my time to the Virgin Group’s not-forprofit arm, Virgin Unite, and try and raise the awareness of many issues close to my heart. Whether it is setting up a centre for entrepreneurship which mentors young entrepreneurs through their business ideas (Branson Centre of Entrepreneurship) or incubating an organisation which is framing a new approach to business where people and planet are priorities alongside profit (The B-Team), we all have a responsibility to leave the planet in a better condition than we found it. D&D Q: In choosing your team, what are three key questions that you ask in an interview? SRB A: We don’t really have a general recruiting process at Virgin and I don’t have any set questions that I ask – it depends on the type of business and the position we are looking to fill. However as a rule we tend to pick out employees who are inquisitive about the bigger picture, and have a “can do” attitude, are positive and enthusiastic and most importantly, have a strong sense of fun! I have found that choosing enthusiastic, talented and positive people has helped to shape a positive character for our businesses.
D&D Q: You seem to have the Midas touch in business, what is the secret to your success?
No. 3: Create Something That Everybody Who Works for You is Really Proud of. Businesses generally consist of a group SRB A: My top 5 ‘secrets’ of people, and they are your would be: biggest assets.
and about, meeting people. It seems I am traveling all the time but I always have a notebook in my back pocket to jot down questions, concerns or good ideas.
No. 1: Enjoy What You Are Doing. Because starting a business is a huge amount of hard work, requiring a great deal of time, you had better enjoy it.
D&D Q: Will Sir Richard Branson ever retire?
No. 4: Be a Good Leader. As a leader you have to be a really good listener. You need to know your own mind but there is no point in imposing your views on others without No. 2: Create Something That some debate. No one has a Stands Out. Whether you have monopoly on good ideas or a product, a service or a brand, good advice. it is not easy to start a company No. 5: Be Visible. A good leader and to survive and thrive in the does not get stuck behind a modern world. In fact, you’ve desk. I’ve never worked in an got to do something radically office – I’ve always worked different to make a mark today. from home – but I get out
SRB A: I have no plans to retire and would like to think that when I am 70, 80 or even 90, I am still trying out new challenges – however my wife Joan may have something to say about this!! For more information visit www.virginaustralia.com
Interview by Len Fretwell
AUGUST 2013 DIGGING & DRILLING MAGAZINE 13
Setting the benchmark for luxury apartment living in the Pilbara Pelago West offers a range of lifestyle options, including spacious and modern apartments with one, two or three bedrooms, 24-hour security and a range of amenities. “With local shopping and Karratha’s CBD on their doorstep, FIFO workers can enjoy luxury living with a great lock-and-leave lifestyle,” Mr Chan said.
ffering a luxurious lock-and-leave lifestyle for those working in the mining and resources sector in the North West, Finbar’s new high-rise complex, Pelago West, is the first of its kind in Karratha.
Offering a social lifestyle as well as spectacular resort-style facilities, the stylish new landmark was officially opened at the end of May by the Hon. Brendan Grylls.
Pelago West tenant Tony Mazzei lives in Melbourne but works in Karratha five days a week. He said the first-class high-rise complex provided him with a home away from home. “Pelago West actually feels more like home than Melbourne, it offers a great lifestyle and location,” he said.
Now fully leased, it has helped change the face of accommodation in Karratha.
“When I first walked into the Pelago West complex I was blown away by its presentation and facilities. It’s a much better option than renting out a home in Karratha. You have the lifestyle as well as the convenience of living in the heart of the CBD.
Ronald Chan, Chief Operations Officer at Finbar, said residents of Pelago West were enjoying the lifestyle and social interaction the luxury apartments provided.
“Apartment living offers minimal maintance, which is great for my lifestyle. It provides facilities that accommodate singles, couples and families.”
“Residents and tenants are able to mingle and create a social network, catching up by the pool deck, at the BBQ area or in the fully equiped gym, not to mention the Blanche Bar downstairs, which is fast becoming the place to catch up with mates,” Mr Chan said.
Offering an unrivalled work/life balance, Pelago West is ideally situated at the junction of Sharpe Avenue and Warambie Road, within walking distance of what is to become a revitalised city centre. The architectually designed resort-style complex features beautifully landscaped gardens, a 25m pool, state-of-the-art gym, sauna, barbecue area and children’s play area.
“The apartment facilities are fully managed by a strata company, virtually eliminating any ongoing accommodation hassles.”
Pelago West has changed the skyline of Karratha
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Pelago West apartments overlook the natural beauty of the azure waters of Nickol Bay and the stunning scenery of the Burrup Peninsula. The central location offers direct access to Karratha’s coastal lifestyle. All apartments offer secure, low-maintenace, 6-star energy-rated living and immeasurable social benefits, all enjoyed with the comfort of air-conditioning and dehumidifiers. The next stage of Finbar’s Pelago project is currently under construction. The nine -storey Pelago East complex is due to open in December this year and will feature 174 one, two and three-bedroom apartments, plus a host of lifestyle facilities, including a 20m swimming pool, , sauna, rooftop terrace, residents lounge, a fully equipped gymnasium and games room. To register your interest in leasing or buying an apartment and becoming part of the Pelago community, contact John Bell on 0413 153 227. For more information visit pelago.com.au.
DUE FOR COMPLETION DEC 2013
Karratha’s only high-rise luxury development
LONG TERM LEASES ARE AVAILABLE IN WA’S NORTH WEST. Is your organisation starting to question whether it should really be in the space of owning, managing and maintaining property? For many companies, it may not be the best use of valuable capital and resources, taking the focus away from core business activities. Now there is no need to burden your business with ongoing property concerns. Remove the majority of the property maintenance issues by taking out long term lease arrangements and eliminate the high capital commitment of buying or building. Finbar is WA’s largest and most trusted apartment developer and have recently completed Pelago West Apartments in Karratha WA. Furthermore, Stage 2 Pelago East is well under construction and plans for multi-storey residential development in Port Hedland are being fast tracked. Accommodate your valued employees at Pelago Apartments in Karratha •
Located on the main street of Karratha, central to cafés, shopping and nightlife
Secure, lock up parking and state of the art security systems
Low maintenance living with independent strata management in place
Resort style amenities including 25m pool, spa, sauna, fully equipped gymnasium and more
A home away from home, these fully appointed and air-conditioned luxury apartments are suited for middle and upper management tenants
Pelago East is due for completion December 2013
Speak to Finbar today about flexible and attractive corporate lease arrangements in their new developments in Karratha and Port Hedland.
FOR BULK LEASING OR SALES CONTACT:
Finbar Commercial Transactions Advisor
JOHN BELL 0413 153 227
WA approves plans for 40MW tidal power station The government of Western Australia has just approved plans for a 40MW utilityscale tidal power station in the state. It will be the first such facility in Western Australia and will be located near Derby in West Kimberley.
he project is being developed by Tidal Energy Australia and is expected to generate enough energy to power between 10,000 and 15,000 homes. It will be a double basin system consisting of six 8MW turbines generating 200 gigawatt hours of energy per year and displacing around 27,000 tons of CO2 annually. It will also bring numerous jobs to the area.
A contract for the construction of power lines to serve the main population centres in West Kimberley has still to be negotiated according to Environment Minister Albert Jacob. The design and costing for the project was completed in 2003 and although the exact cost of the project remains speculative it is likely to be slightly less than the costs for diesel. It is likely that costs will
decrease considerably in the future with the rising costs of gas. The news has been welcomed by the community of Albany, particularly the Albany Chamber of Commerce which stated that the area has long been recognised as a prime location for Australiaâ€™s first wave and tidal plant.
By Robin Whitlock
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r My Africa: Kenya POSTCARD PROJECT»
Wheatstone fields in the Carnarvon Basin Western Australia, Australia Operator: Image Courtesy:
Wheatstone Project Australia projectconnect
18 DIGGING & DRILLING MAGAZINE JULY 2012
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Roy Hill Mining Project Australian mining magnate Gina Rinehartâ€™s $10 billion Roy Hill iron ore project has overcome key hurdles holding up debt negotiations, a move that could pave the way for the mine to start producing by September 2015, sources said.
etting Roy Hill into production is likely to boost further the fortunes of Gina Rinehart, already Australia’s richest person with a net worth estimated by Forbes at $17 billion.
project further in Western Australia’s iron-rich Pilbara region. “Although a guarantee from a party with strong credit would be one of the simplest ways to move the project forward in the eyes of the ECAs, it is not the only way to reduce risks,” said a second source with direct knowledge of the negotiations.
However, it could also add to an expected glut of the steelmaking ingredient as rivals Rio Tinto, BHP Billiton and Fortescue Metals Group crank up production just as demand “Such ways have been in top consumer China may sufficiently agreed upon, and negotiations are moving cool. ahead speedily,” added the The 55-million tonnes-a-year source, without giving more project, which would make details on the agreement. Roy Hill Australia’s fourthlargest iron ore producer, has A Roy Hill spokesman said been steadily pushed back talks were advancing with amid delays in lining up $7 export credit agencies and commercial lenders being billion in debt funding. tapped for the remainder of Export credit agencies (ECAs), the loans required. including Export Import Bank of Korea (KEXIM), Japan Bank “We’re cautiously optimistic for International Cooperation we’ll be able to get it wrapped (JBIC) and Nippon Export up in 2013,” spokesman Darryl & Investment Insurance Hockey said. (NEXI) had been pressuring Aiding progress on the project Roy Hill shareholders led on the equity side, a minor by Gina Rinehart’s Hancock partner in Roy Hill, South Prospecting Pty Ltd to fully Korea’s STX Corp, has sold its guarantee that the project 2.5 percent stake to one of the reaches completion, in return other partners, said another for up to $5 billion of loans. source. The ECAs also sought payment guarantees for ore purchase contracts by Chinese steel mills, said a banking source familiar with the talks. The parties have now negotiated a compromise to break the deadlock that had threatened to delay the
Conglomerate STX first invested in the Roy Hill project in 2010 and last year paid $200 million to take up a 2.5 percent stake, but sold out due to a downturn in its shipping and shipbuilding business.
AUGUST 2013 DIGGING & DRILLING MAGAZINE 21
Port Pirie to host biggest resources conference and trade expo on Spencer Gulf with oil & gas focus The biggest resources and trade expo for South Australia’s Upper Spencer Gulf has been expanded to feature an exclusive in-depth session on the State’s burgeoning oil & gas sectors for the first time in its nine-year history.
he South Australian Chamber of Mines and Energy (SACOME) are once again co-hosting the annual Resource Industry Conference and Trade Expo with Global Maintenance Upper Spencer Gulf (GMUSG), to be held from August 21-22 in Port Pirie.
The two-day event is expected to attract over 50 exhibitors with a range of high-profile speakers already confirmed. The event allows businesses and communities to explore ways the Upper Spencer Gulf can harness the increased minerals and oil & gas activities within the State’s north. The conference is rotated between the three Upper Spencer Gulf
cities and builds on the highly successful 2012 event in Whyalla which attracted a sell-out 380 delegates and 36 trade exhibitors.
“Connecting small businesses with the mining and energy industry is something both SACOME and GMUSG are focussed on, and this conference is a perfect Featuring speakers from opportunity to form and build companies that operate in those relationships,” he said. the region – including Arrium Mining and Nyrstar – as well as “And with oil & gas a key growth BHP Billiton, OZ Minerals, Santos, area for South Australia, it is Senex and other stakeholders important to feature how the from government departments, flow-on effects of the increased the event is well-attended by both activity in this sector can be service providers and industry harnessed by the Upper Spencer representatives. Gulf businesses and communities.” SACOME Chief Executive, Jason Kuchel, said the conference gives businesses, agencies and communities in the region an opportunity to identify cluster groups of companies in the global resources industry.
22 DIGGING & DRILLING MAGAZINE AUGUST 2013
GMUSG Chairman, Greg Clothier, said the conference is of exceptional value in comparison to other regional conferences, and gives delegates the opportunity to see firsthand what government and regional communities are
doing to foster industry growth.
Costing just $260 for a two-day Further information: Jason pass for SACOME and GMUSG Kuchel, Chief Executive, SACOME “I’m putting out a call to action for members, this event is highly 08 8202 9999. business people and community affordable and great value. leaders to attend the conference, Further details and registration is both for its exceptional value available at www.sacome.org.au and vital industry and business content,” he said.
GMUSG Chairman Greg Clothier (right) with delegates at last year’s conference in Whyalla
AUGUST 2013 DIGGING & DRILLING MAGAZINE 23
MacLean Engineeringâ€™s first AC-3 Anfo Charger to be sold in Australia MacLean Engineeringâ€™s first AC-3 Anfo Charger to be sold in Australia earns high praise from owners, CBH Resources at RASP mine, Broken Hill.
n April 2012 CBH Resources took delivery of Australia’s first MacLean AC-3 Anfo Charger for underground operation at their RASP mine in Broken Hill. With assistance from MacLean’s engineering team the standard twin kettle Anfo rig was converted to Emulsion - a relatively painless, quick and straightforward operation. Since then the machine has been performing very reliably with good availability and beyond expectations according to Suprabhat Sarkar, CBHR’s Acting Mine Manager.
ANFO has been the charging standard of underground hard rock miners for many years. But since the newer alternative, Emulsion, was introduced more underground hard rock mine operators have changed because they prefer its better blast accuracy, increased safety benefits and reduced cost through faster loading and application – especially when used in watery holes. Emulsion explosive is specifically formulated for use in underground mining for long uphole applications where uniform density and sensitivity throughout the explosive column is critical. It’s particularly suitable where precondition blasting of the ground is required to allow for optimal cave propagation. And Emulsion explosive is not affected by static head pressures or dead pressing which makes it ideal for use in long up-hole applications.
long hole charging with Anfo. However they later modified it to operate as an emulsion loader as well as an Anfo loader. “It was originally purchased as a standard AC-3 fitted with twin 750 Anfo kettles” he said.
commenced operations in the 1880s. CBH’s Rasp mine employs approximately 175 people and will have a mine life in excess of 15 years.
MacLean Engineering is a privately owned Canadian company that specialises in the design, “The machine is versatile and can manufacture and marketing do development as well as long of high quality mechanized hole charging – it needed some equipment serving worldwide modification for emulsion which customers in Underground Mining, was easily completed by Maclean Commercial and Municipal Sectors. Engineering designing a fit-for- The company was founded in 1973 purpose base plate that enabled by Don MacLean, a professional the Orica 2t emulsion package mining engineer. Over the to be retrofitted. The original years MacLean Engineering’s twin kettles and base are stored commitment to continuous for future Anfo development improvement underground has and production works and the lead to a broadened product machine is currently fitted with offering that now includes an Orica Maxiloader 1100SH Ground Support, Ore Flow which holds 1300kgs of emulsion Facilitation [O.F.F.], Utility Vehicles (total GVM 2300kg) used for long and Drilling equipment. hole open stopes” he explained. Peter Jarvis heads up the “Rig availability is very good, Australasian operation which is maintenance is low and simple for based in Perth. There are also fault finding, and common parts MacLean branches in Africa and are in-line with normal Australian Latin America. The Australian market expectations. Spare parts operation comprises 12 qualified availability is very good - easily engineers, technical support, sales obtainable – with excellent follow and administration staff located up product support from Maclean throughout Australia. Engineering” he added.
“MacLean’s customer care feedback before and after sale is excellent, cost is also minimal and the machine is very fit-forthe-purpose, operates well and is ably suited to our underground conditions. Above all I can say it’s one of the best pieces of equipment I’ve purchased” he More information: This is the case with CBH Resources’ commented. RASP mine. CBH Resources Rasp mine (Zn- Peter Jarvis, MacLean Engineering, According to Suprabhat Sarkar, Pb-Ag) is located centrally within 0418 935 000 Acting Mine Manager, CBH the City of Broken Hill and the Resources Broken Hill Operations, leases occupy the central region David Chandler, Effective they initially purchased the AC-3 of the historic Broken Hill Line Mining Advertising and author, for development heading and of Lode ore body incorporating 0418 911 559 the original mine areas that AUGUST 2013 DIGGING & DRILLING MAGAZINE 25
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2013/14 PURPLE CIRCLE
Corporate ENTERTAINMENT & HOSPITALITY Welcome to season nine of the Hyundai A-League and for what will be the biggest and most exciting season yet in the history of the competition.
The corporate networking on offer will allow you to grow relationships with key clients, reinforce existing ones and importantly attract new ones in an entertaining environment.
CALL 9492 6000 COrporate@perthglory.com.au
The redevelopment of nib stadium heralds the start of a new era for football and Perth Glory. Complete with a new pitch and brand new modern facilities, the stadium will deliver a viewing, engagement and entertainment experience like never before. The atmosphere will definitely be electric!
westwing business club
FrOm only $9,990 for 13 games
EAST OPEN AIR BOXES For the ultimate “outdoor sports bar” like environment, the new spacious fully airconditioned BBQ terrace is sure to impress, serving full strength icy cold beer on tap. Closest to the action these are the best seats in the house.
WEST OPEN AIR BOXES The West Wing Business Club offers premium grandstand viewing in a comfortable private networking environment. Attend the intimate cocktail function before the game serving a range of scrumptious canapes with fork buffet style catering. Return at half time for premium drinks and food.
OPEN AIR BOXES & CHAIRMAN’S FUNCTION Wine and dine in the stylish private Chairman’s function consisting of a three course meal of modern French & Italian cuisine with Mediterranean and Eastern influences - prepared with local & Australian produce. Enjoy the presence of VIP’S, players, special guests, senior management, club sponsors and celebrities.
8 Seater $9,900 + gst 8 Seater $14,990 + gst (catering inclusive) DRESS CODE: SMART CASUAL
PRICES 6 Seater 8 Seater 9 Seater 10 Seater
$18,330 + gst $24,440 + gst $27,495 +gst $30,550 +gst
DRESS CODE: SMART BUISINESS CASUAL
6 Seater $20,670 + gst 8 Seater $27,560 + gst 9 Seater $31,005 +gst 10 Seater $34,450 +gst DRESS CODE: STRICT FORMAL
FEATURE ARTICLE »
Perth Glory Football Club Tour South Africa Last month’s pre-season tour of South Africa marked Perth Glory’s third visit to the Republic in as many years and was made possible by their sponsorship link-up with Kaboko Mining.
he Australian-based company is well known for its portfolio of manganese assets in Zambia, but the bulk of its workforce, operational staff and contracting teams emanate from South Africa.
“The club has really embraced that, as have the sponsors and the Live to Learn charity. “Kaboko’s reason for getting behind the trip revolves around associating the brand not only with sport, but also with the community activities which is an ongoing interest for them in both South Africa and in Zambia. “The club wanted to have a really solid training camp and good quality games and they’ve had that and the community aspect of the trip has also gone exceptionally well.
“Kaboko’s interest has built up in recent years to culminate in their support for Glory’s trips to the Republic,” explained David Tasker, the company’s Public Relations Director. “It’s a good way of doing something meaningful in South Africa and helping to build what is probably a relatively unknown brand there, while Since returning from their also reinforcing a brand that South African sojourn at the is already well-established in start of August, Glory have Australia.” continued their preparations for the new Hyundai A-League With the support of Kaboko season which is set to get and its associated Live to Learn underway on October 13th. Foundation, Glory’s players and staff hosted a range And with Head Coach Alistair of coaching clinics for local Edwards having assembled an children, along with amateur exciting, largely youthful squad adult players and coaches. And packed with homegrown West Tasker confirmed that the level Australian talent, there is a of community interaction was growing feeling that Glory is ramped up significantly during poised to reclaim its place at this year’s tour which saw the the summit of the Australian group split its time between domestic game. Nelspruit and Johannesburg. “The community interaction in Club skipper Burns certainly some respects is actually the believes that the men in purple key aspect of the trip,” he said, can make a major impact in “and there has been a lot of it the forthcoming campaign and feels that the pre-season on this trip.
tour will stand them in good stead as they attempt to bring some silverware back to nib Stadium. “There’s no doubt in my mind that we’re going to benefit massively from this trip and that it will set us up for a successful season.” Perth Glory FC has just released its new range of Corporate Hospitality offerings for the upcoming 2013/14 Hyundai A-League season. In addition to corporate networking, numerous sponsorship opportunities exist ranging from player sponsorships through to partnerships with the club in the areas of elite and youth player development, and indigenous and regional associations. To find out more call the Corporate Department on 08 94926000, email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit perthglory.com.au Perth Glory’s 2013 South Africa tour was proudly sponsored by Kaboko Mining, Live2Learn and Europcar
AUGUST JULY 2012 2013 DIGGING & DRILLING MAGAZINE 29
FEATURE ARTICLE »
MOR E MINES OPEN
rare earths LE S S R A R E
30 DIGGING & DRILLING MAGAZINE AUGUST 2013
Aug 1 (Reuters) - The United States, the European Union States has resumed mining and Japan and their main rare earths after more than supplier, China. a decade, ending its total reliance on imports, mostly In March 2012, the three from China, for raw minerals consumers complained to the Washington says are critical World Trade Organization for the economy and national (WTO) about China’s export restrictions on rare earths, security. tungsten and molybdenum, Responding to a quadrupling which they claimed were of prices between 2005 and intended to reserve scarce 2011 and growing anxiety elements for its manufacturers, about supplies from China, discriminating against users in Molycorp’s Project Phoenix has their own countries. sought to resurrect domestic But the price cycle for niche production. commodities such as rare In 2009, the company earths can be brutal, with started processing stockpiled sudden booms followed by concentrate. Last year it equally traumatic busts. resumed mining at Mountain Pass in California’s Mojave China has already eased its Desert, which it had suspended restrictions, and with new supplies also becoming in 2002. available from Mount Weld in Molycorp plans to raise output Australia, prices have slumped to 19,050 metric tonnes of rare since 2011, leaving producers earth oxide per year by the struggling. middle of this year, enough to satisfy more than 10 percent of “After we achieve our full production run rate, it may worldwide demand. make sense to dial back The resumption of domestic production until we can run production comes after a the facility at lower cost,” period when shortages stoked Molycorp’s chief executive tensions between the United admitted to investors in May.
ECONOMY AND SECURITY The National Research Council, the leading science and engineering adviser to the U.S. government, has identified rare earth elements as among the most “critical minerals”. In many applications rare earths have no practical substitutes and there are just a handful of sources of supply. (“Minerals, critical minerals and the U.S. economy” 2008) Before 1990, the United States was largely self-sufficient. But increasingly stringent environmental regulations and growing competition from low-cost producers in China with access to high-quality deposits led to a collapse in domestic production. By 2000, the United States had come to rely on imports for 100 percent of its requirements. Relying on just a few sources for minor metals is quite common. According to the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), a single mine in the United States produces 86 percent
AUGUST 2013 DIGGING & DRILLING MAGAZINE 31
FEATURE ARTICLE »
of the world’s beryllium. Two (atomic number 71). mines in Brazil ccount for 92 percent of world niobium Most deposits contain a mix of different elements. But the production. light rare earths (lanthanum, But it is highly unusual for cerium, praseodymium, the United States to depend neodymium, promethium, on imports for 100 percent of samarium and europium) its requirements and for 94 are far more common than percent of global production the heavy ones (gadolinium, to be concentrated in just a terbium, dysprosium, holmium, single country, in this case erbium, thulium, ytterbium China. and lutetium). The National Research Council Yttrium is not an element in worried that relying so heavily the lanthanide series but is on China for imports, while generally included among China’s own demand for rare the heavy rare earths because earth elements is growing it has similar chemical and rapidly, could mean that physical properties. insufficient supplies might be Rare earths have an increasingly available at any price. wide range of applications, and Those fears seemed to be borne consumption is rising rapidly. out when China enforced a For example, cerium is used to series of progressively tighter polish almost all mirrors and controls on exports between lenses. Europium provides the 2000 and 2012. red colour in displays used in all modern tablets and smart phones, and there are no known alternatives.
REEs also have many national security applications. Super strong neodymium-ironboron magnets are essential to military weapons systems, and samarium-cobalt magnets are vital to precision-guided missiles, smart bombs and aircraft, according to the Congressional Research Service. (“Rare earth elements: the global supply chain” June 2012)
NOT REALLY THAT RARE Despite the name, rare earths are not actually that rare. The average concentration in the Earth’s crust ranges from 150 to 220 parts per million, which exceeds the concentration of many other metals mined on an industrial scale such as copper (55 parts per million) and zinc (70 parts per million).
Cerium, the most abundant, is Fibre-optic cables use erbium more common in the Earth’s to boost the signal carried over crust than copper or lead, Rare earth elements (REEs) long distances. Other REEs such according to the USGS. All the REEs except promethium are include 15 elements in the as gadolinium are used for the more abundant than silver lanthanide series of the miniature, high-performance periodic table, ranging from magnets employed in portable or mercury. Even the rarest, lanthanum (with an atomic disc drives, popularly known as terbium and lutetium, are nearly 200 times more common number of 57) to lutetium memory sticks.
32 DIGGING & DRILLING MAGAZINE AUGUST 2013
elements: critical resources for Pass shows no fewer than 34 high technology” 2002). separation processes within the facility. (“Principal rare But there are several catches. earth elements deposits of the Unlike base and precious United States” 2010) metals, which tend to occur in concentrated deposits, REEs are not often found in high enough concentrations to make it worthwhile to mine them. In many instances, REEs are found in ores along with radioactive elements such as Because of the difficulties uranium, thorium and radium, associated with extraction, making them difficult and production of REEs has been expensive to handle safely. concentrated at just a handful Separating REEs from ores is of sites with world-class far more complex and costly deposits.
BUT CONCENTRATED SUPPLIES
than the process for base Production is dominated by metals such as zinc. Most base China’s giant Bayan Obo mine and precious metals occur in a in Inner Mongolia, which single mineral. The technology produced 55,000 tonnes in for separating them from the 2009, and a string of smaller ore is fairly standardised. mines in its tropical south, which totalled 45,000 tonnes. But REEs often occur in
multiple minerals, each of which requires a different separation process. Separation facilities therefore have to be custom-designed and built for each different REE deposit.
and lanthanum, which are relatively abundant. Bayan Obo yields a higher share of neodymium, which is far more valuable. But by far the most prized deposits are those in southern China, which produce a high proportion of scarce REEs including gadolinium and dysprosium. Mountain Pass and Mount Weld remain at a slight disadvantage because they produce mostly cerium, lanthanum and other light REEs, rather than heavy elements, though Molycorp claims that it will be a lowercost producer than China once its restart is complete.
New mines typically take seven to 10 years or more to acquire the necessary permits and reach first production. Nonetheless, in response to higher prices, investment is pouring into Mountain Pass and Australia’s exploring and developing new Mount Weld, which started deposits around the world. production in 2011 and is owned by Lynas Corporation, Provided that prices remain are now producing significant reasonably high, China’s tonnages. Brazil, India, domination of rare earth Malaysia and Russia also supplies seems set to ease by produce REEs but in much the early 2020s. smaller quantities.
Once separated, the rare earth oxide must be further separated again into as many as 14 different elements, Deposits vary enormously adding more cost. The 1995 in composition. Mountain flow diagram for Mountain Pass produces mostly cerium
AUGUST 2013 DIGGING & DRILLING MAGAZINE 33
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