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TV’s take on mining - industry responds
THIS EDITION • Gladiator joins bauxite battle • IPL shutdown ready to roll • UCG – coal’s new wave • Promising discoveries in NT
The Mining Advocate | May 2009
3 Rocket-powered boost The rhenium-rich Merlin project is expected to provide extra kick to Ivanhoe Australia’s plans to re-open the Selwyn mining ﬁeld outside Cloncurry. Chief executive oﬃcer Peter Reeve envisages an operation requiring a work camp of at least 600 to 800 people as the company starts to bring its massive copper-gold interests in the area online, hopefully within the next ﬁve years.
7 Shutdown lowdown Incitec Pivot shutdown manager Dan Miller outlines the works scheduled during an October outage at the company’s Mount Isa and Phosphate Hill operations. The company has installed a new 200-person camp at
Lil Howarth, Vicki Wilson and Mike Westerman were among the competitors from Ernest Henry Mining who hit the road for Julia Creek’s 2009 Dirt and Dust Triathlon. (More pictures - Page 27)
the remote Phosphate Hill site in preparation for the extra manpower required.
8 Paladin empire grows
11 Coal and Gas Update News in brief across the coal and gas industries.
Paladin Energy is continuing to strengthen its presence in north-west Queensland in keen anticipation of a
12 Industry Update
change in State policy to allow its uranium mining plans for the area to proceed. Company chief executive
A comprehensive wrap of exploration and operations in Queensland and the Northern Territory.
oﬃcer and managing director John Borshoﬀ says Paladin’s story of growth reﬂects a worldwide uranium revival.
16 Tropical Fabrications 18 Between Shifts 22 AGES 2009 23 Drilling and Exploration 24 Kagara 25 Safety 26 Bigger, Tougher, Better 27 Sports and Leisure 28 NRL
22 Unearthing NT’s potential The Annual Geoscience Exploration Seminar (AGES) in Alice Springs this year heard of a number of mineral discoveries highlighting the under-explored nature of huge tracts of the Territory. The event also acted as a forum for NT companies to meet with potential investors, including a strong Chinese contingent.
23 Deep impact While operations like Tom Browne Drilling Services are dealing with the harsh eﬀects of the mining downturn on their business, industry ﬁgures have highlighted bright spots in exploration spending.
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May 2009 |
The Mining Advocate
Pioneers of the underground Linc Energy is pressing ahead with an innovative project that taps into deep coal deposits to produce high-value liquid fuels. A Queensland company believes it is leading the charge into an exciting new energy future for Australia with its plans to produce diesel and jet fuel from “stranded” coal resources. Linc Energy chief operating oﬃcer Stephen Dumble said that company’s plan to combine underground coal gasiﬁcation (UCG) technology with a gas-to-liquids (GTL) plant to produce high-value fuels was a world ﬁrst. And he believes Linc deserves more recognition for the eﬀort it is putting into this groundbreaking project. “We are a young Queensland company who have invested nearly $60 million in a demonstration facility in Chinchilla to attempt to do something that nobody else in the world has done,” Mr Dumble said “We’re the only people at this stage with not only a clear vision about how to take that energy to market but with money invested
in a pilot facility that can demonstrate that concept. “...While there are other options for power generation, when it comes to people driving vehicles around and ﬂying airplanes we’re going to need to continue to ﬁnd ways - as we move beyond peak oil - to ﬁnd sources of cleaner, eﬀective liquid fuels. What we’re doing in Chinchilla, we believe, is part of that solution.” Mr Dumble said Linc had been gasifying coal underground at Chinchilla, in south-east Queensland, for a decade and commissioned its groundbreaking GTL plant there in October last year. It aims to establish a 20,000-barrel per day facility producing high-quality diesel and jet fuels from synthesis gas derived from the Chinchilla UCG ﬁelds. The company recently upgraded its coal resource estimate for the Chinchilla project to 775 million tonnes – a
Stephen Dumble Linc Energy chief operating officer
quantity it says would assure a project life of at least 60 years. Mr Dumble said underground gasiﬁcation allowed proponents to recover the energy
contained in coal deposits deep underground that could not be mined economically. While the UCG process is new to Australia, Mr Dumble said it had been used in the former Soviet Union for many years. And he said Linc Energy was able to tap directly into some of that established technical expertise through its 74 per cent interest in Yerostigaz – a company which has been producing UCG syngas for a power station in Uzbekistan since 1961. Although the Chinchilla project is the centrepiece of the company’s Australian developments, Linc plans to start its ﬁrst commercial UCG to GTL facility in South Australia. The timeline for starting commercial operations in Queensland has been aﬀected by the State Government’s Underground Coal Gasiﬁcation
policy, announced earlier this year in a bid to help resolve potential conﬂict regarding overlapping tenure between UCG proponents and the burgeoning coal seam gas (CSG) industry. Mr Dumble said that policy gave priority to CSG interests where tenure overlapped, except in the case of three UCG pilot projects – Linc’s project, Carbon Energy’s Bloodwood Creek project west of Dalby and Cougar Energy’s Kingaroy project. “Before any commercial licences are progressed it requires a decision by government on the commercial, environmental and technological viability of UCG,” Mr Dumble said. “That decision will be based on a recommendation from an industry committee, which will assess the performance of the three trial projects by the end of 2011.”
The Linc Energy GTL plant at Chinchilla.
THE AUSTRALIAN WORKERS' UNION: PUTTING MINERS SAFETY FIRST ARE YOU CONCERNED ABOUT YOUR RIGHTS AND CONDITIONS AT WORK? ARE YOU WORRIED ABOUT THE GLOBAL FINANCIAL CRISIS? ONLY THE AWU - QUEENSLAND STRONGEST UNION - IS COMMITTED TO PROTECTING MINERS' JOBS AND ENTITLEMENTS DURING THESE DIFFICULT FINANCIAL TIMES NOT AN AWU MEMBER YET? THEN JOIN THE AWU TODAY TO FIND OUT HOW TO PROTECT YOUR ENTITLEMENTS NORTH QUEENSLAND AWU MINING OFFICIALS: TOWNSVILLE-BOB BOSCACCI 0418 874883 MT ISA-HAG HARRISON 0428192985 FOR FURTHER QUERIES PLEASE CONTACT AWU BRANCH OFFICE TOLL FREE ON 1800671449 OR awu.org.au BY STANDING TOGETHER AS A TEAM AWU MEMBERS CAN ENSURE THAT THEIR INTERESTS ARE PROTECTED Authorised by Bill Ludwig, The Australian Workers' Union of Employees', Queensland.
Queensland a hub for UCG expertise Queensland was host to a number of serious players in underground coal gasiﬁcation (UCG) with a depth of expertise unmatched in the southern hemisphere, a resources industry spokesman said. Queensland Resources Council chief executive Michael Roche said the emerging industry may provide a new source of gas for domestic users such as power stations as CSG (coal seam gas) proponents concentrated their focus on LNG plants exporting out of Gladstone. “We have a number of serious players now with pilot projects at diﬀerent stages Linc Energy at Chinchilla, Cougar Energy and Carbon Energy,” he said. “We have some other companies coming through as well, such as Metrocoal, who are not yet with a technology ready to trial but do have a resource that they view as being suitable for UCG.” Mr Roche said Australia was blessed with some of the leading experts in the technology including Cougar Energy managing director Dr Len Walker and Carbon Energy technical director Dr Cliﬀ Mallett.
“You have a depth of expertise probably not matched anywhere else in the southern hemisphere and they are all convinced there is a large economic opportunity,” he said Mr Roche said the energy produced through UCG, by heating coal in seams deep underground, was being proposed for a wide range of uses. “They’re looking at power stations, gas to liquid, fertiliser plants and a whole range of spin-oﬀ industries that could emerge in south and south-central Queensland,” he said. Cougar Energy recently raised $4.2 million through a share placement and said the funds would predominantly be used to construct a UCG pilot facility near Kingaroy which is due to commence operations later this year. Carbon Energy has completed a 100-day trial at its Bloodwood Creek UCG project, demonstrating the company’s capability to convert in-situ coal into signiﬁcant quantities of UCG syngas. Meanwhile Metrocoal, a subsidiary of Metallica Minerals, has started drilling at its Wandoan UCG project in the Surat Basin.
The Mining Advocate | May 2009
CUT COSTS NOT TYRES.
Exploration work at Ivanhoe Australia’s tenements outside Cloncurry.
Grand vision gains impetus Ivanhoe Australia believes the highgrade Merlin project will aid ‘lift-off ’ for a broader mineral development. Ivanhoe Australia’s plans to re-open the entire Selwyn mining ﬁeld outside Cloncurry have received a rocket-powered boost from the newly discovered Merlin molybdenum and rhenium deposit. The company in April announced a 13 milliontonne resource at Merlin with an in-ground metal value around $6.4 billion. The deposit – which Ivanhoe describes as the highest grade of its kind in the world - is estimated to contain 110,000 tonnes of molybdenum, 180,000kg (6 million ounces) of rhenium, 30,000 tonnes of copper and 2 million ounces of silver. Rhenium is a particularly rare metal – selling for about $500 per ounce - and has industrial applications including use in rocket thrusters, aircraft engine turbine blades and nuclear power plant components. Ivanhoe Australia chief executive oﬃcer Peter Reeve said a scoping study was under way for the Merlin project, with production expected to start within two years. That project was likely to create 200-250 jobs in construction and involve an operating workforce of 70 to 100 people, in addition to the ﬂow-on eﬀect from goods and services required, he said. But Mr Reeve said Ivanhoe’s broader outlook held far greater ramiﬁcations for the Cloncurry and Mount Isa region. “It’s not just the Merlin
Peter Reeve Ivanhoe Australia chief executive officer
project – we’re reopening the whole ﬁeld,” Mr Reeve said. “The Merlin project has given us a great fast forward in the impetus to get the ﬁeld open.” The company’s tenements in the area, which cover the majority of the historic Selwyn mining district, have also yielded copper and gold ﬁnds which Mr Reeve has described as the biggest mineral discoveries in Australia in the past 20 years. Resource estimates for the Mt Elliott, Mt Dore and Starra Line projects total about 585 million tonnes, containing 3.1 million tonnes of copper and 5.1 million ounces of gold. “If we get the Mt Elliott project up and running we would need a camp up there to accommodate 600 to 800 people at a minimum,” Mr Reeve said.
“That’s a few years away yet, but if that all happens – and I think Merlin will help us get there quicker – it’s very signiﬁcant for the region.” He believed Ivanhoe would start to bring its copper-gold interests online within ﬁve years and said they were likely to still be mining there after 30 years. “We are talking about multiple operations and operations that are some of the largest in the Cloncurry district and I think we will have a key role to play (in securing the region’s economic future),” he said. Mr Reeve said the company had already invested about $70 million in exploration in the Cloncurry area over the past two years and had about 50 people based there. He expected Ivanhoe Australia to be in a position to start work on a decline for the Merlin resource within months. As the deposit was high-grade, shallow and showing good response to metallurgical test work, he said the project could be developed with a relatively low level of capital expenditure – possibly around $100 million to $150 million. The resource estimate released for Merlin in April was based on 500m of strike length and did not include high-grade mineralisation identiﬁed by further drilling for 400m north of the mineral resource envelope, opening the way for a future resource upgrade.
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May 2009 |
The Mining Advocate
Northern exposure welcomed A new 100-seat Alliance Airlines service out of Cairns helps cement the city’s credentials as a FIFO hub, a local business group says. BHP Billiton’s Groote Eylandt manganese operation has introduced weekly 100-seat ﬂights out of Cairns for work crews in what an industry spokeswoman has described as a major coup for the city. “We’re really over the moon that GEMCO (Groote Eylandt Mining Company) has announced regular charter ﬂights in and out of Cairns,” Cairns Chamber of Commerce Resources and Industry Taskforce chair Sharon Dawson said. “Putting on a FIFO (ﬂy inﬂy out) plane for the workforce really is a big commitment for Cairns.” Ms Dawson said the move was an extension of a commitment BHP Billiton had made to the city during a recent construction project at the Northern Territory island site, when it had chartered ﬂights out of Cairns and Darwin for contractors. Her own company, Dawsons Engineering, provided about 60 people for that work and she said the company also had about 40
people on the GEMCO site as part of an ongoing maintenance contract. The GEMCO expansion project, increasing production capacity by about 1 million tonnes per annum, was 93 per cent complete by the start of May, according to a BHP Billiton spokeswoman. The spokeswoman said the weekly service out of Cairns consolidated ﬂights the company had previously been running for FIFO workers from that centre, simplifying operations and improving eﬃciency. Alliance Airlines general manager for business development Ken Crawford said the carrier was running a Fokker 100 aircraft to Groote Eylandt and back each Tuesday. It also ran weekly ﬂights out of Cairns to the Ernest Henry site outside Cloncurry and provided two ﬂights out of Cairns each Thursday to BHP Billiton Cannington Mine, also in northwest Queensland. “We would be ﬂying about
Sharon Dawson prepares to board the new 100-seat Alliance Airlines service between Cairns and GEMCO’s manganese operation on the Northern Territory’s Groote Eylandt. Photo: Romy Siegmann
450 people in and out of Cairns each week for the three mining organisations that we service,” Mr Crawford said. “Cairns has really started to come of age as a ﬂy in–ﬂy out centre over about the last two years. “It has grown into a jet operation, whereas before (the demand level) was suitable for smaller propeller airplanes.” While he could not foresee a signiﬁcant rise in demand for such services in the short term, Mr Crawford said the airline
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hoped such business would rise as the recession faded and resource activities increased. The city suﬀered a blow earlier this year when Oz Minerals ceased direct FIFO ﬂights out of Cairns to Century Mine. An Oz Century spokeswoman said the company had established direct ﬂights between Cairns and its Lawn Hill site in 2007 on a temporary basis to provide for employees involved in the mine’s pre-strip program. “Early this year, we decreased the number of weekly direct
ﬂights from Cairns to our mine site from three to one in response to economic conditions and personnel requirements,” she said. “Our remaining direct ﬂight between Cairns and the mine site ceased in January when our service provider (MacAir) was placed in receivership and ceased operations. “Since January, we have been providing a bus service from Cairns to Townsville to cater for employees aﬀected by the ﬂight changes.”
The Mining Advocate | May 2009
Battle of Bertiehaugh blazes on Movie star Russell Crowe has added his voice to a campaign against Cape Aluminaâ€™s bauxite mining plans in far north Queensland. Itâ€™s a David and Goliath battle, according to Cape Alumina - or perhaps more like the geologist versus â€œGladiatorâ€?. Actor Russell Crowe used a recent appearance on David Lettermanâ€™s Late Show to raise concerns about the companyâ€™s planned bauxite mining activities on Bertiehaugh Station, north of Weipa. Cape Alumina chief executive Paul Messenger said the onair attack was part of a media campaign by Terri Irwin, wife of the late â€œCrocodile Hunterâ€? Steve, against the Pisolite Hills project and he anticipates more to come. â€œWe are dealing with
professional actors and entertainers and they have a powerful media network and formidable media skills,â€? Mr Messenger said. â€œWeâ€™re just geologists and engineers trying to do a job.â€? Terri and Bob Irwinâ€™s private company, Silverback Properties, bought the 135,000ha Bertiehaugh cattle property for about $6 million â€“ an amount reimbursed by the Howard Government â€“ after Steve Irwinâ€™s death in 2006. Their aim was to protect the area as a wildlife reserve in his honour. A spokeswoman for Mrs Irwin said she would like to make it clear that â€œwe are not against
Cape Alumina chief executive
mining as an industryâ€?. â€œAny kind of development on this fragile reserve, from building a resort to strip mining the bauxite, will damage the head waters of irreplaceable waterways and unique biodiversity which will not recover after mining operations are ďŹ nished,â€? she said. In the two weeks after Crowe appeared on Letterman, she said the â€œSave Steveâ€™s Placeâ€? campaign had received huge public support, boosting an online petition beyond 150,000 signatures. Crowe said in his interview: â€œHeâ€™s (Irwin) not here to stand up for himself and I just feel,
as his friend, that we canâ€™t do nothing.â€? While Mrs Irwin may have celebrity friends and many members of the public in her corner, Mr Messenger said Cape Alumina had put a lot of eďŹ€ort into its environmental impact study (EIS) and was conďŹ dent in the legal process involved in getting mining approval. Mr Messenger said some of Irwin and Croweâ€™s comments in the media about the planned mining activities had been inaccurate, including on the size and nature of the portion of Bertiehaugh Station potentially involved. â€œTheyâ€™ve also raised this issue
of bauxite acting as a water ďŹ lter or sponge essential for preserving springs in the area and the Wenlock River â€“ that is also inaccurate,â€? he said. â€œWe started our EIS on July 2007 and have done a lot of work. We have a lot of experts in their ďŹ elds â€“ botanists, ecologists, hydrologists - looking at every aspect. â€œBased on that hydrology work, we now know that the bauxite sits on top of a thick clay barrier. â€œUnderneath that clay barrier is a sand and gravel aquifer that holds the water that is the source of springs in the district that ďŹ‚ow into the Wenlock.â€? Mr Messenger said the Pisolite Hills project â€“ hoped to go into production in 2012/13 - would generate hundreds of well-paid jobs in an area of high unemployment and create long-lasting outcomes for Aboriginal people on Cape York, including education and training, employment, business and community development. Mrs Irwin has argued that the conservation and humanitarian beneďŹ ts of preserving the areaâ€™s ecological riches will far exceed the opportunity presented by the proposed mining operation. â€œThis wetland conservation property is a tribute to Steve. I will do whatever I can to protect it,â€? she said.
The Myth of Compulsory Medicals Exposed It has been brought to our attention that mine management are requesting coal mine workers to be sent off for additional Health Assessments, outside the guidelines of current legislation. The Queensland Coal Mining Safety and Health Regulation 2001 is quite clear in the requirements of Health Assessments (Section 46) being every ďŹ ve (5) years. The requirement for health assessments is for the beneďŹ t of the coal mine worker to monitor their health whilst employed as a coal mine worker and the health hazards that are present in our industry. The health assessment are not for mine management to use to better their ďŹ ling systems, but an insurance for coal mine workers health.
Jim Valeryn Queensland District Secretary of the CFMEU (Mining & Energy) Division.
Brisbane Â‡Â˜Â‡ÂŽÍ´ÇĄÍ¸ÍłÂ‘Â™Â‡Â?Â–Â”Â‡Â‡Â– Â’Â”Â‹Â?Â‰Â‹ÂŽÂŽÂŽÂ†ÍśÍ˛Í˛Í˛ TÍ˛ÍšÍľÍşÍľÍťÍşÍˇÍşÍş FÍ˛ÍšÍľÍşÍľÍťÍşÍśÍ˛Íś
Blackwater ÍśÍˇÂ”Â–ÂŠÂ—Â”Â–Â”Â‡Â‡Â– ÂŽÂƒÂ…Â?Â™ÂƒÂ–Â‡Â”ÂŽÂ†ÍśÍšÍłÍš TÍ˛ÍšÍśÍťÍşÍ´ÍˇÍłÍľÍł FÍ˛ÍšÍśÍťÍşÍ´Í¸ÍľÍ´Íˇ
Moranbah Â?Â”Â‹ÂŽÂŽÂ•Â˜Â‡Â?Â—Â‡ĆŹÂƒÂ…Â‘Â?Â– Â‘Â”ÂƒÂ?Â„ÂƒÂŠÂŽÂ†ÍśÍšÍśÍś TÍ˛ÍšÍśÍťÍśÍłÍšÍ˛Í˛Íś FÍ˛ÍšÍśÍťÍśÍłÍˇÍ´Í¸Íť
If you are requested to attend the companyâ€™s Nominated Medical Advisor, consult with your Industry Safety and Health Representative, Delegates or District OfďŹ cials ďŹ rst before making any decision. If you are requested to undergo a medical it is important to consult your union, the CFMEU Mining and Energy. The miners union have Industry speciďŹ c Health and Safety representatives and also offer numerous other beneďŹ ts for our members. When it comes to your well being at work, donâ€™t compromise either industrially or in safety, when in doubt seek information from your industry union.
There is a growing amount of increased medical surveillance being forced upon coal mine workers of late, and you as coal mine workers need to know your legislative rights in these matters.
Mackay Â—Â‹ÂŽÂ†Â‹Â?Â‰ÇĄÍśÍłÂ”Â‹Â•Â„ÂƒÂ?Â‡Â– ÂƒÂ…Â?ÂƒÂ›ÂŽÂ†ÍśÍšÍśÍ˛ TÍ˛ÍšÍśÍťÍˇÍšÍ´Í¸ÍśÍś FÍ˛ÍšÍśÍťÍˇÍłÍľÍ´ÍśÍł
Rockhampton Â—Â‹ÂŽÂ†Â‹Â?Â‰ÇĄÂˆĎ?Â‹Â…Â‡ÍşÇĄÍłÍłÍ˛ÂƒÂ?Â’Â„Â‡ÂŽÂŽÂ– Â‘Â…Â?ÂŠÂƒÂ?Â’Â–Â‘Â?ÂŽÂ†ÍśÍšÍ˛Í˛ TÍ˛ÍšÍśÍťÍ´Í´ÍšÍłÍ˛Í˛ FÍ˛ÍšÍśÍťÍ´Í´ÍšÍłÍ˛Íˇ
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The Mining Advocate | May 2009
IPL outage ready to roll A month-long staggered schedule of works is planned at Phosphate Hill and the Mount Isa acid plant, writes Belinda Humphries. A raft of work contracts for a multimillion-dollar shutdown at Incitec Pivot’s (IPL’s) north-west Queensland sites are expected to be issued in June/July. IPL shutdown manager Dan Miller said the company’s Mount Isa acid plant and Phosphate Hill fertiliser manufacturing facility would go oﬄine in October for a month-long staggered schedule of works. The installation of a new 200man camp at the Phosphate Hill site for use during the shutdown was almost complete, he said. Mr Miller estimated the shutdown would involve about 350 outside contractors at Mount Isa and 400 at Phosphate Hill, in addition to IPL manpower. The company conducts such
twin outages every three years and Mr Miller said they were usually scheduled to co-incide with major rebricking shutdowns at Xstrata’s copper smelter, which feeds sulphur dioxide gas to IPL’s Mount Isa plant to produce sulphuric acid. “But due to internal reasons they (Xstrata) have chosen to defer their rebricking shutdown until post 2009,” he said. Planned works at IPL’s Mount Isa plant include a catalyst change, vessel repairs, replacement of a cooling tower and general running repairs. The Phosphate Hill stoppage will allow work to meet statutory requirements such as vessel inspections. “We will also take the opportunity to overhaul primary
Cannington delays decision on shift to open-cut mining Tough economic times have set back BHP Billiton’s push towards a potential open-cut operation to expand and extend production at the Cannington Mine in north-west Queensland. Cannington asset leader Shane Hansen said the decision on whether to go to a full feasibility study on the open-cut project would be made in mid-2010. The operation launched a pre-feasibility study early last year for the Cannington Life Extension Project. “While the long-term economics of the project look good, we also have to take into account the harsh realities of the current economic environment,”
Mr Hansen said. “However, we can still say that the opencut option is viable and we will continue to increase our knowledge of the ore body and continue developing a mine design to go forward.” The move to open-cut mining would increase production capacity at Cannington Mine by about half a million tonnes to 3.6 million tonnes of ore per annum and extend its life about 10 years beyond 2020. Mr Hansen said the site was going ahead with a small expansion to improve concentrator recovery rates. It has a Vertimill grinding mill due to come online in June 2010.
Osborne shutdown Osborne Mine in north-west Queensland will conduct a rolling four-day shutdown on ﬁxed plant in late May as part of its regular maintenance schedule. The major factor determining the timing of the work was the need to reline the operation’s ball mill, which would see the milling and ﬂotation circuit down for about 72 hours, general manager Neal Valk said. Some structural upgrades would also be undertaken at this time, Mr Valk said. “Mill relines occur every 18 months, with Paciﬁc Relines having completed all work over the past 15 years,” he said. “Other business partners will
be repairing the ﬂoat cells while a service is completed on the ceramic disc ﬁlters. As with all shuts of this nature, scheduling, planning and safe work procedures make up a major component of the pre-work. “With the mills turning again, work will progress to the shaft area, with the major work including a swing jaw reline on the primary crusher underground, ﬂask gate replacement and a skip changeout. This is coupled with a routine rope crop.” Mr Valk said most of this work would undertaken by Osborne’s ﬁxed plant area, with the help of Townsville-based ﬁrm TotalFab.
Incitec Pivot’s Phosphate Hill operation in north-west Queensland.
isolation and pressure safety valves, conveyor systems and high-speed equipment such as compressors and turbines as well as making vessel repairs to tanks and rotating drums and overhauling instrument and electrical control systems and motors,” Mr Miller said. He said the ratio of contractors from the local region compared to those from further aﬁeld in IPL’s last major shutdown in the north-west had been about 50-50. “The last shut was in 2006
when the market was very buoyant and a lot of local companies either didn’t have the expertise or didn’t have the manpower to support us,” he said. Mr Miller said IPL did not put contracts for shutdown work out to open public tender. “With each of our tenders, we will go out to a varying number of contractors, depending on the size and complexity of each tender,” he said. “We tend to utilise companies we have used in the past or who
have a good reputation.” While it may be diﬃcult for ﬁrms not already on IPL’s books to break through, Mr Miller said the company was willing to try new contractors and he urged interested parties to supply capability statements for IPL’s consideration. Those interested in submitting a capability statement should send it to: Shutdown procurement manager Ian Smith, PO Box 140, Morningside, Brisbane, 4170 or e-mail ian. email@example.com.
Early works are under way for the $94 million Townsville Hospital expansion, with construction starting on the new North Block. Deputy Premier Paul Lucas said Hutchinson Builders would deliver the early works package, which included diversion of underground services, construction of new parking areas and temporary bus bays. Work on the North Block is expected to be completed by November next year and refurbishment of the existing hospital is due for completion by August 2011.
Global software service provider Mincom has signed a multimillion-dollar outsourcing contract with Xstrata Queensland. Following a competitive tender process, Mincom announced it had won the contract to provide managed services to Xstrata’s operational sites in North Queensland and the Northern Territory from May. The contract covers IT applications, including Mincom Ellipse, and IT operations. It also gives Xstrata the option to engage Mincom to perform additional IT project services.
Waterworks Construction has started on Townsville’s Douglas Water Treatment Plant upgrade, the ﬁrst stage of a $330 million capital works program aimed at improving and expanding the city’s water and wastewater network. The $18 million upgrade of the Douglas plant forms part of the $80 million Water Supply Upgrade Project to be carried out by United Utilities Australia. The next major step will be the construction of the Northern Water Treatment Plant near Rollingstone.
Wharf upgrade An extension of Berth 10 at the Port of Townsville is among the works to be funded in the region under the 2009 Defence White Paper package. The Federal Government said it would invest more than $30 million in Townsville over the next four years to improve logistics infrastructure to better support Defence Force operations.
Pajingo seeks new wheels North Queensland Metals (NQM) hopes to take advantage of the market downturn to renew underground equipment at Pajingo at reduced rates. NQM chief executive oﬃcer John McKinstry said the Charters Towers district gold mine had recently taken delivery of two jumbo underground development drills and was considering options for replacing its loader ﬂeet and 45-tonne articulated dump trucks within the next two to three years.
“When we acquired Pajingo (from Newmont in December 2007), we acquired all the underground equipment as well, so we have been able to get in straight away,” he said. “But the underground equipment has already clocked up a lot of operating hours. “It is good gear and has been well maintained. We’ll get more life out of it, but the production drills were holding us back from achieving some of our targets and we’ve got to be thinking seriously
about the replacement strategy for our loader ﬂeet and our truck ﬂeet over the coming year.” Mr McKinstry said 12 months ago equipment was expensive to replace and there was a long lead time due to high demand. “But now circumstances have changed. Instead of overhauling the older equipment, we’d consider replacing it with newer stuﬀ,” he said. Mr McKinstry said NQM was particularly interested in leasing arrangements.
May 2009 |
The Mining Advocate
Paladin rides high A major uranium player continues to build its tenement portfolio in north-west Queensland, with hopes of starting mining in 2012-13. Paladin Energy is riding high on the crest of a nuclear renaissance, according to chief executive oﬃcer and managing director John Borshoﬀ. The company is continuing to strengthen its cornerstone uranium development in the Mount Isa district, recently completing a takeover of smaller rival Fusion Resources. And it is conﬁdent the commodity has a strong future in Queensland, with Mr Borshoﬀ predicting the state would adopt a pro-nuclear/pro-uranium policy by the end of next year. “We’re hopeful of starting a feasibility study (for the Mount Isa project) in 2010,” he said. “It’s an exciting project and the region needs it, it needs diversity of minerals for mining. “At the moment zinc and copper are economically diﬃcult projects, people are being made redundant, but uranium is very strong. “...We’re talking about $100 million into the local economy every year with operating costs, electricity, trucks delivering reagent, labour and services – an enormous positive contribution.” Paladin was currently spending $8 million to $10 million a year on exploration in the region, Mr Borshoﬀ said. The Fusion Resources takeover adds the Valhalla North, Andersons South and Mary Kathleen South deposits to an already bulging Paladin portfolio of north-west Queensland uranium tenements. The tenements in which it holds both direct and indirect interest cover 2300sq km, making Paladin the dominant
player in the region’s uranium development. The company has 91 per cent attributable ownership of the Valhalla and Skal deposits – which together hold an inferred resource of about 20 million tonnes of ore containing more than 28 million pounds of uranium. It holds an 81.9 per cent interest in Summit Resources and a 19.3 per cent stake in uranium explorer Deep Yellow Mr Borshoﬀ said Paladin’s planned operation in north-west Queensland would be centred on the main deposits at Valhalla and Skal, with satellite mines in surrounding tenements being brought on line in a “coherent” manner to give a total project life of 20 to 30 years. To be successful, such projects required long-term operation and geographic diversity to spread the risk, he said. Mr Borshoﬀ said the proposed operation would employ 250 to 300 people directly. Product would be trucked into the Northern Territory and railed to Darwin. Paladin Energy also has uranium projects in Western Australia and the Northern Territory - including the Bigryli and Angela/Pamela deposits, and owns operating uranium mines in Namibia and Malawi (Africa). The African mines were the ﬁrst greenﬁeld conventional mining uranium projects to be built globally in the last two decades, Mr Borshoﬀ said. He said there was potential to develop other Australian sites before the Mount Isa project as a fallback option if the
Exploration work at a Paladin Energy site outside Mount Isa.
Queensland Government did not approve uranium mining within the timeframe Paladin envisaged. “We’re hoping for a 2012-13 start in Mount Isa and these things will be staged in Western Australia and the Northern Territory to come online after that – but it will depend on the Queensland policy position,” Mr Borshoﬀ said. He said the story of Paladin Energy, which was ﬂoated publicly in 1994, was the story of
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opportunities presented during the current ﬁnancial crisis, as other companies were forced to drop their plans due to an inability to raise funds. “I see great opportunity for Paladin in having achieved a cash ﬂow position we can capitalise on through our existing pipeline of projects and the opportunity to acquire more projects and expand and diversify the geography even more,” Mr Borshoﬀ said.
Far Fanning may rise again North Queensland Metals (NQM) believes the Dotswood gold project, formerly known as Far Fanning, may hold the potential for a new 100,000-ounce-per-year operation. The company, which runs the Pajingo gold mine south of Charters Towers, has entered a $220,000 six-month option agreement to purchase the Dotswood project from a local private company for $1.9 million in cash plus shares and a 1 per cent royalty deal. NQM hopes to start
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the worldwide uranium revival. Paladin had been acquiring projects at a time when no-one wanted uranium. Mr Borhsoﬀ said it had gone from a $2 million company to a $2 billion company through its belief in the commodity’s future - a belief that was completely vindicated as nuclear power had been accepted as a vital part of the world’ strategic fuel mix. And Paladin was wellplaced to take advantage of
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mining as soon as late next year if planned drilling, scoping and feasibility studies prove the project’s viability. “We see the potential for a 500,000 ounces-plus deposit and that’s what we’re out to prove,” NQM chief executive oﬃcer John McKinstry said. The Dotswood site, 60km south-west of Townsville, has a history of gold mining stretching back to the 1890s. It was most recently mined in 2000-2004 by SMC Gold, which later became Tamaya Resources. Mr McKinstry said NQM
believed much of the previous work on site had been “oﬀ the mark”. The drill program now under way will seek extensions at depth and to the west of existing pits as well as evaluating pit walls to better quantify potential mineralisation. Mr McKinstry said also the company would rerun existing modelling work conducted when gold was selling at $500 an ounce to see how the ﬁgures stacked at up current prices (above $1200 an ounce at time of printing).
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The Mining Advocate | May 2009
Mining game hits small screen The producers of a new ABC series drew on the resources industry for “iconically Australian” stories, but how does TV reflect reality? Scenes of mining drama and corporate intrigue have been beamed into the nation’s lounge rooms recently as the ABC screens its six-part series Dirt Game. The show was sparked by the desire of producers David Taft and Michael Harvey (who wrote the series) to ﬁnd a project that oﬀered something diﬀerent from “the normal run of police and hospital and lawyer” dramas, according to Mr Taft. “(The mining industry) struck us as being a terriﬁc vehicle for stories and stories that are iconically Australian,” he said. The storyline goes from the boardroom through to mine and plant sites, taking in issues including business ethics, the environment, safety and native title. But what sort of impression is the show giving people of the mining industry and how do insiders view its approach? There’s certainly no groundswell of indignation, according to Queensland
Resources Council chief executive Michael Roche, who said he had been intrigued to see the show’s treatment of the mining industry. “I’m certainly pleased to see that they have characterised the industry as being one that employs both males and females in responsible roles - because that is increasingly the reality of the mining industry,” he said. “But the downside for me is their portrayal of industry safety and accidents. I thought that was unfair treatment of the sector. “It seems to be necessary to have a heavy vehicle or light vehicle accident in every episode unfortunately.” Mr Roche believed industry reaction was generally one of bemusement and occasional amusement. It was good to see the sector’s role in society getting recognition, although he hoped viewers would accept that “there’s a little bit of licence taken”. North Queensland Metals
Dirt Game television series stars Shane Connor (Max), Gerald Lepkowski (Brian) and Joel Edgerton (Shane).
chief executive oﬃcer John McKinstry – a mining engineer with decades of industry experience – said it would be impossible to convey all the
complexities of mining life in such a drama. “I don’t think they do a bad job,” he said. “They’re trying to make a story
of it and I think most people who work in the industry will probably have a chuckle from time to time. “In some ways there’s an element of portraying the mining industry on the whole as not a particularly ethical mob, which I guess could upset a few in the mining community, but I don’t take it too seriously.” Mr Taft said while the creators had tried to present a realistic and fair representation of mining life, their priority had been to tell a good story through interesting characters. “I can understand that some people will say ‘it doesn’t happen like that’,” he said. “It’s not a documentary. “I hope there is more than a grain of truth in what we’ve done - we’ve worked closely with advisers in the industry and had a lot of help on location from the people whose sites we used - but we make terriﬁc shortcuts which are necessary in a drama.” The series was shot in Victoria, New South Wales and Western Australia – including on actual mine sites.
Case Study ABC Mining are building a new mine in a remote area. They require 3 x 350kva generators to provide power to the project. ABC Mining is looking at the cost of hire vs purchase for these units over the course of their 12 month project. They release a tender to 4 suppliers, two rental companies and four sales companies. The resultant offers come in like this.
SALES COMPANY A
TOTAL PURCHASE PRICE
SALES COMPANY B
TOTAL PURCHASE PRICE
HIRE COMPANY C
PER MONTH RENTAL
HIRE COMPANY D
PER MONTH RENTAL
Sales company A and Hire Company C are eliminated from the tender process on price and the project manager decides hire is the way to go. Hire Company D is awarded the contract. The tender process has been a success.
REAL COST SAVINGS IN TOUGH TIMES OVER 90%
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Please contact our Mining Services Manager Craig Watson on 1300 302 991 for a free assessment of the fuel and carbon emission savings WASP can offer your project or ongoing installation.
generators, compressors and welders
Taking a new approach to the Project ABC Mining then invites WASP to submit a proposal for the project. We begin by looking at the actual needs of the project. Not being tied to any one engine or alternator manufacturer, WASP Diesel starts the proposal from the perspective of the customer. Being a Prime Power fixed application, it is decided that fuel economy is the key to delivering true value to the project. WASP does a review of available engine manufacturer’s in this size range and finds that the WP625* engine is currently the most fuel efficient in this class. It delivers 5 litres per hour superior fuel economy than it’s nearest rival and in fact provides a 7.2 litre per hour saving over the best engine offered by companies A,B,C or D in the original tender process. Using 3 x WP625 engines will mean the project is 21.6 litres per hour more efficient than any of the other offers. As a prime power application, this means a 518.4 litre per day saving. That translates to 3628.8 litres per week, 15,724.8 litres per month and a whopping 188,697.6 litres of diesel per year in savings to the project. Even a fuel saving of 1 litre per hour, per machine on this project, means an overall saving of 26,208 litres of fuel over the course of the project.
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As you can see, the WASP approach is all about perspective. This kind of analysis offers a way to measure genuine value, regardless of the size or term of a project. * The WPD625 is based on an actual engine and this case study is based on an actual WASP Diesel Project, the names of our competitors and engine manufacturer’s have been changed to protect the innocent.
May 2009 |
The Mining Advocate
Chemistry is right at IPL IPL Phosphate Hill operations manager Sam Constas
From testing horse urine to running a Chicago manufacturing plant with a $250 million turnover, Sam Constas’s career has taken some colourful turns since he gained his chemistry degree in 1986.
The latest is his appointment as operations manager at Incitec Pivot’s (IPL’s) Phosphate Hill mine and fertiliser manufacturing site, 160km south of Mount Isa. It is a ﬂy in-ﬂy out role that sees Mr Constas working on site Monday to Thursday before returning to Townsville to wife Fiona and baby Ella. Mr Constas spoke to The
Mining Advocate recently. Tell us a bit about your background SC: I grew up in Melbourne in Brunswick and went to uni at RMIT, where I managed to ﬁnd myself with a chemistry degree. I went to work for Analytical Reference Laboratories, where I had the pleasure of analysing
urine samples for drugs. We had anything from racehorses through to hospitals sending us the stomach contents of people who had overdosed. We even did blood lead tests for a young dog that had swallowed a sinker. It was an interesting start in chemistry. I joined Nufarm in 1987, working in a laboratory at Laverton – it was more analytical chemistry, quality assurance for the herbicides and pesticides they produced. After that I became lab manager, technical services manager. I was looking for more challenges and Nufarm was looking to expand in the United States, so I made the move to St Josephs, Missouri, to manage a little chemical plant in 1999. (This was followed by a stint as plant manager in Chicago, implementing a business strategy that increased turnover from $40 million to $250 million). After ﬁve years in the US I got a role in Brisbane, consolidating operations after Nufarm picked up Crop Care
How did the move to Incitec Pivot come about? SC: I got to a midlife crisis point. Nufarm said ‘we need you to come to Melbourne for an Australia-wide role managing packaging’. I said ‘I would prefer managing plant and
added challenge of being remote – that’s something I enjoy. The other thing that appealed to me is that on my ﬁrst visit out here I met some really great people who were very positive about what they do. It really ﬁts in with my thinking.
“We even did blood lead tests for a young dog that had swallowed a sinker.” people’. All my experience was in rapidly growing chemical plants. It was a case, after working for a company for 20 years, of ﬁnding yourself and understanding what you enjoy. The key for me with Incitec Pivot is the company values things like treating the business as your own, valuing people, respect, recognition and reward, caring for a community and the environment, improving on the status quo and delivering on our promises. Phosphate Hill had the
What are your interests outside work? SC: I have a few bad habits – motorcycles and cars are about my worst. As my wife says – ‘at least I know where he is, in the garage’. I bought a little kit car in 1995, an AC Cobra. My other midlife crisis is a motorbike (a Yamaha V-Max). These things keep me busy on the weekend. A few guys here (at Phosphate Hill) go motorcycle riding together – that’s one of the best things about the job, the camaraderie.
Driver’s seat suits Sharon graders, water trucks and dump trucks and am also a crew truck trainer. Regardless of what type of equipment I am allocated, as part of my role I am responsible for checking the safety and integrity of the equipment prior to operating it and conducting any refuelling or basic maintenance it may require - for example, oil top-ups.
Clermont Mine operator Sharon Glover
Heavy equipment operator Sharon Glover is one of about 60 women who work at Rio Tinto Coal’s Clermont Mine, where construction activities are under way in preparation for an expected start to mining next year.
The company, winner of the 2009 Resources Award for Women - Best Company Initiative category, targeted women in its recruitment campaign for the new operation. They now account for more than 27 per cent of the Clermont Mine workforce, compared to an industry average of 11.3 percent. Ms Glover, who is
based on the Sunshine Coast, spoke with The Mining Advocate recently about her job at the “female friendly” central Queensland operation (where her partner Bradley Nagel is also employed).
Q: What do you enjoy about this job and what are its challenges or diﬃculties? SG: What I enjoy most about my job is being part of a team environment, it brings a lot of satisfaction. I also enjoy the challenge of learning new things and striving to consistently do them well. It has been a bit of a challenge adapting to nightshift, but Clermont Mine is very supportive and provides us with guidelines for us to follow should nightshift become an issue.
Q: What does your role at Clermont Mine involve? SG: I work as a heavy equipment operator of
Q: How long have you been at the Clermont Mine and what were you doing previously?
SG: I have been working at Clermont Mine for just under a year. I was previously working in Western Australia in the mining sector. Prior to that, I was working in the retail industry (managing a clothing store).
other women around at work. Women make up about 30 to 40 per cent of the crew that I work in at Clermont Mine. Many of them operate dump trucks but several others have branched out to dozers, loaders and blast crew.
“What I enjoy most about my job is being part of a team environment...” Q: What prompted you to get into a mining role? SG: I was living in a small town (Pannawonica, WA) where most people’s work was connected in some way to the nearby mine. I had always enjoyed driving, so with the encouragement of friends I decided to give truck driving a go. It has ended up being a very good choice on my part because I now love my job.
Q: What would your advice be to other women regarding a potential career in the resources industry? SG: If other women were looking at a career in the operating area of the resources industry, I would suggest that they be prepared to work long hours and nightshifts. I think it is also important to have a good attitude and be willing to learn.
Q: What is it like to have a greater female presence around you in the mining environment? SG: It’s great having
• More details on Queensland’s 2009 Resources Award for Women winners – Page 11.
INDUSTRY UPDATE - COAL AND GAS
The Mining Advocate | May 2009
June completion date The feasibility study for a proposed seven-million-tonnes-per-annum coal mine at Eagle Downs in the Bowen Basin remains on schedule for completion by the end of June, project proponents say. Aquila Resources, which has a joint venture interest in the project with Vale, recently announced a signiﬁcant increase in total coal resources in the area to 878 million tonnes. The Eagle Downs hard coking coal project is located 25km south-east of Moranbah.
“Virtual” designers deliver Sinclair Knight Merz (SKM) has completed the design of the coal processing plant for the new Clermont Mine, managed by Rio Tinto Coal Australia. SKM said the design process for the project - the ﬁrst new coal plant in Australia to use paste thickening technology – had involved a “virtual team”, with technology used to link members from SKM oﬃces in Australia and Asia. SKM said it was anticipated that the plant would be built by the end of 2009, with commissioning in early 2010.
Dingo joint venture deal Cockatoo Coal has entered a joint venture agreement with Aston Resources to explore and assess the feasibility of developing the Dingo project, in the Bowen Basin. Wholly owned by Cockatoo subsidiary Independent Coal, the project comprises three tenements covering 35,420ha.
Minyango shows promise Caledon Resources says a detailed study by SMG Consultants has conﬁrmed the Minyango project in the Blackwater region is “suﬃciently attractive to move to the next stage of evaluation”. Caledon said a number of production scenarios had been considered, with the most eﬃcient incorporating two mini walls (a short-form version of a longwall).
Red Hill resource upgrade Aquila Resources has announced an upgrade in resources at its Red Hill coal project, 45km north of Moranbah, to 83.4 million tonnes. The company said the latest results indicated the potential for an operation of 3 to 4 million tonnes per annum, generating coking and thermal coal products.
Sienna projects progress Norton Gold Fields has announced an inferred resource of 57 million tonnes of coal at its Sienna North and Sienna South projects near Middlemount. The Sienna area was a signiﬁcant coal resource with potential to be developed into a medium-sized opencut low-volatile PCI coal operation, the company said. Norton is preparing a detailed feasibility study for the project.
Billion-tonne boost at Blackall Exploration company East Energy Resources has conﬁrmed a maiden JORC inferred resource of 1.2 billion
tonnes of raw thermal coal at its Blackall coal project.This is double its previously announced resource target of 500-550 million tonnes.
The company said further inﬁll drilling was likely to upgrade the coal resources from inferred to indicated category.
Expansion on track New Hope hopes to boost production at its New Acland operation to 10 million tonnes per annum, with a third mining lease at the site expected to be granted next year. Meanwhile the company is pushing ahead with its $36 million expansion at the mine, outside Oakey in south-east Queensland. The opening of a second pit has taken production to 4.2 million tonnes per annum and further work, including a washplant upgrade, is expected to see production lift to 4.8 million tonnes by December.
RAW honours Central Queensland dominated this year’s Resources Award for Women (RAW ) presentations. Mine manager of Cement Australia’s East End Mine, outside Gladstone, Sandra Collins, was named overall winner, while Rio Tinto Clermont Mine won the category for best company initiative. The head trainer/assessor for heavy equipment at Macarthur Coal’s Coppabella Mine, Michelle Osborne, was the operator winner and electrical maintenance planner for BMA’s Crinum Mine, Julie Griﬃn, was trade winner. Moranbah State High School student Elizabeth Bridgeman won the junior category. The awards are presented annually by the Queensland Resources Council.
Macmahon redundancies Macmahon Holdings has announced redundancies for 360 employees as a result of two BHP Billiton Mitsubishi Alliance (BMA) contracts coming to an end. BMA had advised the company that its work at Goonyella coal mine would not be extended past April due to changes to the mine plan, Macmahon said in a revised proﬁt guidance statement. It had also decided to terminate the Saraji coal contract – which had been due to run until February 2010 – at the end of May. Another contractor aﬀected by BMA contract cuts - HMP Constructions – has gone into voluntary administration. Administrator Nicholas Harwood of Deloitte said there were about 500 employees with the business. ”The voluntary administrators will be closely investigating ways to preserve the jobs of employees, however, staﬀ at the Goonyella mine site have been informed that they will be aﬀected due to the termination of the contract,” he said.
Industrea’s Chinese windfall Queensland-based mining products and services ﬁrm Industrea has signed a $20 million contract to supply longwall roof support and shearer carriers to China’s Shenhua Group company, Shendong,
Visitors get a close look at the new longwall roof supports at Moranbah North Mine.
Anglo Coal Australia employees and families had the chance to inspect new longwall roof supports at Moranbah North Mine during two recent open days. An installation of the Joy roof supports has been established above ground to allow compatibility testing to be carried out before the equipment is transported underground by purpose-built machinery. “Moranbah North uses the longwall mining method to extract hard coking coal from the Goonyella Middle Seam,” general manager David Sykes said. “The mine will utilise 150 2m-wide hydraulically-powered roof supports to provide a safe and productive work environment while mining at depths of up to 400m.”
for one of the world’s largest longwalls. Industrea managing director and chief executive oﬃcer Robin Levison said the company would provide six 80-tonne chock carriers and a 130-tonne shearer carrier for the Shendong Mine. The company also recently announced a $2 million contract to supply equipment to Shanxi Asian American Daning Energy.
New WestSide campaign WestSide Corporation has started its 2009 coal seam gas (CSG) drilling campaign, with the spudding of the Tilbrook 8A exploratory well in the Bowen Basin. It is the ﬁrst hole to be drilled as part of an $8 million work program targeting reserve certiﬁcation at Tilbrook and new CSG prospects in an area south of Collinsville.
Mining leases granted Macarthur Coal says the Queensland Government has granted two mining leases for the Olive Downs North project in the Bowen Basin. “Current capital costs for development of this project are modest at approximately $20 million, as it will be operated as a satellite pit to the Moorvale operations and coal will be processed at the Moorvale CHPP (Coal Handling and Preparation Plant),” the company said in its quarterly report. “The area will extend the life of the existing open-cut Moorvale Mine and provide product and pit diversiﬁcation. There is also the potential to expand the project further to the north and south of the current lease area in the future.”
Tenements change hands Beach Petroleum has sold its 40 per cent stake in coal seam assets at the Tipton West Field and associated tenements in the Surat Basin, 20km south of Dalby, to its joint venture partner Arrow
Energy. The company said it was set to receive up to $400 million from the sale under a tiered payment structure, with a mix of cash, shares and contingent payments.
Gladstone LNG milestone Santos has submitted the draft environmental impact statement (EIS) for its multi-billion dollar Gladstone LNG (GLNG) project. GLNG president Rick Wilkinson said the EIS was the largest and most comprehensive document of its kind submitted for assessment in Queensland, with almost 13,500 pages of general and technical information.
Lydia drill results Icon Energy has reported good results from drilling at its Lydia coal seam gas pilot project, north of Goondiwindi in the Surat Basin. The company said its Lydia Pilot LP4 well had passed 800m and showed excellent gas saturations over the Walloon Coal Measures.
CSG growing fast Coal seam gas (CSG) production has swelled from 1.4 to 142.9 billion cubic feet per annum in Australia in the past 10 years, ﬁgures from the Australian Petroleum Production and Exploration Association show. That commodity now represents more than 13 per cent of domestic gas supply in Australia. APPEA ﬁgures showed CSG production had increased about 40 per cent from 2007 to 2008 alone, while production of crude oil and liquid petroleum gas fell by 2 per cent and 1.5 per cent respectively in that time. Liqueﬁed natural gas was also a growth area, with 15.7 million tonnes produced in 2008 – up 3.7 per cent on the previous year and up 109.3 per cent compared to 1998 ﬁgures.
Rio Tinto slashes jobs
May 2009 |
Rio Tinto Alcan has slowed construction of the Yarwun alumina reﬁnery expansion in Gladstone and reduced bauxite production at Weipa mine to 15 million tonnes per annum due to the sharp fall in alumina and aluminium demand and prices.
Axiom Mining says its subsidiary Ozmin Resources has appointed a voluntary administrator.
The decisions have resulted in the loss of about 100 permanent roles at Weipa, 570 contractor roles in Gladstone, 15 permanent roles from the Yarwun reﬁnery and 20 permanent roles at Boyne Smelters.
Ozmin Resources holds tenements at the OK mining camp, north-north-west of Chillagoe.
Rio Tinto said a recent change to the maintenance arrangement at the Yarwun reﬁnery had also resulted in a reduction of about 70 operational maintenance contract roles. The change to the construction schedule at the Yarwun reﬁnery will result in a revised completion date in the second half of 2012.
Conquest confident Conquest Mining expects to start production at its Silver Hill gold/silver/ copper deposit in North Queensland within two years. The company has commissioned a deﬁnitive feasibility study following recent completion of pre-feasibility work.
High-grade intersection Citigold says its expansion plans at Warrior Mine in North Queensland have received a boost with the best drill intersection in the ore body to date – a result of 1.5m true width at 161g of gold per tonne (5 ounces per tonne). The result stemmed from mine plan drilling in a high-grade zone oﬀ the Charters Towers mine’s western decline in the next planned production area for the operation. Citigold said drilling was continuing on two other ore bodies adjacent to Warrior, the Sons of Freedom and Imperial ore bodies.
The appointment was made to protect the assets of Axiom while it implemented additional funding, the company said.
Aragon keen on Watershed Aragon Resources has taken a 15 per cent stake in Vital Metals with the aim of advancing its tungsten strategy within Australia by becoming Vital’s largest shareholder. In a company statement, Aragon said it believed Vital’s Watershed tungsten project in the Mount Carbine region of far north Queensland held excellent potential to progress into a long-term and signiﬁcant producer of scheelite (tungsten-trioxide) concentrate.
Boost for Consolidated Tin Consolidated Tin Mines has announced a major resource upgrade at its Mount Garnet tin project, taking the total resource to 5.3 million tonnes at 0.6 per cent tin. The company says the upgrade is a result of extensive drill programs in 2008, which entailed a total of more than 4000m of reverse circulation drilling at its three key Mount Garnet project areas - Gillian, Deadmans Gully and Windermere. “We now have great conﬁdence that further drilling will signiﬁcantly increase the project area’s resource size and improve the resource category,” Consolidated Tin Mines managing director Ralph De Lacey said. The company hopes to establish an 8 to 10-million-tonne JORC resource, at average grade 0.5 per cent, to support a mill with a throughput of one million tonnes per year.
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D-Tree joint venture Mt Isa Metals has signed a joint venture agreement with Legend International Holdings over the D-Tree phosphate deposit in the Mount Isa region. A Mining Lease Application was recently submitted to the Queensland Department of Mines and Energy over the D-Tree North area, Mt Isa Metals said.
CopperCo update Mining and hauling activities have been suspended indeﬁnitely at the CopperCo site, 120km north of Mount Isa. Receivers and managers for CopperCo, Gary Doran and David Lombe from Deloitte, said the decision followed signiﬁcant ﬂooding early this year and preparation of an up-to-date mine optimisation plan for the Lady Annie operation. It has meant job losses for the 68 mining employees stood down in February, together with an additional 28 employees. Deloitte said the employment of 72 workers involved in processing and administration remained unaﬀected, with stockpiles of mined ore allowing ongoing production of copper concentrate. “The receivers and managers have advertised the Lady Annie asset for sale and have received expressions of interest from a number of parties,” Mr Doran said.
Figures firm for Westmoreland Laramide Resources has announced an updated resources estimate for its Westmoreland uranium tenement in north-west Queensland. This includes an indicated mineral resource totalling 36.0 million pounds
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of uranium (U3O8) contained in 18.7 million tonnes at an average grade of 0.089 per cent and an additional inferred mineral resource totalling 15.9 million pounds of uranium contained in 9.0 million tonnes at an average grade of 0.083 per cent. “Westmoreland continues to rank as a large undeveloped uranium deposit, with favourable grades compared to other large open-cut deposits such as BHP Billiton’s Olympic Dam in Australia (0.05 per cent U3O8) and Paladin’s Langer Heinrich deposit (0.07 per cent U3O8) located in Namibia,” Laramide vicepresident of exploration Peter Mullens said.
North Queensland symposium The Australian Institute of Geoscientists is hosting its Northern Queensland Exploration and Mining event (NQEM) for 2009 in Townsville, June 3-8. Visit http://aig.org.au/ events/18 for more information.
Training excellence recognised Nominations for the 2009 Mining Industry Skills Centre Training Awards close on June 5. Organisers are urging industry members to get their entries in and are oﬀering an expanded range of categories for 2009. The awards will be presented at the 2009 Mining Industry Skills Centre Conference, which is being held in Brisbane on September 24-25, with the theme “Explore. Exchange. Equip. Unearthing success from a skilled workforce”. To download a nomination form, or for more information, visit www. miskillscentreconference.com.au/ awardnominations.
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The Mining Advocate | May 2009
Georgetown project sale Plentex is selling oﬀ its Georgetown gold and base metals mining and exploration project to Deutsche Rohstoﬀ Australia. Executive chairman Peter C Streader said the company was forced into the decision after “unsuccessful attempts to raise development capital or to negotiate acceptable joint venture arrangements”. The agreement will see Deutsche Rohstoﬀ Australia purchase mining and
Minerals Week events in May Resilience, Recovery and Growth will be the focus of Minerals Week 2009 activities in Canberra in May. The Minerals Council of Australia (MCA) event will be held from May 26 to 28 at the Hyatt Hotel and Parliament House, Canberra.
It features a seminar examining topics including the impact of the global ﬁnancial crisis Service on Australia Trucks and the BRIC economies (Brazil, Russia, India and China), Australia’s infrastructure capacity, MCA’s Vision 2020 Project and Federal www.equipmentplacement.com.au Government policy plans.
exploration tenements, a decommissioned gold processing plant and other equipment for $1.215 million in addition to other ﬁnancial obligations. The agreement was subject to conditions including gaining Plentex shareholder approval at a meeting in early May.
Feasibility work on hold The board of Metallica Minerals has elected to defer the feasibility study for a proposed heap leach nickel laterite operation at the company’s NORNICO project north-west of Townsville. Metallica said poor market conditions, depressed metal prices and sentiment, particularly for nickel and nickel laterite projects, prompted the decision. It said the feasibility study, which was well advanced, was at a stage that would enable it to be quickly restarted. The study was conﬁned to the Bell Creek and Minnamoolka deposits at the northern end of the NORNICO project and did not include the emerging cobalt-rich Kokomo nickel laterite deposit in the centre of the project area.
This year’s event will continue the tradition of the Annual Minerals Industry Parliamentary Dinner in the Great Hall at Parliament House, to be held on the evening of May 27.
Polymetals takes on tailings Polymetals Group has sign a memorandum of understanding with Icon Resources to develop and operate the Mount Carbine tailings project. Given a positive due diligence study outcome, Polymetals will acquire a 50 per cent interest in the project for a purchase price of up to $2 million and will provide a further $2 million in capital expenditure. “With the tailings project under way, Icon can concentrate on its 100 per cent-owned Mount Carbine primary ore project: proving up a suﬃcient resource to justify a long-term mining operation,” Icon managing director John Bishop said.
Phosphate find GBM Resources says new drill results have conﬁrmed widespread phosphate mineralisation at its Bungalien project,
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east of Duchess in the Mount Isa region. Peak phosphate values of more than 22 per cent P2O5 (phosphorus pentoxide) were among some of the strongest results from a 1000m reverse circulation program the company conducted in December and January. Bungalien is among a suite of phosphate projects owned by GBM Resources within the Beetle Creek Formation, part of the broader Georgina Basin mineralised footprint near Mount Isa. A review of the company’s strategic phosphate projects is scheduled for completion in the June quarter.
Inpex awards key contract Inpex Browse, operator of the Ichthys LNG project, has awarded the Front End Engineering and Design (FEED) contract for oﬀshore facilities associated with the development to AMEC Engineering. AMEC will be supported by subcontractors Aker Solutions and JP Kenny ( JPK). Meanwhile, Inpex president Naoki Kuroda and Northern Territory Chief Minister Paul Henderson recently opened the company’s new oﬃce in Darwin, where it plans to base the LNG plant. Mr Kuroda said Inpex had established a team in the city, led by newly appointed Darwin general manager Sean Kildare, and looked forward to growing there as the project moved forward.
“Encouraging” results Diatreme Resources has reported encouraging results from its Clermont copper project in central Queensland. The company has launched a geophysical survey, through Search Exploration Services, of the Rosevale Porphyry Corridor (RPC) on its tenements. Diatreme said the work had identiﬁed an excellent drill target and a number of other anomalies which required further delineation.
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“The company is extremely excited about the encouraging results that continue to come from the RPC area and are eagerly awaiting further results from the geophysical survey,” Diatreme said in an Australian Securities Exchange announcement. “Drilling is expected to commence shortly after the completion of the geophysics program.”
Scoping study released Korab Resources says a newly completed scoping study for the GeolSec deposit in the Northern Territory shows it can be developed as a simple quarrying operation to supply ground-up rock phosphate as organic fertiliser. Korab is looking at commencing production next year, subject to receiving all regulatory approvals. The company says it would target an initial output of 10,000 tonnes per annum, expanding to 30,000 tonnes by 2013. The deposit is located about 65km south of Darwin, near Rum Jungle.
Boost for Bootu Creek OM Holdings (OMH) has resumed shipments from the Bootu Creek operation, in the Northern Territory, reporting high-grade manganese ore shipments totalling 172,306 wet tonnes in its quarterly report for March. The company had suspended shipments during the December quarter, when the manganese ore market was severely impacted by the global ﬁnancial crisis. OMH recently announced a 72 per cent increase in total mineral resources at the project, extending the life-of-mine plan at Bootu Creek to about 15 years based on a mining rate of 2 million tonnes per annum. Meanwhile, construction has started on a $12.6 million rejects re-treatment plant, expected to be commissioned by the end of the year.
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May 2009 |
Reﬁnery on the line
agreement secured the involvement of one of the world’s leading international mining companies to aggressively advance the large number of highquality gold-copper targets identiﬁed within its extensive tenement package and promote the discovery of a new generation of Tier 1 gold and goldcopper deposits in the Tennant Creek Mineral Field. An aggressive drilling program, to be funded by Ivanhoe, was due to begin shortly, the company stated.
Beneficiation tests show promise Western Desert Resources has announced good results from beneﬁciation test work on samples from the ﬁrst drill campaign conducted at its Roper Bar iron ore project in the NT. The future of North Queensland’s Yabulu nickel refinery remains in doubt.
An announcement is expected by the end of June on the fate of BHP Billiton’s
“This is a signiﬁcant milestone for the Roper Bar project,” Western Desert managing director Norm Gardner said.
Yabulu reﬁnery outside Townsville, with a future options study now under way. “The study will look at future options for Yabulu and that can include temporary suspension, continued operation, extended care and maintenance, divestment or closure,” a BHP Billiton spokeswoman said. “By the end of the ﬁnancial year we will be making a decision.” The company in January shed 350 jobs from the reﬁnery’s 1100-strong workforce after announcing plans to slash about 3300 jobs across Australia by July as the eﬀects of the economic downturn started to bite.
ERA digging deep at Ranger ERA (Energy Resources Australia) is seeking approval for an underground exploration decline at its Ranger uranium operations in the Northern Territory. The company early this year announced the discovery of a very signiﬁcant ore body in an area known as Ranger 3 Deeps, east of the current Ranger 3 operating pit, where it has an established resource of 34,000 tonnes of uranium oxide. ERA has approved a $4 million feasibility study into constructing an exploration decline to undertake further drilling and says construction may
commence in the ﬁrst half of 2010, subject to approval. The company is also seeking statutory approval for a heap leach facility to treat 10 million tonnes of low-grade mineralised material per year from stockpiles and the operating Ranger pit, to produce a total of 15 to 20,000 tonnes of uranium oxide.
Exploration accelerates Emmerson Resources has entered into a $28 million farm-in and joint venture agreement with Ivanhoe Australia to fast-track exploration within its Tennant Creek tenements. Emmerson Resources said the
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Resources council goes national The Northern Territory Resources Council executive has set wheels in motion for the industry group to become part of the Minerals Council of Australia. Council chief executive Scott Perkins said the group would no longer be an independent body under the proposal, but would become the NT division of the MCA. The change depended on a vote of members, he said. Mr Perkins said such a move would avoid duplication of functions and help create “one voice” for industry. “We wouldn’t even contemplate this if it didn’t oﬀer a better result for members,” he said.
Survey at Murphy project Bondi Mining has launched a 64,000 line-kilometre airborne magnetic and radiometric survey on the western half of its Murphy uranium project. The company has an agreement with Japan Oil, Gas and Metals
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National Corporation ( JOGMEC) allowing JOGMEC to earn a 51 per cent interest in the project by funding $3 million in exploration over four years. Bondi said it was also undertaking a small program of inﬁll and extension ionic leach geochemistry on four target areas, which would then be drilled in a 2700m diamond and reverse circulation drill program commencing in June. An additional drill program of about 1300m is planned for August in the western half of the Murphy Project area, following ﬁeld checking of targets arising from the airborne survey. Bondi said the overall budget for the 2009 exploration program was about $1.25 million. This included a $100,000 grant from the NT Government.
NuPower seeks drill approvals NuPower is seeking regulatory approvals to drill at its Eva mineral lease, near the Queensland-Northern Territory border, to secure resources to JORC standards for uranium and gold. The company said drilling at Eva and the nearby Cobar II lease could take place as early as August, subject to the level of funding available following closure of NuPower’s recent rights issue and to timely receipt of approvals. NuPower has also commenced planning processes to secure drilling contracts and regulatory approvals under the Mine Management Act for its Lucy Creek and Arganara phosphate projects. NuPower said drilling could take place on one or both of these projects by July if approvals had been received.
Milestone for Minemakers Minemakers has submitted its application for a mineral lease over Wonarah to the NorthernTerritory Government as well as lodging its notice of intent for mining at the deposit. The company aims to be producing direct shipping ore from the phosphate project about the end of the ﬁrst quarter 2010.
The Mining Advocate | May 2009
Territory prepares for APPEA event The Australian Petroleum Production and Exploration Association will hold its 2009 conference and exhibition at the Darwin Convention Centre May 31 - June 3. For more information visit www.appeaconference.com.au.
Chinese buyers for iron ore
South America for reﬁning and export throughout the world.
New owner for Century
Karumba safety campaign OZ Century has launched a safety campaign to remind anglers about the need to steer clear of the mine’s 5000-tonne transfer vessel. Drink coasters, posters and ﬂyers are being distributed to taverns, accommodation facilities and other venues throughout Water Karumba.
Territory Resources has secured long-term sales commitments with three Chinese Trucks “The purpose of steel producers the campaign is for Frances Creek to educate new iron ore. The visitors to the area company says the about the need to commitments stay at least 50m cover 2 million away from the OZ tonnes per annum Minerals wharf, at of lump and ﬁnes least 25m from the www.equipmentplacement.com.au ore from Frances MV Wunma herself Creek over the and not to anchor next three years in the Norman River when the vessel with annual pricing to be benchmarked is moving,” OZ Century port manager against major long-term contracts for Greg Scanlan said. Western Australian iron ore.
Newera pulls out
Redbank expansion plans Copper developer Redbank Mines is continuing to expand its Northern Territory tenement package, with applications for a further 800sq km of highly prospective ground adjoining its copper project. If granted, the tenement acquisitions would mark a 20 per cent increase in the size of the company’s tenement holdings, and bring the total ground held or under application in the company’s McArthur South region to some 3600sq km.
Copper refinery milestone Xstrata Copper and the Port of Townsville in April celebrated the export of the ﬁve millionth tonne of copper reﬁned at the Townsville Copper Reﬁnery. The plant has been reﬁning copper anode from Mount Isa Mines since 1959. In recent years, the reﬁnery has been importing additional copper anode from
Newera Uranium has withdrawn from option agreements covering the Amadeus project area, south-west of Alice Springs, and the Brumby project, east-north-east of Alice Springs. The company said the decision to withdraw was based on the results of recent reconnaissance exploration over the granted tenements and the scale of the option fees payable. The option agreements were due to expire in April 2010.
Darwin hosts conference AusIMM will host its Annual International Uranium Conference at the Darwin Convention Centre on June 10 – 11. For more information visit www.ausimm.com.au/uranium2009.
Uranium players unite Australian companies Jackson Minerals and Scimitar Resources have agreed to merge. The merged company holds
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Federal approval has paved the way for Minmetals to take over Century Mine.
Chinese company Minmetals is expected to take ownership of Century Mine in north-west Queensland and other Oz Minerals assets in June after Treasurer Wayne Swan approved the acquisition. A sale agreement signed between the companies will see Minmetals (China Minmetals Non-Ferrous Metals) take on the majority of OZ Minerals’ assets excluding Prominent Hill and Martabe for $US1206 ($A1618) million. “We are very pleased that the Treasurer has approved this transaction as it is the best currently available solution that resolves all of the company’s reﬁnancing issues,” Oz Minerals chairman Barry Cusack said. The matter would be put to shareholders at the annual general meeting on June 12, with the board recommending a vote in favour of the sale, he said.
a large portfolio of uranium, gold and base metal assets in Australia and Argentina, including two Northern Territory projects - the Amadeus uranium project, adjacent to the Pamela and Angela deposits, and the Eclipse project, centred on the Ngalia Basin.
Napperby resource doubled Results announced by Toro Energy in March have more than doubled resource estimates for the Napperby uranium project to more than seven million pounds. The JORC-compliant inferred resource for the project, 175km north-west of Alice Springs, has been increased to 9.34 million tonnes at 359 parts per million triuranium octoxide
(U3O8) for 3351 tonnes (7.39 million pounds) of contained uranium oxide. Toro said the new resource estimate was calculated by SRK Consulting using drilling assay data collected during 2006 to 2008.
TNG gets the “go ahead” TNG has signed a deed for exploration with the traditional owners and the Central Land Council for its Rover gold project in the Tennant Creek region. The project, located less than 1km from Westgold Resources’ Rover 1 project, is one of TNG’s main gold exploration projects with signiﬁcant untested magnetic anomalies.
May 2009 |
The Mining Advocate
Solid foundation for growth Townsville-based manufacturer Tropical Fabrications is ready to tackle the effects of the global financial crisis head-on. Tropical Fabrications is well placed to punch through the economic downturn and continue to grow, according to general manager Barry Whiting. The Townsville-based companyâ€™s competitive pricing structure and the quality of its work were key factors in this positive outlook, he said. And holding the Queensland licence to manufacture and
supply Industrial Light Beam (ILB) â€“ an innovative, lightweight building system provided a distinct advantage. â€œWe plan to take on this global ďŹ nancial crisis head-on,â€? Mr Whiting said. â€œOur outlook is not just business survival, but to grow our business even in these troubled times. â€œIâ€™m not a â€˜doom and gloomâ€™
person. We are aggressively going after a lot of jobs.â€? Mr Whiting said the jobs on the companyâ€™s books at the moment included a $1.5 million-plus contract to fabricate and erect the structural steel for the new Tropical Science and Innovation Precinct in Townsville for James Cook University and CSIRO. Tropical Fabrications has been involved in metal fabrication in North Queensland for more than 30 years, starting out as a business catering for the home building sector with light steel
work, stairs and handrails. Mr Whiting said the company now had an extensive client list across the construction, mining and industrial sectors. It employs 30 people and has an annual turnover of more than $5 million. As well as being able to oďŹ€er clients the innovative Industrial Light Beam building system, the company last year purchased Maxi Resources â€“ adding the fabrication and supply of steel grating, handrails and stanchions to its capabilities. The Tropical Fabrications
workshop, based on a six-acre (2.4ha) site on Ingham Rd in Mount Louisa, includes an ILB manufacturing mill, two overhead cranes, repetition component machines and an inhouse drafting oďŹƒce. Mr Whiting said he hoped to see the business expand to other centres eventually. However the immediate priority was to â€œkeep our staďŹ€ â€? and maintain a healthy turnover during the challenges presented by the global ďŹ nancial crisis, he said.
An example of the ILB system at a Townsville construction site. General manager Barry Whiting and director Brian Yu.
Innovative system lightens the load for steel costs Use of the ILB (Industrial Light Beam) system can cut structural steel costs by as much as 50 per cent on building projects, according to its creator Ian Berryman. The design also reduces the number of columns required in a structure, providing the potential for dramatic architectural spaces with clear spans of up to 100m. Mr Berryman, director and chairman of ILB and ILB Steel Buildings, developed the system in 1998 after his experience in building sheds highlighted the shortcomings of universal beams. â€œThey were too heavy and they werenâ€™t laterally stiďŹ€ enough â€“ they tended to twist,â€? Mr Berryman said. â€œTo stop them from twisting, we put in a web stiďŹ€ener. But they were still too heavy.â€? He came up with a lighter alternative and â€“ after spending $600,000 on research, development and testing â€“ is marketing that same design today in a business quickly spreading internationally. â€œTo make a lighter beam we use a hollow tube top and bottom, with a pressed metal web centre,â€? Mr Berryman said. â€œBy combining the two elements, we end up with a beam that is an average of 50 per cent lighter than the standard universal beam and 70 per cent stiďŹ€er laterally.â€? The reduced weight and stiďŹ€er beam created cost eďŹƒciencies in handling, freight and erection, he said. Mr Berryman said the ILB system had been tested by independent parties including Lynar Consulting Engineers, CSIRO Division of Building Research
and Professor Nicholas Trehair of the Sydney University Centre for Advanced Structural Engineering. Tropical Fabrications has had a licence to manufacture and supply ILB components since 2000. â€œItâ€™s a permanent ďŹ xture of the business - we have a mill here and manufacture it, press the web etc on site, as opposed to someone who would just resell,â€? general manager Barry Whiting said. And the company was seeing a growth in demand among its clients for the innovative system, he said â€œDepending on the structure it really comes down to the dollars and cents,â€? Mr Whiting said. â€œThey can get a 50 per cent saving on structural steel as opposed to hot-rolled or welded - the normal universal beams and columns.â€? Mr Whiting said his business had supplied prefabricated ILB framework for projects including the Shafston Avenue tunnel for the cross-city tunnel project in Brisbane, the IPS Logistics building in Brisbane and various shopping centres and warehouses in the Townsville and Mackay districts. â€œWe do a lot of tilt slab warehouses tied together with ILB,â€? Mr Whiting said. â€œWeâ€™ve done 30 to 40 structures in Townsville and probably about 10 in Mackay in the last three years. â€œBeing able to oďŹ€er ILB strengthens a core part of the business, because we can oďŹ€er clients an alternative price using ILB. â€œBecause the ILB system is lighter than the alternative it also oďŹ€ers savings in galvanising costs.â€?
Photo: Stewart McLean
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The Mining Advocate | May 2009
Relatively speaking It’s the Cantoni connection - two North Queensland brothers drawn to the same business as well as the same sport. Stuart and Louie Cantoni share much more than a name. The brothers, who grew up in Ingham, both have a long work history with Tropical Fabrications and a strong commitment to grassroots rugby league. Tropical Fabrications production manager Stuart Cantoni said he had returned to the company just over a year ago after stints working with Blackwoods and Hanson Masonry. However, he had previously worked for Tropical Fabrications for seven years “out on the tools”, he said. Brother Louie Cantoni, the workshop foreman, has worked with the company for 21 years. As production manager, Stuart said his role involved overseeing projects from the time the company received a contract
through to the point when all the structural steel went up. “I organise the drafting, ensure it goes out on time at the customer’s request and get the material list together,” he said. “We meet our customers’ deadlines and if there is going to be an issue we try to get to it earlier rather than later. “Our customers keep coming back to us because they know the quality of work they will get and they know they will get that on time.” Outside of his paid work, much of Stuart Cantoni’s time is consumed by his role as North Queensland Co-ordinator of Referees with the QRL (Queensland Rugby League) Northern Division. “That entails looking after the running of the referees’ association and hired appointments for referees with
Long-time Tropical Fabrications employee Dale Nofz, left, with brothers Stuart and Louie Cantoni. Photo: Stewart McLean
potential, covering an area from Mackay up to the top of Australia and out to the border,” he said. “At the moment rugby league in North Queensland is expanding, with teams starting to come into our northern division from the Torres Strait and Cape York – so there is plenty of work ahead of us to get referees trained up in those areas.” For Mr Cantoni, the major drawback about the administrative role – which he
took up ﬁve years ago - is not the amount of work involved, but the fact it precludes him from throwing on the boots and whistle and acting as a match referee in QRL ﬁxtures. Mr Cantoni, whose father Louie Snr has been heavily involved in league in the Ingham district for many years, served as a ball boy before joining the refereeing ranks at 15. “I was the ﬁrst referee in Townsville used to be the standby referee at NRL games, I’ve been a Queensland Cup
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referee and at the moment I’m employed by the NRL as oﬃcial timekeeper at the Cowboys home games,” he said. Brother Louie started his playing career in the Herbert River competition and also played for Centrals in Townsville. He has played Foley Shield football, has extensive experience as a team trainer and is a strapper for the Cowboys Under 20 side. Another brother, Alan, played in the Herbert River competition and made that district’s representative side.
May 2009 |
Mount Isa Mining Expo - Mining the Carpentaria breakfast
The Mining Advocate
PHOTOS: Roslyn Budd
The BuďŹ€s Club, Mount Isa
Orlando Ciccarelli (Sumitomo Drives), Denis Wackerlin (Sumitomo Drives) and Neal Ragau (Statewide Bearings).
Tony Clapin and Dwayne Unahi (from Dieci).
Warren Brown, Doug Gray and Michael Tamone (all from Blackwoods).
Mike Layng, Rukie Jayasekera and Frank Giumelli (all from Micromine).
Blair Dellebaite and David MacDonald (both from North Queensland Hardfacing).
Helen Dearling and Shenal Basnayake (both Port of Townsville).
Mount Isa Chamber of Commerce networking function
PHOTOS: Roslyn Budd
Red Earth Hotel, Mount Isa
Errol Culbertson (Pybar) and Brett Anderson (Workpac).
Rob Mathieson (Harvey World Travel) and Dr Richard Lilly (Xstrata Exploration).
Ken Draffen (Mount Isa Chamber of Commerce) and Rohan Wolfe (Ivanhoe Australia).
Charmaine Hotz (Migate) and Ron Moren (RGM Welding Services).
Zoe Dark (Headlines) and Brett Peterson (Mount Isa Mining Supplies).
Betty Regeling (Mount Isa Volunteers) and Trish Oâ€™Callaghan (Mount Isa Chamber of Commerce).
The Mining Advocate | May 2009
Minemakers Business at Sunset event Battery Hill Mining Centre, Tennant Creek
Bill Gibbins (Northern Connect) and Richard Dodd (BP Tennant Creek).
Kris Civitarese (TJ Contracting), Randall Gould (Lone Star Service Station) and David Curtis (Julalikari).
Colin Waller (NT Chamber of Commerce), Neville Bergin (Minemakers), Barrie Hancock (Minemakers), Kay Eade and Cate Povey (NT Chamber of Commerce), Rebecca Powlett (Coffey Natural Systems) and Andrew Drummond (Minemakers).
John Gibb (Department of Regional Development, Primary Industry, Fisheries and Resources) with Cristel Woelfel (Australian Mining and Exploration Title Services).
Fran Kilgariff (Department of Regional Development, Primary Industry, Fisheries and Resources) and Peter Saint (Kurindi Station).
Jim Phillips (Phillips Earthmoving and Trucking Contractors) and Andrew Drummond (Minemakers).
AusIMM Future Leaders Conference social event
PHOTOS: Fiona Harding
Toowong Bowls Club, Brisbane
Engineering students Dan Hayes and Matthew Page (both from University of Queensland).
Engineering students Stephanie Bourne, Sean Clancy and Caitlin McCarthy (University of Queensland).
Engineering students Jeff Hansen, Andrew Schmidt and Pat Toomey (University of Queensland).
Engineering students Chris Rees and Lincoln Morris (University of New South Wales).
Engineering students Kate McCutcheon and Diana Carroll (University of New South Wales).
Engineering students Emma Schumacher, Sarah Hateley and Alison Nugent (University of Queensland).
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May 2009 |
Queensland Resources Council (QRC) International Women’s Day breakfast
The Mining Advocate
PHOTOS: Mark Duffus
Brisbane Soﬁtel Hotel
Allira Norman, Kathy Gardiner, Jane McDonald and Mark Turner (all from Tarong Energy).
Tori Austen, Claire Girling and Amanda Hooper (Bundamba State Secondary College).
Donnar Frater, Nicole Ireland and David Arkell (all from BMA).
Fiona McKenzie (Downer EDI), Ruth Medd (Women on Boards), Alison Keogh (Snowden) and Karin Baxter (BMA).
Abbi Brooke (URS Australia) with QRC student scholarship ambassadors Jemina Connollly and Matthew Pozzebon.
Nicole Hollows (QRC/Macarthur Coal), Penelope Wensley (Governor of Queensland ), Michael Roche (QRC) and Geoff Wilson (State Government).
WIMARQ/Engineers Australia International Women’s Day breakfast
PHOTOS: Stewart McLean
Felicity Yan (James Cook University) and Janice Ballard (Maunsell AECOM).
Marika VanderKlugt (Oz Minerals), Kelly Stokes (Townsville City Council), Lara Higson (Oz Minerals) and Esther Bank (Townsville City Council).
Lynnley Orr (QRC), Lauren Amos (Incitec Pivot) and Megan Clasberg (BHP Billiton).
Jody Herley (BHP Billiton), Jennifer Wilkinson (JCU) and Bridgette Hendersonhall (Women in Mining and Resources Queensland).
Catherine Rowen (GHD), Julie Tsatsaros (Connell Wagner) and Alison Way (GHD).
Julie Boucher (GHD) and Wendy Hill (Connell Wagner).
The Mining Advocate | May 2009
World’s Greatest Shave Mine Challenge events BHP Billiton Cannington Mine, north-west Queensland
Lance McDonald and Johnny Altree with visiting singer Sara-Jane Moore.
Hairdresser Cheryl Camp removes Tony Baird’s eyebrows.
Owen Zammit, before and after his brush with the blade.
Karen Shanks after her haircut from Carmela Vasta.
Shane Ellevsen gives the thumbs up during his close shave.
World’s Greatest Shave and Crazy Shirt Day fundraisers Anglo Coal Australia Dawson Mine, central Queensland
Tim Kenefick takes his turn under the razor.
Dawson Mine general manager Rick Fairhurst judges Dawson’s crazy shirt day with Monica Thirgood.
Alexandra Gentle, Jason Fittler and Andrew Lau.
May 2009 |
The Mining Advocate
Focus on exploration potential A geoscience seminar has heard of mineral discoveries at surface that are stimulating extra interest in areas of the Territory. The Annual Geoscience Exploration Seminar (AGES) this year highlighted the underexplored mineral potential of the Northern Territory, with participants hearing of new discoveries in the Harts Range area. AGES 2009, held at the Alice Springs Convention Centre on March 24-25, attracted 217 people – including 104 explorers from 55 organisations, according to organisers. This represented a 14 per cent increase from last year. Northern Territory Geological Survey director Dr Ian Scrimgeour said support had steadily increased since the ﬁrst AGES event in 2000. “We’ve had a lot of feedback from industry clients that they
really enjoy the conference because it’s very technical in its focus – a mix of geoscience and industry presentations focused on practical and scientiﬁc information rather than people spruiking their companies to the market,” Dr Scrimgeour said. “They felt it was a very good networking event and a very good technical conference. We believe (the strong support) also reﬂects an increasing recognition of the exploration potential of the NT.” Presentations on newly discovered nickel and copper mineralisation in the Harts Range area, east of Alice Springs, provided a conference highlight this year, Dr Scrimgeour said. “During the 2008 ﬁeld season, one of our mapping geologists
NT Resources Minister Kon Vatskalis, Chief Minister Paul Henderson, Ciu Yinan (CCCMC), Eddy Wu (THTF) and Xu Yankun (CCCMC). Photo: Joyce van Dijk
Northern Territory Geological Survey director Dr Ian Scrimgeour.
came across some apparently mineralised rock in the Harts Range region,” he said. “This has been followed up by the tenement holder (Mithril Resources). It is an exciting new
nickel-copper discovery that has been named the Blackadder prospect and it is stimulating a lot of interest in the nickel potential for the region. “Also at AGES 2009 we announced the discovery of previously unknown IOCG (iron oxide-copper-gold) mineralisation in the Harts Range area and there is a lot of interest in that. “Because these new discoveries have been made at surface it really highlights the underexplored nature of much of central Australia.” Resources Minister Kon Vatskalis, who oﬃcially opened AGES 2009, said the event had attracted 32 international delegates looking for exploration opportunities in the NT. This included a 28-strong Chinese group as well as representatives from major Brazilian and Canadian companies, he said.
Twenty formal meetings were arranged between Chinese companies and NT exploration companies and numerous informal meetings were also held. Anhui Geology and Mining Investment signed an agreement with Territory Uranium for the sale of six exploration licences in the Litchﬁeld, Pine Creek and Tennant Creek regions. Anhui also signed agreements with NT providers Austwide Mining Title Management and CSA Global for title management and geological services. AGES is hosted by the NT Department of Regional Development, Primary Industry, Fisheries and Resources. A Mining Service Expo organised by the Department of Business and Employment in conjunction with the 2009 event boasted 40 booths representing 34 NT businesses.
Gary Marasty (Cameco), Stephen Stander (Cameco/ Paladin) and Richard Jackson (Chief Minister’s Department).
Tony McGill (Outback Metals) and Dennis Gee (Torrens Energy).
Alan Cao (SRA) and Li Hong (Minter Ellison).
Greg Rogers (Energy Resources Australia), Peter Walker (Vale Exploration), John Summer (Water Resources) and Frank Bierlein (Areva NC Australia).
Dennis Gee (Torrens Energy) with Geoff Eupene and Bob Richardson (Crossland Uranium Mines).
Dr Philip Portello (Areva NC Australia) with Annie Boyce.
Ancient clue to uranium sites Ancient rocks, formed more than 2500 million years ago, may hold the key to a new wave of uranium exploration in the Northern Territory. Geoscience Australia geochronologists in partnership with the Northern Territory Geological Survey have identiﬁed rocks that date from the Neoarchaean era in western Arnhem Land. Acting chief of Geoscience Australia’s onshore energy and minerals division, Dr Andrew Barnicoat, said the discovery was of great signiﬁcance for uranium explorers in the area. “Uranium deposits in this region are commonly associated with rocks of this age, including the Ranger and Jabiluka deposits and numerous other smaller occurrences,” Dr Barnicoat said.
“Identiﬁcation of extensive, previously unrecognised, areas of suitably aged rocks greatly enhances the future viability of and interest in this highly prospective uranium province. “Explorers should be encouraged that these recently identiﬁed rocks are similar to Neoarchaean rocks in the Darwin-Rum Jungle region about 250km to the west, a region also renowned for uranium mineralisation.” The latest developments in the area were announced during the 10th Annual Geoscience Exploration Seminar (AGES). The age of the western Arnhem Land rocks was conﬁrmed with the aid of Geoscience Australia’s new Sensitive High Resolution Ion Microprobe, or SHRIMP.
DRILLING AND EXPLORATION
The Mining Advocate | May 2009
Downturn biting at ground level
Gavin Falls and Adam Gniel, from Tom Browne Drilling Services, at the Valhalla site near Mount Isa. Photo: Roslyn Budd
Drilling crews are feeling the effects of a general slide in exploration spending, but those in the know say bright spots remain.
of Employment, Economic Development and Innovation said. He said the state was on track to achieve an exploration expenditure target of $540 million in 2008-09 despite major ﬂooding events in north and western Queensland and the impacts of the global ﬁnancial downturn. This compared with an actual spend of $563.3 million in 200708. In the Northern Territory, mineral exploration expenditure reached a record $45.5 million in the December quarter. This capped oﬀ a good year – with an unprecedented $147. 2 million spend in 2008, up 32 per cent on 2007. NT Geological Survey director Ian Scrimgeour said he would expect to see some decline in 2009. “But we strongly believe that the Northern Territory may be less aﬀected than other states, particularly because we have commodities such as phosphate which are remaining relatively strong,” Dr Scrimgeour said. “Also there’s a revitalisation of exploration around the Tennant Creek mineral ﬁeld, which appears likely to be sustained in the downturn, and uranium is remaining relatively strong. “We remain conﬁdent that we will maintain a reasonable amount of exploration expenditure in 2009.”
The two rigs piercing the ﬂat brown earth of the Valhalla uranium tenement outside Mount Isa are among seven that Tom Browne Drilling Services has working in north-west Queensland. Between those rigs, a further ﬁve tied up on an Xstrata Coal job outside Collinsville and a few outside Queensland, general manager Bill Grace said about 80 per cent of the company’s 24-strong ﬂeet was working. That compared with a situation late last year where the ﬂeet was fully booked and the company was knocking back further requests. And, in terms of gauging the full impact of the recent economic downturn on the business, the
devil lies in the detail. “At this time last year we were working double shifts on our sites, but this year we’re working single shifts on the majority of jobs – so there’s basically half the income coming in there,” Mr Grace said. He said he had weathered three or four downturns in the mining business over the years, but in this case the impact had been sudden – “just like somebody turned oﬀ a tap”. While the continuation of strong uranium, phosphate and coal exploration activity had cushioned the blow, Mr Grace said the company had been forced to downsize to deal with the downturn - and that meant losing people. “We’ve reduced our workforce
pretty dramatically – I’d say about a third,” he said. Association of Mining and Exploration Companies (AMEC) chief executive oﬃcer Simon Bennison said the impact of the downturn on exploration throughout Australia had been “quite serious”, hitting greenﬁelds interests particularly hard. For AMEC the situation further highlights the need for the Rudd Government to deliver on a pre-election promise to introduce a FlowThrough Shares (FTS) scheme. This would help exploration companies attract ﬁnance as it would allow them to pass on unused tax credits for use by their investors – increasing the
attractiveness of their shares. An FTS scheme is being considered as part of the Henry Review of Australia’s tax system. Mineral exploration investment in Queensland declined from $109.5 million in the September quarter of 2008 to $94.9 million in the December quarter. March quarter statistics were not available at the time of publication to gauge the performance since. Petroleum exploration proved a bright spot, increasing from $63.7 million to $87.9 million in the same time. This was thanks largely to the coal seam gas industry, a Mines and Energy spokesman for the Queensland Department
Government issues $2m in grants Coretrack managing director Nanne van ‘t Riet with the company’s patented core level recorder.
A true core promise Two major petroleum industry companies have joined forces with an Australian drilling equipment specialist to advance a world-ﬁrst “intelligent” core-drilling technology for the oil and gas industry. Coretrack’s internationally patented Core Level Recorder System (CLRS) records and transmits detailed electronic data on core displacement within a core barrel in deep oil and gas wells. Coretrack said Halliburton/DBS and Baker-Hughes/Inteq were assisting the company with the system’s development. “Coretrack is now working closely with these major companies to design and test various aspects of the CLRS to ensure the system’s compatibility with their respective coring assemblies,” Coretrack managing director Nanne van ‘t Riet said. “Crucial CLRS components have already been tested successfully within either operating wells or in surface tests, but with such a high-temperature and high-pressure environment, it is imperative that we subject all this equipment to the most rigorous conditions it is likely to encounter in the ﬁeld.”
The Queensland Government has announced $2 million in funding for 17 mining companies under the latest round of Collaborative Drilling Initiative grants. Mines and Energy Minister Stephen Robertson said the grants would help fund 20 collaborative drilling projects, supporting the mining sector during the current global ﬁnancial downturn. “Fifteen of the projects are based in north and north-west Queensland, two in central Queensland and the remainder in western and south-eastern parts of the state,” he said. This is the third round of Collaborative Drilling Initiative grants to be announced in Queensland. “In the ﬁrst two rounds, 48 projects from 38 companies received over $4.34 million in collaborative drilling grants to assist them to accelerate
exploration vital to the discovery of new mineral deposits which can create new mines in Queensland,” Mr Roberston said. He said the grants program aimed to bring government and industry together to accelerate testing of geological targets by drilling in under-explored parts of Queensland. “The grants program provides up to $150,000 per project
to assist in the testing of potentially mineralised targets by drilling,” he said. “New concepts in brownﬁeld areas of Queensland are also supported and grants are available to mineral and energy explorers.” The grants are part of the Government’s $29.08 million Smart Mining - Future Prosperity program to stimulate exploration investment.
New survey data released New airborne geophysical survey data has been released covering more than 200,000sq km in Queensland’s southwest. Mines and Energy Minister Stephen Robertson said the project involved three geophysical surveys of the Cooper and Eromanga basins, covering about 12 per cent of the state. Queensland survey data is available online at www. geoscience.gov.au/gadds as it is released or on DVD from the Queensland Department of Mines and Energy.
May 2009 |
The Mining Advocate
Miner committed to the north Kagara expects a long and rewarding future in the Mount Garnet and Chillagoe region, where it holds diverse resource interests. West Australian-based miner Kagara ﬂoated publicly a decade ago on the back of its North Queensland zinc projects. Today the mid-ranking metals producer still sees the region as its stronghold and has successfully diversiﬁed its interests, with copper now providing the bulk of its income. “We took a decision probably two or three years back to put Balcooma (copper deposit) into production and the thought behind that was that we wanted to diversify our income stream away from zinc and into copper,” Kagara executive director Joe Treacy said. “When we started, our income was about 70 per cent zinc, 20 per cent copper and 10 per cent lead and others. More recently it has turned to 70 per cent copper, 20 per cent zinc and 10 per cent others.” The company changed its name from Kagara Zinc to Kagara along the way to reﬂect the shift. Now Kagara plans to ﬂoat
a new subsidiary company – Mungana Goldmines – on the Australian Securities Exchange to fast-track development of its substantial gold assets. These include the Mungana deposit and Red Dome, where a signiﬁcant resource upgrade is expected to be announced soon. Kagara operates several mines and base metal treatment plants across a wide inland Queensland region centred around Mount Garnet and Chillagoe. They include the Mount Garnet open-pit mine – which has recently progressed to underground operations, the Balcooma open pit and underground copper mines, Mungana mine, and treatment plants at Mount Garnet and Thalanga (outside Charters Towers). Between them, the operations employ about 500 people. The company has not escaped the eﬀects of the economic downturn, suspending construction of a new $80 million polymetallic processing
Kagara’s Mount Garnet site in far north Queensland.
facility at Mungana earlier this year. It has also placed underground polymetallic mining operations at Dry River South and Balcooma on care and maintenance, although Balcooma continues to produce copper. Mr Treacy is upbeat about the future of those operations and the company’s position generally. “Twelve months ago they were very proﬁtable - it’s just a matter of timing and they will come back,” Mr Treacy said of the
polymetallic operations. “As every day goes by base metal prices are increasing and the potential for us to restart our operations is similarly increasing. “We’ve kept all our people, we have restructured our operations to withstand these current low metal prices and when we come out of this we’ll come out a much stronger company.” Mr Treacy said the company saw itself as being a signiﬁcant player in North Queensland for the next 20 years.
“We are fortunate that our deposits are truly polymetallic and are therefore not reliant on one commodity for their economics,” he said. “The far north Queensland area is also well endowed with these deposits and we are conﬁdent of ﬁnding more when our exploration activities recommence. “In the area in general other base metal deposits continue to be discovered and when they are developed, Kagara - with its established milling infrastructure - is the obvious partner. “The infrastructure could do with improving. Every year the roads cost us millions of dollars in delayed production, our development strategy at both Mount Garnet and Mungana have been impacted by the lack of power and the need to use costly diesel-generated power, and the rail issues have been well documented. “We have a very stable and skilled workforce and really enjoy operating in North Queensland. The communities have been very supportive and we look forward to working together for many years to come.”
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The Mining Advocate | May 2009
All out for ‘zero harm’ He said the Zero Harm Days were the continuation of a culture change program at Cannington, which had also included “Stop for Safety” sessions held in November last year. Drake Workwise, led by executive manager Marc McLaren, facilitated the workshops and discussions throughout the process. Mr McLaren told those in the pavilion during Zero Harm Days talks that everyone brought diﬀerent attitudes to such an event. These ranged from high enthusiasm to scepticism and even cynicism about the zero harm concept. Mr McLaren told employees and contractors that an open mind was all that was needed. The sessions included group discussions, questions being asked of the management panel, keypad activities and a powerful talk by James Wood from CNBSafe about the choices people make in the workplace and their consequences.
Respecting lost workers Underground fitter Frank Moffatti puts the final touches on a bridge constructed in a team-building exercise during Cannington Mine’s Zero Harm Days.
Mr Hansen reiterated that BHP Billiton Cannington Mine must continually drive improvement in the commitment to zero harm. “We can only be successful
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Absorbent Powder: ChemSorb - standard spill kits Or Snow Absorbent - premium range Absorbent Mats: Thick yellow absorbent mats that absorb most chemicals including alkalis, acids, caustics & corrosives. Ideal for any in-plant application. Land Socks - 1.5m & 3m in length, these socks are placed around the perimeter of the spill, in order to contain it. *Important note: When dealing with hazardous chemical spills, always consult that chemical's MSDS in order to ascertain the correct PPE required for your safety. Do not assume that the PPE in your spill kit is sufficient for every conceivable chemical.
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New mines inspectors The Queensland Government has appointed seven new mines inspectors, taking the total within the Queensland Mines Inspectorate to 45. Natural Resources, Mines and Energy Minister Stephen Robertson said three of the new inspectors would be based in Rockhampton, one each in Mackay and Mount Isa and two would be Brisbane-based with a statewide overview. All were expected to be in place by the end of May.
Hundreds of workers downed tools at Cannington Mine recently as the site devoted four days to safety sessions. Operations came to a virtual standstill for four days at Cannington Mine in north-west Queensland recently while every available BHP Billiton employee and contractor attended “Zero Harm Days” sessions. Cannington employees and contractors gathered in a large pavilion on the accommodation village oval for the safety sessions, running from April 28 to May 1. More than 800 people participated in total. Cannington asset leader Shane Hansen said the management team wanted to demonstrate to the workforce that everyone had a role to play in improving safety. “We want new ways to engage with our workforce about safety. We want to catch their attention and reinforce how important safety is,” Mr Hansen said. “Everyone can participate in striving for better safety performance. “The main aim of the Zero Harm Days is to get each of us to challenge the status quo and think about the way we do things here.”
as an operation if we achieve our targets towards zero harm. We must maintain the focus on zero harm to our people, our community and the environment,” he said.
Anglo Coal Australia has established a mining exclusion zone at Dawson Mine in central Queensland, protecting the resting place of miners who perished in the Moura No 2 and Kianga tragedies. Anglo Coal Australia chief executive oﬃcer Seamus French said the move sent a strong message about how critical it was for the entire mining industry to ensure that the safety of employees and the community remained the No. 1 priority at all times.
BIGGER, TOUGHER, BETTER
Bridgestone VJT tyres es Bridgestone Earthmover Tyres has released sed its new VJT tyre pattern, designed to increase operator comfort and tyre life. The company says the new line is available in various sizes to suit loaders in the 10-30 tonne range and articulated dump trucks with operating weights of 20-35 tonnes. The VJT tyres boast innovative nondirectional tread patterns – ensuring the same high traction moving forward or backward – and a larger tread volume than the VMT design, resulting in slower wear rates. The tyre sidewalls have been shaped to minimise damage from cutting and feature two separate reinforcement systems to reduce vibration.
May 2009 |
The Mining Advocate
Code 3 CL199A LED beacon The Code 3 CL199A safety beacon has a highghimpact polycarbonate lens and die-cast alloy oy base, is waterproof and employs a shockresistant potted circuit board. Distributor Britax says these features have been married to solid-state LEDs to create a mining beacon that will endure the toughest of conditions. The CL199A includes 24 horizontal highintensity LEDs, 12 horizontal wide-angle optics LEDs and 12 vertical directional LEDs that are visible from tall machinery and mining trucks. It has 30 flash patterns including four simulated rotating patterns.
Sandvik PF300 crusher rak ak tracking device devic Pivotel TracerTrak This asset-tracking device provides ovvides regular updates of the location, movement and overall behaviour vio our of items. Distributor AffinityOne says the amount of time and a money the TracerTrak saves businesses means the ea easy-to-use asy-to-use system will soon pay for itself. The device viice is selfpowered, featuring a long-lifee battery b with an operating life of up to seven en n years. It is dustproof and waterproof an and nd works in extreme heat and cold. old d. Authorised users are able to access data from any internet PC and can access portal features via SMS. A motion alarm sounds after 155 minutes in motion.
Sandvik Mining and Construction has released an alternative to conventional truck/ shovel mining in the form of the PF300 mobile crusher. This electric, high-capacity unit is specifically designed for in-pit crushing and conveying for the mining and quarrying industries. Sandvik says it offers significant power savings for operators. The PF300 can be customised for a wide range of applications and can be fitted with a sizer, double-roll crusher or Sandvik’s newly developed CR800 series hybrid crusher.
BOC Smootharc TIG welding machine The latest addition to BOC’s TIG welding range is described as a high-quality and robust machine with built-in MMA welding capability. BOC says its inverter-based Smootharc TIG 200AC/DC has a high duty-cycle (60 per cent at 200A) and the AC/DC functionality means the user can weld any material, including aluminium. The machine has a low amperage setting (5-200A) and an added pulse option which reduces distortion and allows reduced heat input, making it possible to weld thin materials.
Topcon GRS-1 rover system
Manitowoc Grove TMS9000 truck crane New to Australia, this 75-tonne mobile crane is the latest of the TMS range from Manitowoc’s Grove brand. It features a 43m Grove Megaform boom, with twin-lock boom pinning system, on a chassis powered by a Cummins turbo-charged 661cu.in 450hp after-cooled engine. Manitowoc says the model offers advantages including a narrow overall width and light tare weight with all counterweights removed. Many components from the company’s rough terrain range have been incorporated into this new truck-mounted line, adding to its strength and durability.
Topcon Positioning Systems says its main goals in designing the GRS-1 (Geodetic Rover System) were to produce a rover receiver that was small and lightweight, with a lower-than-expected price tag. The company describes its new release as the world’s first fully integrated dualconstellation, networkenabled RTK (real-time kinematic) rover system. The GRS-1 is an all-in-one handheld GNSS (global navigation satellite system) receiver and field controller with high-speed processor, increased memory, built-in camera, compass and bar code reading function. Other features include an SD memory card slot, optional internal GSM or CDMA modem, and wireless connectivity via Wi-Fi and Bluetooth technology.
SPORT AND LEISURE
The Mining Advocate | May 2009
Down and dirty Ernest Henry Mining (EHM) employees made a strong showing in the 2009 Dirt and Dust Triathlon, with two out of three teams placing in the corporate division of the event. The triathlon – held as part of the annual Julia Creek Dirt and Dust Festival -involved an 800m swim, 20km bike ride and a 5km run. EHM survey mine technician Dan Buckley, mining engineer Anna O’Rourke and mechanical apprentice Cam McClymont came second in the corporate team event, ﬁnishing in one hourr and 33 minutes. n Concentrator safety advisor Ben netite Robinson, superintendent - magnetite process interface engineer Brian Webb w and electrical technician Matthew Hasted placed third in a time of one hour and 39 minutes. EHM general manager Mike Westerman, senior community nd relations advisor Vicki Wilson and rth environmental advisor Lil Howarth hing also competed in the event, ﬁnishing s. ﬁfth in two hours and 10 minutes. ess EHM employees also had success in the individual sections of the triathlon. Senior mine maintenance supervisor Bill Robinson placed second in the 45-49 age group while environment superintendent Jules Blunt came third in the 30-34 years category. Mine production superintendent Greg Walker placed ninth in the 25-29 years section. The Julia Creek Dirt and artners under Dust Festival is one of EHM’s partners hip Program North the Xstrata Community Partnership Queensland.
Ernest Henry environmental advisor Lil Howarth, senior community relations officer Vicki Wilson and general manager Mike Westerman placed fifth in the corporate team event in the Dirt and Dust Triathlon.
Dan Buckley completes the 20km bike leg in 52.57 minutes.
Ernest Henry Mining’s Anna O’Rourke, Dan Buckley, Cam McClymont, Jules Blunt, Ben Robinson and Matt Hasted celebrate their triathlon success.
Mens open winner Harry Summers. Masters male winner Peter Neimanis.
Moranbah’s CFMEU 10km Run drew a ﬁeld of more than 130 participants during the mining community’s May Day weekend celebrations for 2009. It was the best turnout yet for the event, which was in its eighth year, according to local CFMEU (Construction, Forestry, Mining and Energy Union) oﬃce manager Anne O’Leary – who organised the long weekend events along with fellow co-ordinator Theresa Malone. Runners came from as far aﬁeld as Townsville, Brisbane, the Gold Coast and Sydney. Sy Sydney runners Lara Tamsett and Harry Summers took out the top two prizes, receiving $2500 each for winning the open male and female events. ““Any of the elite runners are just amazing to watch,” Ms O’ O’Leary said. “They do a ‘cool down’ by running around the track again an and many of our locals who compete in, for example, the ‘W ‘Wannabes’ event are blown away by their athleticism.” The Wannabes team event, sponsored by the Moranbah C Community Workers Club, oﬀers prizes of “liquid rrefreshments” (cartons of beer) for the less athletically iinclined who brave the run. Ms O’Leary said the 2009 event also attracted a record 29 competitors in the 5km event for juniors. “Our CFMEU general president Tony Maher travelled up from Sydney to be our race starter and later spoke at the CFMEU dinner held after the event,” she said. “Tony stressed how amazing it was for such a rich road race to be on oﬀer in such a small community, what a great turnout it was and how much it added to the overall fun and excitement of the May Day weekend.” Ladies open winner Lara Tamsett.
May 2009 |
The Mining Advocate
COVERAGE BROUGHT TO YOU BY
Rounds 10 - 17
Royal attire They call him “Prince Dogg” or “Royal Hound” – nicknames the Gold Coast Titans co-captain is happy to wear. So happy in fact, that Scott Prince recently released his own clothing brand playing up the poochy persona. The halfback said the Royal Hound line was launched as “an experiment”, with 250 shirts produced sporting a logo he designed. The logo includes a shield with a No. 7, a football, crown and paw print. “Basically myself and a mate of mine had the idea and we had a local company on the coast here make a few of them up,” Prince said. He said the Royal Hound shirts were available at the Jetstar Gold Coast Titans oﬃcial merchandise store in Robina Town Centre, Robina.
Helping hand The Cloncurry Police Citizens Youth Club (PCYC) took delivery of a signed Cowboys jersey recently to be auctioned to help fund its “Footy Families” program. Cloncurry PCYC branch manager Sergeant Mick Hughes - pictured receiving the jersey from player Matt Scott in Townsville - said the club had also donated caps, balls, bags, stickers and other Cowboys gear to be handed out as prizes for children attending Footy Families sessions. The program encourages young people to visit the PCYC to watch NRL games on the big screen and to bring older family members along with them. It aims to reduce children’s exposure to domestic violence and alcohol–related oﬀences in the home. Sgt Hughes said an average of 10 children, plus family members, had been joining the footy screening sessions. However, he was hopeful numbers would build throughout the season as the idea caught on. “I would like to see 30 or 40 people here at a time,” he said.
Game Venue Round 10: 15 - 18 May 2009 Broncos v Titans Suncorp Stadium Dragons v Bulldogs WIN Stadium Roosters v Knights Sydney Football Stadium Panthers v Sharks CUA Stadium Sea Eagles v Eels Brookvale Oval Warriors v Cowboys Mt Smart Stadium Wests Tigers v Rabbitohs Sydney Cricket Ground Storm v Raiders Olympic Park Round 11: 22 - 25 May 2009 Eels v Rabbitohs ANZ Stadium Broncos v Wests Tigers Campbelltown Stadium Sharks v Dragons Toyota Stadium Roosters v Panthers CUA Stadium Bulldogs v Storm Bluetongue Stadium Raiders v Warriors Canberra Stadium Titans v Sea Eagles Skilled Park Cowboys v Knights Dairy Farmers Stadium Round 12: 29 May - 1 June 2009 Dragons v Panthers WIN Stadium Eels v Sharks Parramatta Stadium Knights v Bulldogs Energy Australia Stadium Warriors v Wests Tigers Mt Smart Stadium Rabbitohs v Raiders ANZ Stadium Round 13: 5 - 8 June 2009 Wests Tigers v Panthers Leichhardt Oval Storm v Broncos Olympic Park Sea Eagles v Roosters Brookvale Oval Cowboys v Rabbitohs Dairy Farmers Stadium Sharks v Warriors Toyota Stadium Knights v Eels Energy Australia Stadium Titans v Dragons Skilled Park Round 14: 12 - 15 June 2009 Broncos v Bulldogs Suncorp Stadium Warriors v Knights Mt Smart Stadium Roosters v Titans Bluetongue Stadium Panthers v Sea Eagles CUA Stadium Rabbitohs v Storm Members Equity Stadium Raiders v Sharks Canberra Stadium Dragons v Cowboys WIN Stadium Eels v Wests Tigers Parramatta Stadium Round 15: 19 - 22 June 2009 Bulldogs v Panthers ANZ Stadium Cowboys v Roosters Dairy Farmers Stadium Storm v Wests Tigers Olympic Park Sea Eagles v Raiders Brookvale Oval Sharks v Broncos Toyota Stadium Round 15: 26 - 29 June 2009 Bulldogs v Cowboys ANZ Stadium Wests Tigers v Dragons Sydney Football Stadium Titans v Warriors Skilled Park Roosters v Sharks Sydney Football Stadium Raiders v Storm Canberra Stadium Eels v Broncos Parramatta Stadium Knights v Rabbitohs Energy Australia Stadium Round 16: 3 - 6 July 2009 Broncos v Warriors Suncorp Stadium Dragons v Roosters WIN Stadium Rabbitohs v Wests Tigers ANZ Stadium Storm v Knights Olympic Park Cowboys v Sharks Dairy Farmers Stadium Raiders v Titans Canberra Stadium Panthers v Eels CUA Stadium Sea Eagles v Bulldogs Brookvale Oval
Date/Time* Friday 7:35 pm Friday 7:35 pm Saturday 5:30 pm Saturday 7:30 pm Sunday 2:00 pm Sunday 12:00 pm Sunday 3:00 pm Monday 7:00 pm Friday 7:35 pm Friday 7:35 pm Saturday 5:30 pm Saturday 7:30 pm Saturday 7:30 pm Sunday 2:00 pm Sunday 3:00 pm Monday 7:00 pm Friday 7:35 pm Saturday 7:30 pm Sunday 3:00 pm Sunday 2:00 pm Monday 7:00 pm
Push for CQ team Central Queensland has launched a hard-hitting bid team as it ﬁghts to join the NRL competition. “We have assembled a team of very talented and hard-working people who are committed to delivering something that has the capacity to unite the people of central Queensland like nothing else - a central Queensland-based NRL team,” bid team chair Geoﬀ Murphy said. As well as Mr Murphy, director of the JM Kelly Group of Companies, the team includes a number of prominent local businesspeople, civic leaders and home-grown league stars Gary Larson and Jason Hetherington (pictured above with Mr Murphy). Project co-ordinator Jason Costigan said support from the Central Highlands and Bowen Basin coalﬁelds was vital to the cause. “From Moranbah to Middlemount, Duaringa to Dysart and Capella to Coppabella, the people of the coalﬁelds are renowned for their passion for rugby league,” he said. “Many of them regularly make the long trip to Brisbane or Townsville to watch NRL football. “One day, hopefully in 2013, we’d like to think a massive slice of them will pledge their allegiances to a central Queensland-based NRL team.”
Friday 7:35 pm Friday 7:35 pm Saturday 5:30 pm Saturday 7:30 pm Sunday 2.00 pm Sunday 3:00 pm Monday 7:00 pm Friday 7:35 pm Friday 6:35 pm Saturday 5:30 pm Saturday 7:30 pm Saturday 9:30 pm Sunday 2:00 pm Sunday 3:00 pm Monday 7:00 pm Friday 7:35 pm Saturday 7:00 pm Sunday 2:00 pm Sunday 3:00 pm Monday 7:00 pm Friday 7:35 pm Friday 7:35 pm Saturday 5:30 pm Saturday 7:30 pm Sunday 2:00 pm Sunday 3:00 pm Monday 7:00 pm Friday 7:35 pm Friday 7:35 pm Saturday 5:30 pm Saturday 7:30 pm Saturday 7:30 pm Sunday 2:00 pm Sunday 3:00 pm Monday 7:00 pm
*Kickoff time at the venue in Eastern Standard Time.
Mal’s on the job Mal Meninga - pictured with Kirwan High School students Clinton Conway, Tibian Wyles and Genami Geia - was among the Queensland State of Origin legends who threw their weight behind an indigenous employment forum in Townsville recently. The Former Origin Greats (FOGS) Indigenous Employment and Careers Expo was designed to give indigenous people a unique opportunity to connect with employment, education and training providers. It attracted more than 2000 jobseekers as well as league legends including Meninga, Allan Langer, Michael Hancock, Gene Miles, Greg Conescu, Sam Backo and Arthur Beetson. Cowboys skipper Johnathon Thurston also visited the event. Future expos are planned for the Rockhampton Showgrounds – June 10, Cairns Convention Centre – July 29, Mackay Entertainment Centre- August 12, Mount Isa Civic Centre – September 9 and Suncorp Stadium in Brisbane – October 7.
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The Mining Advocate - May 2009