All Projects

Sale of royalty interest in Pilbara gold region

Apollo Minerals Limited has entered into an agreement with African Mango Pty Ltd in relation to the sale of one of its royalty interests in the Pilbara Gold region for A$1 million in. An upfront cash payment of A$600,000 has been received by the company and a further A$400,000 in cash will be paid on the 12 month anniversary of signing a formal Deed of Assignment and Assumption, in return for the sale of Apollo’s royalty interest over tenement E47/1379. Apollo Minerals retains its royalty interests over two areas located near recent discoveries including Artemis’ Mt OscarWits gold prospect. Proceeds received from the sale will be used to advance its current activities, including its 80% interest in the Couflens Tungsten-Copper-Gold Project in France.... more

Empire strikes back with more high-grade gold discoveries

Empire Resources has struck gold grading up to 15.60 grams per tonne (g/t) within the underground extension of its operating Penny’s Find mine near Kalgoorlie in Western Australia. Better results from the six-hole diamond drill program were 1.63m grading 15.60g/t gold, 3.52m grading 6.32g/t gold including 1.22m grading 12.34g/t gold, and 1.94m grading 10.57g/t gold. The recent drilling results complement previous assays taken from the ore body – boosting the company’s confidence. “Results from the recent underground drilling have given us the confidence to move ahead with a final underground feasibility study to extend Penny’s Find’s mine life beyond the open pit,” Empire Resources managing director David Sargeant said. “With gold mineralisation open at depth, there is good potential to add to the current underground indicated and inferred resource of 170,000 ... more

First ore delivered from underground gold mine

Eastern Goldfields Limited has delivered the first ore from its Golden Eagle Underground Gold Mine located approximately 2.5 kilometre south west of the Davyhurst Mill, within the north eastern goldfields of Western Australia. Executive Chairman Michael Fotios said the delivery of first ore from the Golden Eagle Deposit is a significant milestone for the Davyhurst Project, and marks an immediate increase to the mill feed grades. “We are excited to see the gold mineralisation on the first level of our new underground mine, with the mining exposures being as expected when compared to the pre‐mining model. We now look forward to exposing the extent of the ore on this level and are on‐track to deliver consistent production levels for processing.” The Golden Eagle deposit is hosted within a 10‐20 metre wide mineralised (quartz, silica, pyrrhotite and pyrite), sub‐vertical... more

WA lithium project signs off on Stage 2

Tianqi Lithium's has announced its final investment decision to expand its processing plant currently under construction at Kwinana in Western Australia. The project will take spodumene from the Greenbushes mine south-east of Bunbury and process and refine it into battery-grade lithium hydroxide for export. Construction on the $400 million Stage 1 commenced in October 2016, with an initial production capacity of 24,000 tonnes per year. The Tianqi board has now approved a $300 million second stage for the project, doubling the annual capacity to 48,000 tonnes. Approvals for the project are already in place and completion is expected in late 2019. Stage 2 is expected to commence construction immediately, extending work for the existing pool of up to 500 construction workers working on the current project. Permanent positions on the completed processing plant are expected to ... more

Empire Resources pours first gold as cash flows begin

Emerging gold producer Empire Resources is poised for ongoing cash flow after producing more than $2 million worth of gold from its maiden processing campaign at Penny’s Find gold mine in Western Australia’s Kalgoorlie-Boulder region. In this first campaign, Empire Resources took 15 days to process 21,710 tonnes (t) of Penny’s Find ore at Golden Mile Milling’s nearby Lakewood Mill. Preliminary figures from the campaign revealed about 1,500 ounces (oz) of gold were produced at a 94% recovery rate, including recouping 44% from the gravity circuit. The calculated ore head grade was 2.38g/t gold from the initial operation. However, this is expected to be higher in upcoming campaigns as mining moves to the higher-grade part of the orebody. With a further 16,000t currently being processed at the Burbanks mill south of Coolgardie, Empire Resources will be bringing in even mo... more

Cadia East Panel Cave 1 production recommences

The remediation and upgrade work required to recommence use of Cadia East’s Panel Cave 1 (PC1) crusher chamber has been completed to a standard consistent with Newcrest’s emphasis on safe, strong and sustainable operations. Extraction of ore has now recommenced from two extraction drives in PC1. Newcrest has submitted final ground support plans for the PC1 crusher chamber and extraction level to the regulator, and these have been accepted. As a result, the Prohibition Notice has been amended to allow operations to recommence as areas are upgraded in accordance with the submitted plans. Remediation and upgrade work continues on other areas in the PC1 extraction level, which is expected to be completed by the end of December 2017. As announced at the time, Newcrest completed the ‘test and response’ phase of the Panel Cave 2 (PC2) on 19 July 2017, with the ramp-up in produc... more

Rio Tinto’s US$338 million Silvergrass iron ore mine officially open

Rio Tinto has officially opened its Silvergrass iron ore mine in Western Australia. The US$338 million project is the 16th mine at Rio Tinto’s world-class iron ore operations and will produce low-phosphorous ore crucial to maintaining Rio Tinto’s premium Pilbara Blend product. Rio Tinto chief executive J-S Jacques said “Silvergrass is a great example of our value-over-volume approach in action as the mine will deliver the high-quality, low-cost ore used to maintain the world-class premium Pilbara Blend product our customers love so much. “Silvergrass is a further demonstration of our long-standing commitment to the Pilbara region in Western Australia where we’ve invested more than US$20 billion over the past decade.” West Australian Premier Mark McGowan led the formalities at a ceremony in the Pilbara to mark the opening, with full commissioning scheduled before the ... more

The best resources construction project awarded

BGC Contracting has won the 'Best Resources Construction Project' award at the Master Builders Excellence in Construction awards 2017.  The award was for the works undertaken on the Roy Hill Port Landside project for client, Samsung C&T Corporation. After completing the civil construction of the aerodrome, road and rail for Roy Hill, BGC Contracting was awarded another contract on the project by lead contractor Samsung C&T to progress the Port Landside package, valued in the region of $420M, for a purpose built iron ore port facility in Port Hedland. The scope for this project consisted of all earthworks, civil works and general infrastructure necessary to develop the landside facilities at the Roy Hill Port. The scope of work included: Bulk earthworks Ground improvement (rock displacement, piling, geofabric, soil replacement/stabilisation) Rail embank... more

Gas engine technology chosen for gold mining project

Clarke Energy, GE’s distributor and service partner, will provide 11 of GE’s high-efficiency Jenbacher J624 gas engines to Australia’s leading energy infrastructure business, APA Group, for its new 45-megawatt (MW) Yamarna Power Station in Western Australia, which is being constructed to supply power to the Gruyere Gold Project. Clarke Energy will engineer, procure and construct (EPC) the gas-fired power station. Gas for power generation will be transported a total of almost 1,500 kilometers using four APA Group interconnected pipelines including its latest greenfield, 198-kilometer Yamarna Gas Pipeline, currently also under construction. “As an infrastructure owner, our priority is to provide safe, reliable and efficient energy to our customers,” said Sam Pearce, Group Executive Networks and Power, APA Group. “Together with Clarke Energy as the EPC and GE’s demonstra... more

BHP invests A$350 million in Olympic Dam smelter operations

BHP’s Olympic Dam smelter operations will be enhanced through a total of A$350 million investment in the operations, which produce copper products for global markets. Olympic Dam Asset President, Jacqui McGill, said the smelter maintenance campaign was the largest planned shutdown by BHP in the South Australia. “There will be 1,300 contractors at Olympic Dam during the peak of construction as teams work around the clock to dismantle, rebuild and upgrade integral components of the facility. “Work is underway on site with teams preparing to dismantle old infrastructure and starting to take delivery of more than 350 material loads to support the project,” Ms McGill said. “The rolling shutdown across the surface operations starts in August with the maintenance campaign running for more than 100 days in total. “As always, the safety of our people and our contractors... more

Gold project continues positive strike

Geopacific has released positive drill results confirming the increasing value of its flagship Woodlark Gold Project in Papua New Guinea. The current drilling campaign at the Woodlark Gold Project resulted in identification of broad zones of high-grade mineralisation at both the Kulumandau West and Busai deposits, while the area north of Kulumadau East also continues to produce positive results from surface, in line with the Kulumadau deposit. The results confirm continuity of the mineralisation zones, as predicted. All results are within close proximity to the 2012 pit designs. Geopacific Managing Director Ron Heeks said the impressive results provide continued confidence in Geopacific’s strategy to develop Woodlark into a robust project. “Depth extensions at the Kulumandau West and Busai deposits have been identified, demonstrating positive potential for Woodlark,” he... more

Joint Venture to develop lithium project

Kidman Resources Limited has announced an agreement with one of the world’s leading lithium producers, Sociedad Química y Minera de Chile S.A. (SQM) to establish a 50:50 Joint Venture (JV) to develop and operate its world-class Mt Holland Lithium Project as well as to develop a proposed downstream lithium refinery operation in Western Australia. About 200 jobs will be created during the mine site's construction phase and approximately 200 full-time jobs once operating. At the refinery, up to 200 jobs are expected to be created during construction and 180 full-time processing operational jobs. In consideration for the acquisition of a 50% joint venture interest in the Mt Holland Lithium Project, SQM will make payments of A$146.67 million; comprising a cash payment of A$40 million to Kidman, and a staged payment of A$106.67 million to fund the initial costs of the development o... more

Land Court of Queensland recommends coal mining lease grant

The Land Court of Queensland has recommended Minister Lynham grant the Mining Lease and the Environmental Authority be issued for the Kevin’s Corner coal mine in the Galilee Basin, subject to the original draft conditions. The Queensland Resources Council Chief Executive Ian Macfarlane said in a statement that the GVK backed mine would inject billions of dollars into regional Queensland with 1,800 construction jobs, 1,600 operational and thousands more through indirect employment for the life of the mine. “The findings clearly recognise that both the Queensland and Commonwealth impact assessment frameworks are rigorous and appropriate,” he said. Once operational the mine would produce up to 30 million tonnes of coal which provides the government with an extra $168 million of royalties to the Budget annually. The Queensland coal industry delivered $32.7 billion dollars t... more

$20 million investment in lithium project

The Federal Government, through the Clean Energy Finance Corporation (CEFC), is investing around $20 million (US$15 million) into a project producing lithium concentrate – an essential component in electric vehicles and battery storage. Located about 120km south of Port Hedland in Western Australia, the Pilgangoora open pit lithium mine will produce lithium concentrate that can support a full range of lithium products used in products such as lithium batteries. The CEFC’s investment in the project, led by Pilbara Minerals Limited, will help to finance the development of the Pilgangoora project. Lithium is a vital component used in battery storage, which helps to support Australia’s increasing use of renewable energy. Increasing the supply of lithium will help to drive the uptake of clean energy technologies, such as electric cars and battery storage. Construction of th... more

BHP approves Pilbara mine funding

BHP has announced the approval of A$244 million (BHP share) in initial funding for the South Flank sustaining mine project in the central Pilbara, Western Australia. BHP President Operations, Minerals Australia, Mike Henry, said the funding would generate several hundred construction jobs and provide exciting opportunities for Western Australian suppliers. The South Flank project, which will leverage and expand the existing Mining Area C hub, is BHP’s preferred option to replace production from the 80 Mtpa (100 per cent basis) Yandi mine when it reaches the end of its economic life in the early-to-mid 2020s. The project is expected to be submitted for Board approval in the middle of the 2018 calendar year, with first ore targeted in the 2021 calendar year and ramp-up timed to coincide with the ramp-down of Yandi. Full development of South Flank would generate several thousand job... more

Argent gets approval for the Loch Lilly drilling programme

Argent Minerals Limited has received regulatory approval to commence a diamond drilling programme in the Loch Lilly – Kars Belt in Western New South Wales. The Loch Lilly - Kars Belt, located approximately 80 kilometres south of Broken Hill, is analogous to the Mount Read Volcanics of Western Tasmania, which hosts world class VHMS, copper-gold porphyry and nickel sulphide mineralisation. Argent will earn its first 51% interest in the Loch Lilly Joint Venture by completing the drilling programme to test two compelling geophysical targets – Eaglehawk and Netley. The drilling program will comprise two diamond drill holes for a total of 1,000 metres, with one 500-metre hole to test each target. The direct per-metre drilling costs of the programme will be 75% co-funded by the NSW Government up to $150,000. The highly sought after Government funding was awarded to the project base... more

Atlas increases low capex production and defers Corunna Downs

Atlas Iron Limited has announced that the annual production rate at its Mt Webber project, in Port Hedland, Western Australia will increase from 7mtpa to 9mtpa (wmt) with the incremental production being processed at the Company’s recommissioned Mt Dove site. Recommissioning the Mt Dove crushing plant and modifying the Mt Webber stockyards to facilitate transport of ‘run of mine’ ore has been completed at a capital cost of $1 million. Corunna Downs has been deferred primarily due to prevailing market conditions and also approval processes taking longer than expected. The deferral will allow the Company to further de-risk Corunna Downs in anticipation of improved market conditions. The Mt Webber upgrade is a low-cost option for the Company that retains productive capacity without major capital expenditure. Atlas Managing Director Cliff Lawrenson said the recommissioning of the... more

Rio Tinto names Yancoal as the preferred buyer of coal assets in Australia

The Rio Tinto board has reconfirmed its recommendation that shareholders vote in favour of the sale of its wholly-owned subsidiary Coal & Allied Industries Limited (C&A) to Yancoal Australia Limited. The recommendation follows consideration by the board of a counter proposal from Glencore plc and a proposal from Yancoal comprising improved terms to the transaction previously announced. Rio Tinto has engaged in active discussion with both parties and the board assessed a number of factors in its consideration of both proposals, including price and value; the risk that regulatory approvals will not be granted, or will be significantly delayed; funding certainty; and deal execution timeline. The board is recommending Yancoal’s proposal to its shareholders based on: Yancoal’s agreement to accelerate all deferred payments and make a single payment of $2.45 billion at compl... more

$195 million Yallourn mining extension contract awarded

CIMIC Group’s mining services provider Thiess, as part of the Roche Thiess Linfox (RTL) joint venture, has been awarded a contract to continue mining operations at the Yallourn mine, located in Victoria’s Latrobe Valley. The alliance agreement with Energy Australia will extend RTL’s existing operations at the mine to 2026. The contract will generate revenue of approximately $450 million for RTL, of which Thiess’ share is $195 million. CIMIC Chief Executive Officer Adolfo Valderas said: “This extension is a testament to the strength of the relationship between Energy Australia, Thiess and RTL, reflecting the goodwill that has been developed during the past 16 years.” CIMIC Group Executive Mining and Mineral Processing, and Thiess Manager Director, Michael Wright said: “This contract extension provides certainty to the committed workforce who have contributed to the All... more

Rio Tinto approves investment for iron ore development in WA

Rio Tinto has approved an investment of $30.9 million to complete the project feasibility study for the development of its Koodaideri iron ore deposit in Western Australia. The study, which is included in the group’s disclosed capital guidance, will examine the Koodaideri option as Rio Tinto’s next potential major mining development in the Pilbara, and is intended to replace existing production.1 Rio Tinto Iron Ore chief executive Chris Salisbury said “We are pleased to be investing a further $30.9 million in Western Australia, which will be spent with local businesses and suppliers as well as firms outside the state. “The Koodaideri development will require an expected 1600 construction jobs and a further 600 operational staff if approved. “We remain firmly focused on our value over volume strategy and maximising returns through enhanced productivity. We are examin... more

Report confirms ‘extraordinary’ Bowen Basin coal deposit

A mining company which decided to keep drilling through the resources downturn has now confirmed one of Queensland’s most remarkable coal discoveries. Vitrinite Pty Ltd has identified 123 million tonnes of coking coal in the Karin Basin tenement in the Bowen Basin – much of which has the highest fluidity ever recorded in Australia. The company was formed by three thirty-something friends against the backdrop of a collapse in coal exploration spending across Queensland, from $718m in 2011-12 to just $119m in 2015-16. Principal Geologist Dr Guy LeBlanc Smith said the Karin Basin deposit, near Clermont, contained “extraordinary metallurgical coal” despite being on the western edge of a known thermal coal field. “The potential for this area was not fully appreciated until now,” Dr LeBlanc Smith said. “An oasis of high-quality coking coal has been found on thermal... more

Sedgman wins $107M base metals project

CIMIC Group’s mineral processing company, Sedgman, has been awarded a contract by Heron Resources Limited to deliver the Woodlawn zinc-copper processing facility and associated infrastructure. The engineering procurement and construction (EPC) contract will generate revenue to Sedgman of approximately $107 million over 18 months. CIMIC Group Chief Executive Officer Adolfo Valderas said: “The contract for this zinc-copper crushing and processing facility is a further example of CIMIC Group’s strategy to expand through diversifying by commodity or geography. “The contract enhances Sedgman’s position as a global mineral specialist with a balanced commodity portfolio.” Sedgman Managing Director Michael Carretta said: “We are pleased to be working with Heron Resources on one of the key Australian base metal projects. “Leveraging both technical and commercial inn... more

PYBAR awarded underground mining contracts at North Queensland projects

PYBAR Mining Services has been awarded the development and mining contract at Auctus Resources’ Mungana and King Vol projects, and has commenced operations at both sites. The contract covers 31 months service provision at Mungana and five years at King Vol. Mungana The Mungana zinc, copper, silver, gold and lead mine is located 16km from Chillagoe in far North Queensland. The mine commenced operations in 2006 and went into a period of care and maintenance in 2012 under its previous owner. Auctus acquired the project in 2015 with the objective of recommencing production as soon as possible. The contract at Mungana follows PYBAR’s successful completion of an early works program at the project which took place from September 2016 to January 2017. Following a competitive tender process for the early works, PYBAR commenced on site on 16 September under a four month agreement. ... more

BHP Billiton invests in Caval Ridge Southern Circuit

BHP Billiton Mitsubishi Alliance (BMA) will invest US$204 million (100 per cent basis)* in the Caval Ridge Southern Circuit (CRSC) capital growth project, in Central Queensland’s Bowen Basin.  CRSC is an 11 kilometre overland conveyor system which will transport coal from Peak Downs Mine to the Coal Handling Preparation Plant (CHPP) at the nearby Caval Ridge Mine. The project will create up to 400 new construction jobs and lock in approximately 200 ongoing operational roles. It will also result in the Caval Ridge preparation plant increasing its throughput to reach its 10 million tonne per year capacity. BHP Billiton President Operations, Minerals Australia, Mike Henry said the project formed the missing link between the two mines, and will accelerate growth and productivity. “This investment furthers our productivity agenda, reduces costs, releases latent equipment capa... more

Pilbara Minerals to farm into Atlas lithium asset

Atlas Iron Limited will partner with Pilbara Minerals Limited in relation to two lithium projects in the Pilbara region of Western Australia. Pilbara has agreed to acquire and farm into Atlas’ Cisco lithium prospect, where sampling has identified lithium enrichment at grades which are in line with Pilbara’s flagship Pilgangoora lithium project. Atlas and Pilbara have also entered into a memorandum of understanding setting out terms for Atlas to provide logistics services to a direct shipping ore phase of Pilbara’s Pilgangoora lithium project. Atlas retains ownership of other lithium prospects in the region. Atlas Managing Director Cliff Lawrenson said the agreements would diversify Atlas’ business for minimal capital outlay. “This agreement gives Atlas the opportunity to realise the value of Cisco using Pilbara’s lithium expertise and investment, and a farm-in model ... more

Georgiou secures three contracts on Kwinana Lithium Project

National building construction, engineering and property development company Georgiou Group will play a key role on the Tianqi Lithium Australia Pty Ltd (Tianqi) Lithium Hydroxide Processing Plant Project in Kwinana, after today being awarded a $17 million contract by MSP Engineering (MSPE). After a successful Early Contractor Involvement (ECI) process, Georgiou has been awarded the design and construct contract to build Tianqi’s new southern hemisphere headquarters. This is the third contract Georgiou has secured on this project after being awarded the forward works contract in September 2016 and the concrete works contract in early 2017. The value of both these contracts is approximately $15 million. Georgiou Group CEO John Georgiou said the contract involves the construction of a new office, training, security, warehouse storage, laboratory and control room buildings. ... more

Newcrest partners with Telstra to deliver high-speed broadband

Newcrest has partnered with telecommunications and technology company, Telstra, to become the first gold miner in the southern hemisphere to deliver O3b’s high-speed broadband through its new 100 megabits per second (Mbps) satellite link to the Lihir gold mine in New Ireland Province, Papua New Guinea. The new medium-earth-orbit (MEO) satellite link, which has increased bandwidth to Lihir by over 600 per cent, is the result of a partnership between Newcrest, Telstra and satellite service provider O3b Networks. “Newcrest is proud to make use of this innovative new service to significantly improve the network experience at Lihir”, said Chief Information Officer, Gavin Wood. “As well as enabling better IT and digital solutions for our operation, the new link will help to make Lihir a better place to work and live for our workforce,” he said. The Lihir operation was previo... more

Rio Tinto mine developments deliver 1000 construction jobs in WA

Development projects underway at Rio Tinto’s new Silvergrass mine and its West Angeles and Yandicoogina mines are expected to support more than 1000 construction jobs in Western Australia. Construction of Rio Tinto’s sixteenth iron ore mine in the Pilbara, Silvergrass, has been ramping up since the beginning of the year and is forecast to provide about 500 jobs during construction. Development of a new deposit at West Angeles mine is now nearing completion, with an estimated peak workforce of 120 people. Mine development projects to sustain production at Yandicoogina mine are forecast to involve a further 470 jobs during construction. Rio Tinto Iron Ore chief executive Chris Salisbury said “Rio Tinto continues to invest in its Pilbara iron ore business, which is helping to sustain local businesses and jobs. “To date, we have awarded more than $180 million in constr... more

Ravenswood recommencement of mining approved

The Queensland Department of Environment and Heritage Protection has issued the final approved Amended Environmental Authority for the recommencement of mining at Resolute Mining Limited’s Sarsfield open pit.  The Environmental Authority is a major milestone in the governmental approval process required to progress the Ravenswood Expansion Project (REP) and includes all provisions required to recommence mining at the Sarsfield open pit. The REP will extend the Company’s local operations for a further 13 years to at least 2029, increase average annual gold production to more than 120,000 ounces, and generate Life-of-Mine All-In Sustaining Costs of A$1,166 per ounce. Receipt of the final Environmental Authority for Sarsfield follows the granting of Prescribed Project status to the REP by the Queensland Government. Managing Director & CEO, Mr. John Welborn, was delighted to r... more

Pilbara Minerals Limited receives key environmental approval

Approval of Native Vegetation Clearing Permit marks another key development milestone with final approval for the Pilgangoora Mining Proposal expected in the near term. Australian lithium developer Pilbara Minerals Limited has received the first of two key environmental approvals for its 100%-owned Pilgangoora Lithium-Tantalum Project in Western Australia, marking another important milestone towards the start of construction. Pilbara Minerals Limited has now been granted its permit to Clear Native Vegetation under the Environmental Protection Act 1986 (WA), giving it authorisation to clear, subject to receipt of other environmental approvals and certain terms, conditions or restrictions which are common for these types of permits. In parallel, the Company is progressing its Mining Proposal with the WA Department of Mines and Petroleum (DMP), which is the other key environmental ... more

$900 million in contracts secured for new Cape York Peninsula mine

Rio Tinto has awarded more than $900 million in contracts to Queensland suppliers as the development of the world class Amrun bauxite project on Cape York Peninsula continues. The Queensland spend makes up almost two thirds of the $1.38 billion in contracts awarded to Australian suppliers for the project to date. 509 Queensland businesses have been engaged directly and indirectly to supply goods and services to the site. Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said “Rio Tinto’s significant investment in local and regional suppliers will provide a tremendous boost to the economy of Queensland. “The Amrun project will ensure Queensland businesses and their employees will continue to reap the benefits of many development opportunities for years to come. “It is a best practice example of encouraging local and Indigenous participation with substantial employment target... more

Emmerson Resources confirms high-grade gold at NT project

Emmerson Resources has received its final batch of assay results from campaign 3 of drilling at the Edna Beryl project in the Northern Territory. Drilling features grades of up to 11.4 g/t gold and significantly confirms continuation of the Edna Beryl high-grade gold zone at depth. Diamond drill hole EBWDD054 is the deepest hole drilled to date at Edna Beryl at 220 metres depth and intersected 6.4 metres at 2.75 g/t gold and 0.54 g/t silver. The same hole also intersected 2 metres at 2.11% copper, 8.3 g/t silver, 2.06% bismuth and 0.33 g/t gold. All exploration is fully funded by the farm-in and joint venture with Evolution Mining. Evolution has formally notified Emmerson that it will complete its earn-in obligations under the joint venture and extend it to capture Emmerson’s newly acquired Rover project. Tennant Creek Mineral Field joint venture Through expenditure of $... more

Forthcoming land release for opal mining at Coober Pedy

On 16 March 2017 the South Australian Government will release three sections of land for opal mining within the Coober Pedy Precious Stones Field. The land had been set aside as water bore reserves and excluded from opal mining for the last 40 years. The return of the land for opal mining has been agreed as part of the 2015 negotiations of the Indigenous Land Use Agreement over the Coober Pedy Precious Stones Fields. Given the interest in the release areas, the South Australian Government is officiating a progressive ballot for the pegging of claims. The ballot is designed to ensure a fair and equitable process for all miners wishing to peg claims in the area. To be eligible for the ballot a person must hold a current precious stones prospecting permit and must register their interest with the Mining Regulation Opal Field Office in Coober Pedy. The release areas will be open ... more

Queensland coal project receives Federal environmental approval

New Hope Group’s New Acland Coal Mine expansion project in Queensland has been given a Federal Government Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act (EPBC) approval after years of delays. Announced by Federal Environment and Energy Minister, Josh Frydenberg, the EPBC approval is the culmination of a period of extensive scrutiny by federal environmental departments, multiple environment ministers and the Independent Expert Scientific Committee (IESC). New Hope Group’s Managing Director, Shane Stephan, said this approval, provided after thorough review of potential impacts, including groundwater, demonstrates that the environmental credentials of the project stack up. "It’s positive news for the local community as it provides optimism for the continuity of operations at New Acland and the increased economic activity associated with the construction of the proje... more

Saracen acquires the Bundarra gold project

Saracen Mineral Holdings has entered into an agreement to acquire the Bundarra gold project in Western Australia from Bligh Resources Limited. Bundarra is located 30km south of Saracen’s Thunderbox project, and adjacent to the sealed Goldfields Highway. The project was initially mined between 2000 and 2002 by Sons of Gwalia, producing 1.7Mt @ 2.2g/t for 115koz gold. The acquisition increases the Mineral Resources within economic trucking distance of Saracen’s Thunderbox and Carosue Dam plants by approximately 5% to 8.8Moz. Managing Director Raleigh Finlayson said Bundarra is a sensible low cost bolt-on acquisition for Saracen. “The financially robust open pit Resources will immediately extend the mine life at the nearby Thunderbox mine, with high grade extensional results pointing to further growth.” Mr Finlayson said. Project Key Points Consideration for the ... more

Carmichael secures another major approval milestone

The $21.7 billion Carmichael coal and rail project has secured its final major State and Federal Government approval. The Coordinator-General has approved an application for the project’s rail line into Abbot Point as well as a temporary construction workers’ camp. State Development Minister Dr Anthony Lynham said the latest, and final, secondary approval this week was for about 31.5km of permanent rail line, as well as a temporary construction camp with up to 300 beds. “This is another key milestone for the project, which Adani has confirmed it will start construction on next year,” Dr Lynham said. The project already has all primary approvals as well as prescribed project and critical infrastructure project status in place to reduce red tape. The rail section approved this week will form part of the 389 kilometre standard gauge, heavy haul railway line from the mine... more

Refurbishment of zinc processing plant commences

Zinc developer Red River Resources Limited has commenced initial refurbishment work at the Thalanga Processing Plant, part of its Thalanga Zinc Project in Queensland. Work completed to date includes: Removal and refurbishment of concentrate thickener rakes Removal and refurbishment of Mill 3 feed chute Rebuild of ball mill hopper for Mills 1 & 2 Cleaning out concentrate storage bunkers prior to inspection and repair Comprehensive NDT (non-destructive testing) test work program. Initial works have been funded by over-subscribed A$8.9m capital raising and this refurbishment will allow accelerated project restart while aggressive exploration continues across the Thalanga Zinc Project. Red River’s Managing Director Mel Palancian commented: “This work forms an important step towards the full restart of the Thalanga Zinc Project and will enable us to further t... more

New copper mine construction commenced

Construction has commenced at OZ Minerals’ Carrapateena copper mine, paving the way for almost $1 billion in potential investment in South Australia's North and more than 1000 jobs. Premier Jay Weatherill has officially open a planned 5.5 kilometre underground tunnel to access and mine one of Australia’s largest undeveloped copper deposits, located 160 kilometres north of Port Augusta. If the detailed exploration is successful and the project is progressed it is expected to generate more than 1000 construction to production jobs in the next few years; with an anticipated mine life of over 20 years. The $65 million contract to build the exploration tunnel and associated infrastructure was awarded to PYBAR Mining Services. The Carrapateena iron-oxide copper-gold deposit was discovered in 2005 with the assistance of a State Government Plan for Accelerating Explora... more

Iron Valley iron ore extension project recommended for approval

A proposal to extend the depth and area of existing mine pits in the Pilbara region has been recommended for approval by the Environmental Protection Authority. BC Pilbara Iron Ore Pty Ltd proposes to revise its Iron Valley Above Water Table Project, located approximately 90 km north-west of Newman.The existing project was approved in February 2013. The revised proposal includes the development of a new mine pit, with mining operations extending below the water table, and the dewatering of the underlying aquifer. EPA Chairman Dr Tom Hatton said the EPA tested the proposal against key environmental factors including Flora and Vegetation, Hydrological Processes and Inland Water Environmental Quality before recommending the proposal could be implemented subject to seven conditions. “The conditions we have recommended include preparation of an outcome-based environmental management ... more

$400 million lithium project underway

The start of construction on a new $400 million lithium processing plant in Kwinana, Western Australia will result in the creation of up to 500 jobs during the construction process. Premier Colin Barnett turned the first sod of soil at a ceremony at the project site in Kwinana, along with Tianqi Lithium Corporation chairman Jiang Weiping. "More than 115 employees will be needed once the project becomes operational toward the end of 2018. "The project will also generate benefits for the South-West of the State, with production likely to double at the Greenbushes mine, near Bunbury, to supply the Kwinana plant." Global demand for lithium is rising due its use in renewable energy storage and electric car batteries.  Lithium is also used in the glass and ceramics industry. State Development Minister Bill Marmion said the Liberal National Government had worked closely with T... more

WA gold project officially opened

Doray Minerals Limited has officially opened its 100%‐owned Deflector Gold Project located 160kms east of Geraldton in Western Australia. The Minister for Mines & Petroleum, the Hon Sean L’Estrange MLA, officiated the ceremony on Wednesday 26 October 2016 to mark the important milestone in Doray’s history – the second high‐grade gold project it has funded, developed and commissioned within four years and less than three years since the opening of the Andy Well Gold Project. Doray’s Managing Director, Mr Allan Kelly, thanked the Minister and acknowledged the various people involved in achieving the milestone. “The introduction of Deflector into our operating portfolio will be transformational for the Company and we wouldn’t be celebrating this achievement today, once again delivered on‐time and under budget, without the sustained efforts of our staff, contra... more

Rocklands copper mine opening a boost for North West

The opening of a $640 million copper mine near Cloncurry is another sign Queensland has weathered the storm of a worldwide resources price slump. Minister Assisting the Premier on North Queensland Coralee O’Rourke said the official opening of CuDeco’s $640 million Rocklands Copper Mine was good news for the economy and for the region since it will support up to 120 jobs. “Queensland’s North West Mineral Province is known around the world as a highly prospective region and the opening of Rocklands Copper mine demonstrates the area continues to have a great future ahead,” Mrs O’Rourke said. “During 2014-15, mineral production in Queensland was valued at $8.6 billion – and more than 70 per cent of that amount was sourced from Queensland’s North West Mineral Province. “While Queensland’s mining sector has faced a challenging period in recent years, there con... more

Rox acquires Collurabbie Nickel-Gold project

Rox Resources Limited has reached agreement with Falcon Minerals Limited to acquire 100% of the Collurabbie project tenements, located 500km north of Kalgoorlie, Western Australia and 70km due east of Rox’s Fisher East nickel sulphide and Mt Fisher gold projects. The tenements comprise E38/2009 and E38/2912, covering 63.1 km2 with most of the known nickel sulphide mineralisation located on E38/2009. In addition Rox has applied for adjoining tenement areas covering over 59 km2, giving a total project area of 122.5 km2. Rox Managing Director Ian Mulholland commented, “We continue to add quality projects to our portfolio. The nickel sulphide discovery at Collurabbie was the talk of the town a few years ago, but lack of exploration during and since the GFC means the opportunity to define more extensive mineralisation there is still extremely attractive. In addition there’s the go... more

Glencore to begin recruiting at Collinsville Coal Mine

Glencore has announced that it will start a recruitment process for more than 200 jobs at its Collinsville Coal Mine as it returns to production. While Glencore has scaled back production at Collinsville this year, we have continued to assess a range of options for the mine in conjunction with monitoring coal market demand. We are now seeing increased demand from South-East Asia for the specific type of coal produced by Collinsville. Tony Galvin, head of Glencore’s open cut coal business in Queensland, acknowledged that the last three years had seen some difficult decisions made at Collinsville in order to maintain the long-term viability of the mine. “Our Collinsville mine has made material progress in increasing operational efficiencies and reducing costs in the current market and the decision to return to production is positive news for the local community and the wider r... more

Queensland Government steps up to progress Adani mine project

The Palaszczuk Government has invoked special powers to progress the $21.7 billion Carmichael coal and rail project. The combined mine, rail and associated water infrastructure have all been declared critical infrastructure – the first time this has happened in seven years. As well, the project’s special “prescribed project” status has been renewed and expanded to include its water infrastructure. State Development Minister Dr Anthony Lynham said his decision would mean less red tape for the proposed project and the jobs and business opportunities it offered. “This step bundles together major elements of the project for the first time – the mine, the 389 kilometre rail line, and the water infrastructure, including a pipeline, pumping stations and a dam upgrade,” he said. “It makes it more efficient to establish easements for infrastructure like the water pi... more

Good job news for North Queensland with mine announcement

North Queenslanders will welcome the news that the one of Queensland’s oldest coal mines at Collinsville is restarting production and hiring again. Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk and Minister for State Development and Natural Resources and Mines Dr Anthony Lynham welcomed Glencore’s move to recommence operations and hire up to 200 people at its joint venture open cut mine near Bowen. “This is yet another piece of positive news for the north and ongoing evidence of green shoots appearing in the resources sector,” the Premier said. "It’s been encouraging to see these green shoots appearing over the past few months showing in both global prices and within the industry itself in Queensland." Coal has been mined at Collinsville for almost 100 years. Glencore cut production in December 2015, citing declining thermal coal prices. The 230-strong workforce was reduced by 1... more

Pilbara iron ore development to create jobs

A new development of iron ore deposits at Rio Tinto's Western Turner Syncline mine near Tom Price in the Pilbara, Western Australia has been approved.  State Development Minister Western Australian Bill Marmion said capital expenditure on the project was expected to be $18 million, with 40 construction jobs to be created. "The Western Turner Syncline production capacity is currently 25 million tonnes to 30 million tonnes per year," Mr Marmion said. "The approval will ensure Rio Tinto can maintain this level of production by bringing new sources of ore online. "This is great news for resources and great news for Western Australian jobs. "The development proposal was approved under a State Agreement and clearly shows these agreements ensure WA remains an attractive place for investment and continued development." Works covered by the approval include the developmen... more

Drilling for copper underway

Minotaur Exploration Ltd have announced they are commencing drilling for copper and other base metals on OZ Minerals tenements. The drilling programs are close to the existing operation at Prominent Hill and on Minotaur tenements near Cloncurry in Queensland. OZ Minerals CEO Andrew Cole commented said the joint venture partnership with Minotaur is about ensuring there is an appropriate focus on their core assets while continuing to look for new opportunities. Following a comprehensive review of OZ Minerals’ Prominent Hill data set, Minotaur located a number of additional drilling targets using different modelling and geophysical techniques. “Having a highly-regarded junior explorer share our existing data and opening up our exploration tenements is, to our mind, both an effective way to appropriately manage our capital while bringing a fresh perspective,” Mr Cole said. ... more

Pilbara processing facility adds value and jobs

A major investment in downstream processing has been celebrated with the opening of the Yara Pilbara Nitrates technical ammonium nitrate (TAN) plant in the North-West.  Premier Colin Barnett said the plant employed more than 500 workers on site during construction and would require about 70 employees for ongoing operations. "Yara Pilbara has also invested more than $50 million in Karratha for residential housing for employees and their families, demonstrating its commitment to the community," he said. The Premier said the innovative $US800 million plant integrated with the neighbouring Yara Pilbara Fertilisers plant. "This new TAN plant will take ammonia from the fertiliser plant and use it to produce up to 330,000 tonnes of ammonium nitrate each year," he said. "This type of value-adding industry is essential to future economic development of the Pilbara, creating employ... more

Australian mining projects making progress in Africa

Construction at the US$80-million Epanko project in Tanzania is expected to commence next year. Following mining and processing, Epanko will produce a high-grade graphite concentrate. The proponent, the Australian company Kibaran Resources, is also looking at a further processing step, to produce graphite suitable for lithium-ion batteries. Because of their use in electric vehicles, such batteries present a strongly-growing market for graphite. Australia is the largest foreign investor in mining in Africa. Epanko is one of several dozen Australian projects that have progressed beyond an early exploration stage. There are many more at an early stage. According to one estimate, there are nearly 200 listed Australian companies developing or operating mining projects in Africa (source: Australia-Africa Minerals & Energy Group). Australian mining companies tend to use Australian... more

BHP Billiton to cease progression of Caroona Coal Project

BHP Billiton has agreed to cease progression of the Caroona Coal Project, through the cancellation of Exploration Licence (EL) 6505.    BHP Billiton Minerals Australia President, Mike Henry, acknowledged the NSW Government’s willingness to come to an acceptable agreement in respect of the cancellation. “While we believe that Caroona would have been developed responsibly, we accept the Government’s decision and appreciate its willingness to work with us to agree an acceptable financial outcome for the cancellation of our exploration licence,” Mr Henry said. “The Caroona Coal Project was studied extensively and developed cautiously for almost 10 years.  We carried out extensive planning to ensure there would be no mining under the black soil plains, consistent with the conditions contained in our Exploration Licence. “It was also subject to extensive scientific ... more

Rio Tinto approves development of Silvergrass mine

Rio Tinto will invest an incremental $338 million to complete the development of the Silvergrass mine in its world-class Pilbara iron ore operations in Western Australia. The brownfield expansion of the high-grade Silvergrass mine offers attractive returns, with an expected internal rate of return for this investment well in excess of 100 per cent and a pay back of less than three years. It is a key element in maintaining Rio Tinto’s premium Pilbara blend, and also delivers incremental tonnage and lower unit costs. As anticipated in previous guidance, this Silvergrass investment adds 10 million tonnes of capacity. The investment will lower mine operating costs by replacing road haulage with a more efficient conveyor system that links the Silvergrass operations to our existing processing plant at Nammuldi. Rio Tinto chief executive J-S Jacques said “We are committed to dis... more

BHP Billiton reaffirms underground expansion pathway for Olympic Dam

BHP Billiton has confirmed that it will not be seeking a further extension to the Variation Deed to the Indenture, which was executed between BHP Billiton and the State of South Australia in October 2011 to accommodate an open pit development at Olympic Dam.  The Indenture is the State Agreement which governs the operation of Olympic Dam.   As outlined in December last year, BHP Billiton is now pursuing an underground development pathway for Olympic Dam that, subject to approvals and an attractive investment environment, could see copper production increase to 450ktpa from 2025. Therefore as BHP Billiton will not be submitting a Project Notice for a potential open pit development, the Variation Deed will cease to have effect in October this year. BHP Billiton has only ever operated Olympic Dam under the original Indenture and it will continue to do so. Olympic Dam Asset Pre... more

Mining commences at Matilda Gold Project

Blackham Resources Ltd has successfully achieved another milestone towards gold production with the commencement of open pit mining and underground development work at the Company’s Matilda Gold Project. Blackham’s open pit contractor, MACA Ltd has mobilised the initial mining fleet and commenced mining operations at the Matilda M10 open pit. Pybar Mining Services Ltd has also commenced underground development at the high grade Golden Age orebody. Blackham’s Managing Director, Bryan Dixon, said: “The commencement of mining represents another significant milestone in the Company’s transition from gold explorer to producer at a time of record Australian gold prices”. The 5.1Moz Matilda Gold Project has an initial mine life of eight years that is growing very rapidly. The commencement of wet commissioning of the Wiluna processing plant is on track to begin in Augu... more

IM Medical Limited offers $14.8M to acquire zinc project

IM Medical Limited has entered into an exclusivity agreement with Rox Resources Limited in relation to an offer to acquire Rox’s interest in the Reward zinc-lead joint venture through IMI’s wholly owned subsidiary IMI Zinc Exploration Pty Ltd. The Reward project is currently owned 49% by Rox and 51% by Teck Australia Pty Ltd, a subsidiary of Teck Resources Limited. Teck has the option to increase its JV interest to 70% by spending A$15 million in total by 31 August 2018. As at 31 March 2016 Teck had spent approximately $13.85 million. The parties have entered into an exclusivity agreement which allows 30 days for acceptance by Rox of the $14.8 million Offer, comprised of $2 million in cash and the issue of $12.8 million of ordinary shares in IMI. Under the terms of the acquisition, Rox will become the major shareholder in IMI with a shareholding expected to be between 50% and 6... more

Uranium project receives full native title consent

Toro Energy Limited has taken another important step in the development of the Wiluna Uranium Project with the signing of an agreement with the Wiluna People providing the consent of native title holders. More than seven years of relationship building between the Wiluna People and Toro culminated in a community meeting at Wiluna to ratify the agreement. Toro’s Managing Director, Dr Vanessa Guthrie, expressed the Company’s deep appreciation for the constructive approach the Wiluna People had taken to the development of their relationship with Toro and the negotiation of the mining agreement. Speaking for Tarlka Matuwa Piarku Aboriginal Corporation (TMPAC – the native title holding body of the Wiluna People) its Chairman, Kelman Patch, said the agreement provided opportunities for his People in business development and employment, as well as protection of their cultural heri... more

Red River identifies exciting exploration targets

Red River Resources Limited has announced that a review of the historic Thalanga exploration database has identified a number of additional high priority exploration targets at its Thalanga Zinc Project in central Queensland. The review has confirmed that the favourable Thalanga Horizon is open at depth to the west and the east, and has highlighted a number of areas for further high priority exploration. Of particular interest is the Thalanga East to Far East area, where the review highlighted a historic drill hole intercept of 4.6m @ 4.1% Cu beneath Thalanga East and multiple intercepts of polymetallic zinc rich mineralisation at Far East, with a best intercept of 5.7m @ 23.2% Zn Eq. Red River’s Managing Director Mel Palancian commented: “Following the success of our recent drilling at Far West and the subsequent updated Mineral Resource, we decided to carry out a more exte... more

Corazon reports High Grade Copper at Mt Gilmore Project

Australian mineral exploration company, Corazon Mining Limited has announced a high grade copper mineralisation from a recently completed surface rock-chip sampling program at the Mount Gilmore Cobalt-Copper-Gold Project in New South Wales Australia. Corazon has secured the right to earn up to 80% of the Mt Gilmore Cobalt-Copper-Gold Project from private company Providence Gold and Minerals Pty Ltd and is currently completing due diligence. The surface rock-chip sampling being reported was undertaken by Providence; these results have been received by Corazon and as such additional disclosure is required by the Company. Rock-Chip Sampling Program A total of 76 rock-chip samples were taken within the Project and submitted for analysis in May 2016. This sampling tested five areas identified as significant copper-gold targets. Sampled areas include the May Queen, Iron Mountain, Gord... more

A major copper-gold project

Carrapateena in South Australia is shaping up as a major copper-gold project. In a statement last month, the proponent (OZ Minerals) made clear its commitment to the project. The ore-production rate is to be increased over what was previously planned; work on a decline will commence next month (mining will be underground); and final processing will take place at Whyalla, a regional city approximately 200 kilometres south of the minesite.  All going well, construction will commence next year, with first production in 2019. Estimated capital cost: nearly A$1 billion (over US$700 million). OZ Minerals says that the choice of Whyalla (as opposed to the minesite) for final processing is based on good access to “skilled labour, port, rail, roads, power, water, gas and oxygen”. In this context, it hopes to use some infrastructure facilities of the steel and mining company, Arrium,... more

Jobs boost as new iron ore deposits developed

The Government has approved two proposals from Rio Tinto to develop new deposits in the Pilbara, Western Australia, prolonging the life of existing mining operations.  Announcing the approvals, State Development Minister Bill Marmion said the projects would deliver both short and long-term benefits for the State. "This is great news for the resources sector and will create opportunities for workers and contractors who are doing it tough in the current climate," Mr Marmion said. "These approvals will allow Rio Tinto to maintain its current level of production at two sites, Yandicoogina and West Angelas." The Minister has given approval for Rio Tinto Group company Hamersley Iron-Yandi Pty Ltd to mine and develop the Oxbow deposit, with ore to be processed at its existing facilities at Yandicoogina. "This represents a capital commitment of $247 million and the project will h... more

Pilbara Iron: A new transport system

Mineral Resources of Perth is a mining company, but it is also a mining-services company, offering services in fields such as crushing and pipeline design and construction. The company is developing a new transport system for taking iron ore from its Iron Valley mine in the Pilbara region to Port Hedland for shipping. The system is an elevated rail line. Mineral Resources says that it occupies a “niche between heavy rail and conveyor”, adding that it is “significantly less capital intensive than traditional heavy-haul rail” (see further information). The system will be open to third-party users. It has the potential to rescue so-called “stranded assets” in the Pilbara, that is, potential iron-ore mines currently held back by the absence of a cost-effective ore-transport system. By Project Monitor... more

Sand mining to be phased out on North Stradbroke

Sand mining on North Stradbroke Island is to substantially cease by 2019, with the Queensland Parliament voting in favour of the phase-out to allow the creation of new, sustainable jobs. The North Stradbroke Island Protection and Sustainability and Other Acts Amendment Bill 2015 to end sand mining was passed in the Queensland Parliament early today (Thursday). Environment Minister Dr Steven Miles said it was a good result for the environment and would ultimately open up new and exciting opportunities for the island community, leading to positive economic outcomes. “Today marks the start of a new chapter for North Stradbroke Island,” Dr Miles said. “The debate is over. Sand mining was always going to end on North Stradbroke Island. “The community, the business sector, traditional owners and new investors, supported by the Palaszczuk Government, can now move forward ... more

Braving the coal

The company developing a greenfield coal project at present may appear to be brave, but at least three such projects are at an advanced planning stage in Australia. The first is Meteor Downs South in Queensland. This will be a small, low-cost operation, entailing open-cut mining and simple processing. It will produce thermal coal (used for electricity). Subject to final approval by the proponents (a Chinese company and a Japanese company), construction will commence by the end of the year. The second is a much larger, Chinese-driven project: Hillalong, also in Queensland. With an estimated capital cost of A$600 million, this will produce coking coal (used for steel manufacture) and thermal coal. Subject to government approvals, construction is expected to commence in mid-2017. The third, in the Hunter Valley of New South Wales, is to be developed by the Indonesian company, MACH ... more

Doray to explore highly prospective Mount Fisher Gold Project

Doray Minerals Limited has entered into a farm-in Agreement with Rox Resources Limited to explore the highly prospective and underexplored Mount Fisher Gold Project which is located in the north-eastern Goldfields of Western Australia. The Mt Fisher farm-in represents another strategic exploration project for Doray, with a large contiguous land package over an underexplored greenstone belt with already identified gold mineralisation, and adds to its highly prospective Horse Well JV and Western Gawler farm-in in South Australia. Doray’s Managing Director, Allan Kelly, said Mount Fisher represented a very attractive exploration opportunity for Doray, given the many similarities with the multi-million ounce Agnew-Lawlers gold camp, and its relative lack of recent systematic exploration. “We believe, given the geology, structural setting and results achieved to date, that there ... more

Mt Cattlin project receives USD 9 million

On 8 March 2016, General Mining Corporation Ltd, along with its project partner Galaxy Resources Limited, announced the signing of two binding Term Sheets with two China based buyers for the sale of 60kt of spodumene concentrate (USD 600/t) in 2016, and a further 120kt in 2017 (subject to price agreement in the December quarter 2016) from the Mt Cattlin mine in Western Australia. Completed Offtake agreement details The Company is pleased to announce that it has now signed a binding tri‐party offtake agreement with one of the offtake parties, and GMM’s exclusive selling and settlement agent, Tokyo based Mitsubishi Corporation. The terms of the offtake agreement are consistent with the terms of the binding Term Sheet announced on 8 March 2016. For clarity, this completed agreement is for the sale of 30,000 tonnes of spodumene concentrate in 2016 at a price of USD 600/tonne, 50% o... more

Mine re-opening heralds industry future

The re-opening of Central Queensland’s Isaac Plains Mine underlines the solid long-term prospects for the Queensland resources sector. Officially re-opening the mine near Moranbah in central Queensland, Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said the mining sector was doing it tough, but demand remained strong for Queensland’s resources and expertise. “As the re-opening of Isaac Plains here today in Central Queensland shows, investors still have confidence in Queensland and our resources,” she said. “We have new faces, like Stanmore Coal, and new investors who are calling the bottom of the market, stepping up and creating jobs, like the 150 jobs here at Isaac Plains. “As well, we have major players like QGC and Rio Tinto investing billions in gas and bauxite, commodities where markets are holding better.” Dr Lynham said the government was aware of sustained lower pric... more

Zinc project gains red tape reduction

The $1.4 billion Dugald River zinc project has gained special status to help cut red tape and create hundreds of jobs in north Queensland. State Development Minister and Minister for Natural Resources and Mines Dr Anthony Lynham has granted “prescribed project” status to MMG Ltd’s project, 85 km north-east of Mt Isa. “Projects like Dugald River are critical to economic development and job creation in the north-west during these tough times caused by ongoing resource commodity price lows,” Dr Lynham said. “Granting it prescribed project status will allow the Coordinator-General to assist MMG to navigate processes and timely approvals through government. “This is tangible evidence of the Palaszczuk Government’s commitment to winning jobs and infrastructure in the north-west. “This is more action for the north-west, on top of our accelerated works program in... more

Roy Hill iron ore mine ramps up

Western Australian State Development Minister Bill Marmion has toured the Roy Hill project, the State's newest - and the nation's biggest - single-pit iron ore mine. "Roy Hill celebrated its first shipment in December 2015, and is now in the process of ramping up to its full production capacity of 55 million tonnes per annum," Mr Marmion said. "At full capacity, five ore trains per day will run between the mine and port facilities at Port Hedland, all controlled via Roy Hill's state-of-the-art remote operations centre in Perth. The Minister said the mine is expected to operate for more than two decades. "It has already generated extensive economic benefits for the State, with the construction workforce peaking at 6,000 and ongoing operations employing almost 2,000 people. Western Australia is the world's largest producer of iron ore, accounting for 37% of global production... more

Dubbo rare metals mine an economic boon

Minister for Industry, Resources and Energy, Anthony Roberts, has announced that a billion dollar project in the State’s central west to mine rare metals and rare earths has now passed its final hurdle and will go ahead. “The Environment Protection Authority (EPA) has granted an Environment Protection Licence to Alkane Resources after the company had already been granted a Mining Lease last December after it had met a rigorous government approval process. “Known as the Dubbo Zirconia Project, the mine will produce up to 30,000 tonnes of specialty metals and rare earths per year which are highly sought after to support modern technology and life as we know it today. “The Dubbo Zirconia Project will provide enormous benefits locally, to the State and indeed Australia,” Mr Roberts said. Currently, China produces more than 90 per cent of the world’s supply of rare ear... more

Carmichael mine approvals put thousands of new jobs step closer

Thousands of new jobs in regional Queensland have come a major step closer with approval of the mining leases for the $21.7 billion Carmichael coal mine and rail project in the State’s Galilee Basin. Premier Annastascia Palaszczuk said Minister for State Development and Minister for Natural Resources and Mines Dr Anthony Lynham had today approved the grant of three individual mining leases about 160km north-west of Clermont. “This is a major step forward for this project after extensive government and community scrutiny,” the Premier said. “Some approvals are still required before construction can start, and ultimately committing to the project will be a decision for Adani. “However, I know the people of north and central Queensland will welcome this latest progress for the potential jobs and economic development it brings closer for their communities. “At the ... more

Dubbo mine approval a positive indicator for national resource industry

The approval of a new $1 billion rare earth and metals mine in Dubbo is great news for the region, the state and national economies, and the New South Wales minerals sector, says Australia’s resource industry employer group, AMMA. “AMMA welcomes New South Wales granting an environment protection licence to Alkane Resources, in what was the final regulatory hurdle after a decade long process for the Dubbo Zirconia Project,” says AMMA executive director, policy and public affairs, Scott Barklamb. “Following construction which will create 450 jobs, this project will produce 30,000 tonnes of rare metals and rare earths annually and employ over 250 production personnel for at least 20 years. “The announcement is fantastic news for New South Wales’ resource industry and shows that even during tough economic conditions, the resource sector is resilient and can attract inves... more

Decmil to build BHP warehouse hub

Decmil Group Limited was recently awarded a $30.6m contract with BHP Billiton Iron Ore to design and construct a warehouse hub at Kingsford Business Park, Port Hedland, Western Australia. The facility will consist of a 12,000m2 warehouse and 35,000m2 sealed hard standing area. Construction is expected to commence in May 2016 and adds to Decmil’s long history of providing non process infrastructure to the West Australian mining sector.... more

One of Australia’s best undeveloped gold deposits confirmed

Gold Road Resources Limited has completed the Pre‐Feasibility Study (PFS) for the development of its 5.62 million ounce5 (Moz) Gruyere Project, located 200 kilometres east of Laverton in Western Australia. The completion of the PFS included detailed economic analysis and further technical work building on the findings of the first stage Options Study which determined that the best go‐forward case was a large‐scale open‐pit mine utilising a conventional 7.5 Mtpa SAG/Ball Mill Circuit gravity/carbon‐in‐leach processing facility, powered by a pipeline‐supplied, gas‐fired power generation plant. The full PFS confirms the Project as one of Australia’s best undeveloped gold deposits and indicates a technically sound and financially viable project generating over A$1 billion in free cash flow (pre‐tax) over an initial 12‐year project life. Gold Road’s Executive ... more

Doray commences open pit mining

Doray Minerals Limited has successfully achieved another milestone in its plans to become a multi-mine high-grade gold producer with the recent commencement of open pit mining at the Company’s Deflector Gold Project. Doray’s open pit contractor, MACA Ltd recently completed the first blast in the Deflector open pit and has commenced open pit mining operations during February, as forecast. Doray’s Managing Director, Allan Kelly, said the commencement of open pit mining represented another significant milestone in the rapid development of the Deflector Project and came less than a year after completing the takeover of Mutiny Gold in March 2015. “We are very excited to have officially commenced mining operations at Deflector, our second high-grade WA gold operation, and look forward to bringing production online over the coming months,” Mr Kelly said. The Deflector Gold... more

Adani’s Carmichael coal mine environmental authority approved

The Department of Environment and Heritage Protection issued a final environmental authority (EA) for Adani’s Carmichael Mine project on 2 February 2016 with approximately 140 conditions, including 9 conditions relating to the black throated finch as required by the Land Court. The EA application was vigorously assessed by EHP and acted on recommendations made by the Land Court. EHP is confident the strict conditions placed on the EA, including extra requirements based on the Land Court’s recommendations, will ensure this mine will not pose an unacceptable risk to the environment and any potential impacts will be closely monitored. The project The Carmichael coal, railway and port project includes building Australia’s largest thermal coal mine in the north Galilee Basin approximately 160km north-west of Clermont in Central Queensland, linked by a new 388 km standard gauge... more

A Million Reasons To Mark Fosterville’s Mining Milestone

One of Victoria’s most productive gold mines, Fosterville Gold Mine near Bendigo, has reached a major milestone by extracting its millionth ounce of gold from the current operation. Minister for Energy and Resources Lily D’Ambrosio joined the mine’s operator, Newmarket Gold Inc, to unveil a plaque on site of the Fosterville Gold Mine to celebrate the achievement. At today’s prices, a million ounces of gold is worth approximately $1.6 billion. Fosterville Gold Mine employs 400 people and boosts the local economy by $90 million a year through wages and sourcing goods and services regionally. The Fosterville mining operation is also a world-leader in adopting new technology to reduce emissions and energy use in the extraction process. It is one of only 10 plants around the world to implement the innovative BIOX technology, which is a bacterial oxidation process that l... more

BGC Contracting awarded $520 million mining deal

Leading mining and civil construction firm BGC Contracting Pty Ltd has been awarded a five-year contract extension with Cliff Natural Resources at its Koolyanobbing Iron Ore Project in Western Australia. The current mining contract, previously due to be completed in 2017, will be extended through to 2022, and is valued at more than $520 million. Under the contract, BGC Contracting will continue to provide the full range of mining services, including drilling, blasting, loading, hauling, dumping, crushing, screening and train load-out. BGC Contracting CEO Greg Heylen said the contract extension was recognition of the Koolyanobbing team’s ability to meet Cliffs’ safety and production targets during a challenging period for iron ore producers. “BGC’s long-standing relationship with Cliffs has seen the two companies work collaboratively over the better part of the last de... more

Newmont invests $100 million to expand Tanami operations

Newmont Mining Corporation (NYSE: NEM) have announced plans to expand its Tanami operations in Australia by building a second decline in the underground mine and additional plant capacity. The expansion project is expected to add incremental gold production of approximately 80,000 ounces per year and decrease Tanami’s all-in sustaining costs by five to ten percent in the first five years of production. It will open access to two million ounces of profitable production and extend mine life by three years. The project will also create a platform for exploration drilling to support future growth. Recent exploration results demonstrate the potential to double current Reserves and Resources by expanding existing Tanami deposits, and developing adjacent discoveries. “Tanami is a Newmont success story. Since 2012, the team has more than doubled gold production while cutting costs by a... more

Gas flows ahead of schedule at Tropicana Gold Mine

Commissioning of the first gas generators is underway ahead of schedule in the power station at the Tropicana Gold Mine in Western Australia following early completion of the 293 kilometre Eastern Goldfields Pipeline (EGP). Constructed by APA Group (APA) under long-term agreements signed with AngloGold Ashanti Australia Ltd in July 2014, the pipeline is delivering natural gas to AGAA’s Sunrise Dam gold mine, 55 km south of Laverton, and to Tropicana (AGAA 70% and manager, Independence Group NL 30%), 330 km east-northeast of Kalgoorlie. Construction of the pipeline began in March this year and delivery of gas was scheduled to begin in January 2016, but the project was successfully completed ahead of time this month, enabling early commissioning at both sites. Sunrise Dam’s power station is now running on natural gas following conversion late last month. The switch to natural ... more

West-east Gas pipeline pre-feasibility study

ACIL Allen, in conjunction with GHD, is the successful tenderer to conduct a pre-feasibility study on the West-East Gas Pipeline. Announced in this year’s Federal Budget, the West-East Gas Pipeline pre-feasibility study is the first Commonwealth investigation of the potential for constructing a gas pipeline from Western Australia to link up to the east coast gas market. The findings from the study may inform a full feasibility study to test the viability of constructing a natural gas pipeline to provide additional gas supplies and increase competition in the east coast gas market. ACIL Allen will be involved in the market and analysis component of the study, while GHD will take on the pipeline engineering and pipeline route assessment component. Together, the parties have deep and wide ranging experience in gas markets and infrastructure and demonstrated through their bid t... more

INPEX awarded exploration permit offshore Western Australia

INPEX has announced that INPEX Browse E&P Pty Ltd, a subsidiary, has been individually awarded an exploration permit for Release Area WA-532-P in Australia’s 2016 Offshore Petroleum Exploration Acreage Release. INPEX Browse will hold a 100% participating interest where it will henceforth pursue exploration activities as Operator. Block WA-532-P located off the coast of Western Australia covers an area of 26,300km2 where the water is approximately 60~250m deep. The Block lies in the vicinity of the Ichthys gas-condensate field where INPEX is developing the Ichthys LNG Project as Operator. In the vicinity of the Block, promising gas fields have been discovered and are being developed at multiple blocks in which INPEX holds equity interests. It is expected that the Block is also located in a promising exploration area with a high potential for gas, condensate and oil accumulatio... more

Jemena fast-tracks plans to connect Galilee Basin to the east-coast gas market

Jemena has signed a binding agreement with Galilee Energy Limited to work together towards agreed development milestones that will fast-track plans to deliver a large new source of gas from Galilee Energy’s Glenaras Gas Project in the Galilee Basin in central Queensland to the east-coast domestic gas market. The agreement fast-tracks Jemena’s plans to build a new pipeline to deliver gas produced by Galilee Energy to the east coast and means Jemena will begin engaging with local communities, conducting field surveys, and completing pipeline design concept works. In parallel, Galilee Energy will progress their appraisal activities at the Glenaras Gas Project to certify a proven gas resource large enough to underwrite the pipeline construction. Jemena’s Executive General Manager of Corporate Development, Antoon Boey, said that to overcome the gas supply concerns currently gri... more

Chevron achieves first LNG production at Wheatstone

Chevron Australia has started producing liquefied natural gas (LNG) at the Wheatstone Project in Western Australia and the first cargo is on track to be shipped in the coming weeks. “First LNG production is a significant milestone and is a credit to our partners, contractors and the many thousands of people who collaborated to deliver this legacy asset,” said Chevron Chairman and CEO John Watson. “Wheatstone adds to our legacy gas position in Australia that will be a significant cash generator for decades to come.” At full capacity, the Wheatstone Project’s two train LNG facility will supply 8.9 million metric tonnes per year of LNG for export to customers in Asia. The LNG facility is located 12 kilometres (7.5 miles) west of Onslow and processes natural gas from the Chevron-operated Wheatstone and Iago fields. The Chevron-operated Wheatstone LNG facility is a joint ve... more

Project promises big step towards long term east coast energy security

Australian exploration and resource development company, Ebony Energy Limited has announced it has completed the scoping study for a significant above ground coal-to-gas gas production project that will help ensure eastern Australia’s long term energy security.   The gas production project is named Andado, after the vast Andado cattle station where it is located some 250 kilometres from Alice Springs in the Northern Territory. Ebony Energy is an unlisted Australian public company which was founded in 2011 by a number of highly experienced energy, resource, engineering and finance industry executives.   The Andado Project could begin to supply an extra 50 Petajoules (PJ) per annum or more of pipeline grade gas to Australia’s energy-starved South Australian and eastern seaboard markets within the next five years. This fresh supply would make a major contribution to long-term energy... more

FPSO Ichthys Venturer arrives in Australian waters

The INPEX-operated Ichthys LNG Project marks another major milestone with the safe arrival of its Floating Production, Storage and Offloading (FPSO) facility in Australian waters. The 336 metres long, 59 metres wide, ship-shaped, weather-vaning facility, named Ichthys Venturer, will be permanently moored in the Browse Basin, about 220 kilometres off the Western Australian coast. “The safe completion of the 5600 kilometre, 26 day tow of the Ichthys Venturer from South Korea to Australian waters is another significant stride forward for the Ichthys LNG Project,” said Managing Director Ichthys Project, Mr Louis Bon. “The Ichthys Venturer is one of the largest and most advanced offshore facilities of its kind in the world, and it can accommodate up to 200 people.” “The FPSO has been designed to hold 1.12 million barrels of condensate and operate for 40 years in a cyclon... more

Another BP project begins production

A gas project in Australia is one of seven major projects start-ups BP expects in 2017. Five of these seven projects have now started up. The Persephone project in Australia follows the start-ups earlier this year of Juniper in Trinidad, the first phase of the West Nile Delta development in Egypt, the Trinidad Onshore Compression project and the Quad 204 redevelopment in the UK. A further two projects – the first phase of the Khazzan tight gas development in Oman and development of the Zohr gas field offshore Egypt – are expected to begin production before the end of the year. Bob Dudley, BP group chief executive said: “This is a significant year for BP and, with five of our seven planned major projects now onstream, delivery of our plan is firmly on track. This year’s projects will deliver a key part of the 800,000 barrels equivalent a day production from new projects that... more

Ichthys LNG Project’s giant FPSO sails away

The INPEX-operated Ichthys LNG Project’s floating production, storage and offloading (FPSO) facility–Ichthys Venturer–safely sailed away yesterday evening from waters near its construction site in Okpo, South Korea en route to Australia. This follows the completion of commissioning and preparation work. The 336 metre long ship-shaped, offshore facility began the 5,600 kilometre voyage that will take approximately one month to complete, from South Korea towards her ultimate destination in the Browse Basin, some 220 kilometres off the north coast of Western Australia. “The sail away of the massive Ichthys Venturer marks another significant stride forward for the Ichthys LNG Project,” Mr Louis Bon, Managing Director Ichthys Project stated. “My thanks extend to the teams around the globe who completed around 50 million man-hours of work to safely construct and commiss... more

Prelude FLNG: Next stop Australia

Royal Dutch Shell’s Prelude floating liquefied natural gas (FLNG) facility has left the Samsung Heavy Industries shipyard in Geoje, South Korea, marking a significant milestone for the project. The facility, constructed by Technip Samsung Consortium, is being towed to North West Australia, where the next phase of the project will begin. On arrival at the Prelude offshore gas field, 475 kilometres (295 miles) north-north east of Broome, Western Australia, pre-installed mooring chains will be lifted from the seabed and secured to the facility. Once secure, the hook-up and commissioning process will begin. Prelude FLNG is an important project in Shell’s portfolio. It will provide liquefied natural gas for customers around the world and generate cash flow that will help drive the performance of Shell’s Integrated Gas business. The safe and reliable start-up of Prelude’s oper... more

World’s largest semi-submersible platform arrives in Australian waters

The INPEX-led Ichthys LNG Project has seen the safe arrival of the central processing facility (CPF), the world’s largest semi-submersible platform, in the Australian waters of the Browse Basin. The massive CPF (named the Ichthys Explorer) weighing 120,000 tonnes and with topsides measuring 130 metres by 120 metres, reached her final destination, 220 kilometres off the north coast of Western Australia, where she will be located for 40 years. “The safe completion of the 5,600 kilometre tow of the Ichthys Explorer from South Korea to the Ichthys Field, located 450 kilometres north of Broome, is another significant milestone for the Ichthys LNG Project,” Mr Louis Bon, Managing Director, Ichthys Project stated. “The successful 34 day tow is a tribute to our world-class processes and the commitment of our personnel from around the globe” Mr Bon said. After the Ichthys Explo... more

Jemena engages construction partner for pipeline project

Jemena’s $800 million Northern Gas Pipeline Project (NGP) continues to progress smoothly, with a number of critical milestones being reached in recent weeks. Jemena’s Managing Director, Paul Adams, said the final length of line pipe required for the NGP has been delivered to Darwin, while Jemena is also well advanced with preparatory works as part of the construction of the NGP. Mr Adams also stated that Jemena has appointed a construction partner for the Territory, and part of the Queensland, portion of the pipeline. “Jemena has now finalised paperwork to reappoint McConnell Dowell, which means they will construct 481km of the 622km long pipeline,” said Mr Adams. “McConnell Dowell has been a key partner to Jemena since 2015, having worked closely with us as part of the initial tender for the project. We’re confident they have the right skills and experience to en... more

Jemena acquires Darling Downs gas transmission pipelines

Gas transmission and distribution company, Jemena has reached agreement to acquire the Origin Energy-owned Darling Downs Pipeline System (DDPS) following an extensive six-month due diligence process. Jemena will now focus on safely and efficiently integrating the DDPS into its portfolio of gas transmission assets which includes the Eastern, Queensland, and Northern Gas Pipelines. The transition period will commence in early June following financial close and is expected to conclude by the end of October this year. Jemena MD, Paul Adams, said that the acquisition is a crucial next step in delivering on Jemena’s Northern Growth Strategy which seeks to build an interconnected supply chain of energy delivery assets in northern Australia through targeted acquisitions and greenfield developments. “This is a strategic investment for Jemena which leverages the DDPS’ connection ... more

Esso Australia announces completion of Longford Gas Conditioning Plant

Esso Australia, a part of the ExxonMobil Australia group of companies, has completed its Longford Gas Conditioning Plant, which processes gas from the Kipper Tuna Turrum development. Production from the gas conditioning plant marks the completion of the AUD$5.5 billion Kipper Tuna Turrum development – the largest domestic gas project on Australia’s eastern seaboard. The development will supply 1.6 trillion cubic feet of gas to eastern Australia – enough to power a city of one million people for 35 years. “This milestone, made possible with our Australian workforce and the support of our joint venture partners, ensures the continued supply of gas to the east coast market from our Gippsland Basin operations,” said the chairman of ExxonMobil Australia Richard Owen. “The gas conditioning plant helps maintain current gas supply levels from Bass Strait, which has been prod... more

Arrow enters FEED for substantial Surat asset expansion

Arrow Energy will undertake the front-end engineering design (FEED) phase for a proposed major expansion of its Tipton gas project 30km west of Dalby in Queensland’s Surat Basin. Arrow Energy CEO Qian Mingyang said the project involved a significant upgrade of existing facilities, and would more than double production capacity from Tipton to more than 80 TJ/d. “This project continues the development of the Arrow resource which will see more gas in the market,” Mr Qian said. The project followed a recent $600M+ investment by Arrow in its Surat Basin infrastructure, comprising the $500M Daandine expansion project (commissioned in late 2016) and commencement of a $100M+ Produce the Limit (PtL) project earlier this year, to expand capacity at its Daandine and Tipton fields. The Tipton expansion FEED contract would be awarded within weeks through the company’s engineering ... more

Monadelphous secures long-term INPEX contract

Engineering company Monadelphous Group Limited has been awarded a major, long-term offshore maintenance services contract for INPEX Operations Australia associated with the Ichthys LNG Project, located in the Browse Basin, approximately 450 kilometres from Broome, Western Australia. The contract is for an initial period of six years with a further two-year extension option. Monadelphous has been engaged to deliver operational, campaign and shutdown maintenance services and brownfield projects implementation associated with the Ichthys Central Processing Facility ‘Ichthys Explorer’ (CPF) and Floating Production Storage and Offloading facility ‘Ichthys Venturer’ (FPSO). The Ichthys LNG Project is ranked among the most significant oil and gas projects in the world, involving some of the largest offshore facilities in the industry, including the ‘Ichthys Explorer’, the worl... more

Feasibility Study into second Darwin LNG Train

The Territory Labor Government will contribute $250,000 towards a feasibility study into the potential expansion of ConocoPhillips’ Darwin Liquified Natural Gas (DLNG), which could create thousands of jobs in the NT. The study will examine the viability of developing a second LNG train at the Darwin LNG plant at Wickham Point. Chief Minister Michael Gunner said a second train for the Darwin LNG facility would involve a multi-billion dollar investment and represent a new development in Australia’s off-shore gas industry. “The Territory Labor Government is focused on restoring trust by creating jobs – especially in the private sector - and we believe funding this feasibility study is a good investment,” Mr Gunner said. “The first train at Darwin LNG created around 2,500 jobs during construction and over 8500 sub-contracts and purchase orders. “In operation it d... more

Shell seals more east coast domestic gas deals

Shell’s QGC joint venture has announced two new gas sales agreements with large domestic customers. The deals will see the JV supply gas for power generation in South Australia and manufacturing in Queensland. Shell has announced it will supply around 8PJs of gas to Engie’s Pelican Point power plant in South Australia for five months over the peak winter period to help secure electricity contracts to major industrial users. An 18-month agreement will supply gas from Queensland’s Surat Basin gas fields to Orica’s Yarwun facility near Gladstone, which produces explosives and cyanide for the mining industry. Shell chairman Zoe Yujnovich said supplying the Australian domestic gas market was an important part of Shell’s business in Australia. “These new sales agreements come after significant contracts were signed with power generators and retailers,” Zoe said. ... more

Shell set to inject new gas into east coast market

Queensland Gas Company (QGC), a Shell Australia joint venture, has announced that it will soon begin drilling up to 161 additional wells. Queensland Resources Council (QRC) Chief Executive Ian Macfarlane said the ‘Project Ruby’ development in the Surat Basin underpins 350 new and existing jobs. Up to 161 new wells will be drilled in 2017 and 2018 in QGC’s existing tenements in south-west Queensland. QRC’s current data shows that in 2015-16, our state’s gas industry contributed $12.8 billion in economic contribution and supports 65,000 jobs and the advancement of this project will only mean more revenue and jobs for Queenslanders. Shell’s QGC business is a net contributor to the domestic gas market and will sell more than 75 petajoules (PJs), net of domestic gas purchases, to customers in Australia this year. This represents more than 10% of east coast gas demand a... more

LNG production starts from Gorgon Train Three

Chevron Australia has announced the start of liquefied natural gas (LNG) production from the third train at the Chevron-led Gorgon Project on Barrow Island off the northwest coast of Western Australia.   Chevron Australia managing director Nigel Hearne said Gorgon is delivering an important new source of energy for customers in Western Australia and across the Asia-Pacific region as well as contributing to significant levels of investment in the Australian economy. “This is a key milestone for the Gorgon joint venture participants, our workforce, customers, government and all those associated with the project over its lifetime should be extremely proud. We are committed to being a safe and reliable supplier and look forward to supplying cleaner-burning natural gas for decades to come. “Along with our partners, we are delighted with the significant economic benefits gener... more

Jemena secures land access for the Northern Gas Pipeline

Jemena’s $800 million Northern Gas Pipeline (NGP) has reached another crucial milestone, after land access arrangements with the Wakaya People were finalised. The decision means Jemena has now secured land access with all Traditional Owner groups across the 622km pipeline route in both the Northern Territory and Queensland. Jemena will now move to formalise these arrangements over the coming days. The agreement follows more than 12 months of discussions and negotiations with Traditional Owners and their representative Land Councils. Northern Gas Pipeline Project Director, Jonathan Spink, said the agreement recognises Jemena’s strong commitment to working closely with local communities along the NGP pipeline route. “This is an important next step towards delivering the Northern Gas Pipeline, and Jemena is pleased to have reached a positive outcome with the Wakaya People and... more

Senex approves $50 million investment in the Western Surat Gas Project

Senex Energy Limited has sanctioned its first major investment in the Western Surat Gas Project, committing $50 million to a 30 well drilling campaign, with gas production of around 10 TJ/day (~0.6 mmboe p.a.) expected by mid-20181. Senex Managing Director and CEO Ian Davies said the work program would result in significant gas volumes from drill ready acreage, and the Company had a clear strategy for project acceleration. “We have seen immediate gas to surface from the Glenora pilot wells, brought online for continuous production in early February. We have also seen evidence of strong gas flows from wells on the Eos block during rehabilitation works being undertaken on legacy QGC wells. These results demonstrate that coal seams in the Glenora and Eos blocks have already been partially dewatered by neighbouring operations. “The sanctioned work program will further our under... more

New liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) distribution network approved

On 1 February 2017, the Essential Services Commission of South Australia (ESCOSA) approved a request from Australian Gas Networks Limited for a new distribution network under its licence; specifically, liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) services in the Mount Barker, Littlehampton and Nairne area. Australian Gas Networks Limited submitted its request to the Commission for a LPG distribution network on 8 November 2016. The Commission undertook a round of public consultation in relation to the request and received one submission from stakeholders. In making its assessment, the Commission sought technical advice from the Office of the Technical Regulator. The Commission assessed Australian Gas Networks Limited's request for a LPG distribution network, having regard to the provisions of the Gas Act 1996 and the Essential Services Commission Act 2002 and determined that the approval of this r... more

Santos one step closer to proceed with NSW Gas Project

Santos has submitted the State Significant Development Application and associated Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for its Narrabri Gas Project to the NSW Department of Planning and Environment. The proposed Narrabri Gas Project, located in North West NSW, could supply up to 50% of NSW gas needs and provide significant benefits to the region and the state more broadly. Santos will make the gas available to NSW and the east coast domestic market via a pipeline linking into the existing Moomba to Sydney Pipeline. The pipeline will be constructed by APA Group and will be subject to a separate approval. Santos’ Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer, Kevin Gallagher, said Santos has spent time producing a comprehensive EIS so the local Narrabri community and stakeholders can be confident the environment and water will be protected as the Project is developed. “The EIS... more

Senex begins Cooper Basin drilling campaign

Senex Energy Limited has commenced its FY17 oil and gas drilling program in the Cooper Basin. The current drilling program will comprise a multi-well oil campaign including exploration, appraisal and development opportunities, and a high impact unconventional gas exploration well. Oil appraisal and development The first two wells of the campaign are located on the producing Worrior and Spitfire fields. Worrior-11 (ex PEL 93: Senex 70% and operator, Cooper Energy 30%) is a development well targeting oil accumulations in the lower Birkhead and Hutton horizons. The well is due to be spudded in mid-December. The rig will then move to Spitfire-8 (ex PEL 104: Senex 60% and operator, Beach Energy 40%), a step-out appraisal well evaluating the extent of the Birkhead reservoir. The Spitfire field continues to perform strongly, with oil produced from six wells accessing the Birkhead reser... more

Senex completes pilot development in Queensland

Senex Energy Limited has completed the first pilot development in the Western Surat Gas Project on budget and ahead of schedule. The Glenora pilot marks the commencement of the development of Senex’s Western Surat Gas Project, which involves the extraction of gas from coal seams across approximately 915 km2 of acreage located adjacent to gas fields and infrastructure operated by Australian majors Santos and Origin Energy. Senex is 100% owner and operator of the project and has signed a flexible 20-year gas sales agreement with key LNG counterparty Santos GLNG. Appraisal testing from the Glenora pilot will commence immediately, enhancing the Company’s understanding of reservoir performance and de-risking full field development. Senex expects production from the Glenora pilot to conform to the typical profile of coal seam gas wells, with a period of dewatering to precede a steady... more

New gas pipeline project offers jobs

A new $80 million gas pipeline project in southern Queensland would offer 170 jobs, State Development Minister Anthony Lynham said. Dr Lynham welcomed the announcement by APA, Australia’s largest natural gas infrastructure business, about the new 50 km bi-directional pipeline. “The construction of this pipeline is great news for jobs,” he said. “With construction to start in 2017, the project is estimated to create 170 jobs including 20 permanent jobs within land access, approvals, technical design and procurement teams and 100 to 150 jobs for the construction phase of the project. Dr Lynham said this would give APLNG the flexibility to send gas either to Gladstone for export LNG production or directly to the domestic gas market. “My Department of Natural Resources and Mines is currently assessing APA’s application for a petroleum survey licence as the first st... more

Main power generation start-up on Ichthys two offshore facilities

The INPEX-led Ichthys LNG Project has reached a key milestone with both its Central Processing Facility (CPF) and Floating Production, Storage and Offloading (FPSO) facility safely starting up their main power generators in the South Korean shipyards where they are being constructed. Today, in the Samsung Heavy Industries shipyard in Geoje, the CPF’s three generators run by 25 megawatt dual-fuel gas turbines energised the facility’s distribution network. The CPF milestone followed the FPSO’s main turbo-generators being started up on 28 July 2016 at the nearby Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering yard in Okpo. Ichthys Project Managing Director Louis Bon said this achievement signalled commissioning was well underway for the two facilities. “Starting up the main generators of the FPSO and CPF allows the commissioning to further progress by providing the required... more

New Woodside oil development approved

The Greater Enfield Project has been approved for development by Woodside with Joint Venture participant Mitsui E&P Australia. Located 60 km off Exmouth in Western Australia within Commonwealth waters the project will develop the Laverda Canyon, Norton over Laverda (WA-59-L) and Cimatti (WA-28-L) oil accumulations. These reserves will be produced via a 31 km subsea tie-back to the Ngujima-Yin floating production storage and offloading (FPSO) facility, located over the Vincent oil field. Woodside CEO Peter Coleman said that monetising Greater Enfield was made possible by breakthroughs in the development concept, technology and contracting. “We have achieved investment spend at the low end of our guidance range by leveraging the latest technologies and using existing FPSO infrastructure. This allows us to accelerate the development of previously stranded resources. “Gre... more

First LNG from Santos GLNG train 2

Santos has announced that GLNG train 2 has started producing liquefied natural gas (LNG) on Curtis Island, Queensland. The announcement follows first LNG production from train 1 in September 2015 and GLNG’s first LNG export cargo in October 2015. Santos Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer Kevin Gallagher said first LNG from train 2 was another milestone for GLNG and marked the successful delivery of the two-train project, which has already produced over two million tonnes of LNG and shipped 32 cargoes. “GLNG train 2 start-up adds to Santos’ LNG portfolio, which also includes the Darwin LNG and PNG LNG projects,” Mr Gallagher said. Santos is the operator and has a 30% interest in GLNG. Other co-venturers are PETRONAS (27.5%), Total (27.5%) and KOGAS (15%).... more

Mobil to expand Altona Refinery production

ExxonMobil Australia’s subsidiary Mobil Refining Australia (Mobil) has announced plans to expand Altona refinery’s capacity utilising locally produced crude to meet the region’s growing demand for refined products. The announcement was made at an event attended by The Honourable Lily D'Ambrosio MP, Victorian Minister for Industry; Energy and Resources.  The project will upgrade part of an existing crude unit to add a pre-distillation step in Altona refinery’s process that will increase the production of diesel and jet fuel. Richard Owen, chair of ExxonMobil Australia, said the company is committed to investing in projects that generate superior shareholder value. “ExxonMobil Australia is focused on making strategic investments to improve our competitive position and optimise our integrated oil and gas business to support continued supply of high-quality, locally p... more

Construction set to begin on Bundaberg gas pipeline

Preparatory work has started on the $19.8 million Bundaberg Port Gas Pipeline, with construction to start after Easter. Minister for State Development and Minister for Natural Resources and Mines Dr Anthony Lynham said the 28.5 kilometre pipeline project would generate up to 15 local construction jobs. “It is great to be able to advise the House that preparatory work has started on the $19.8 million Bundaberg Port Gas Pipeline,” he told Parliament today. “The project represents a significant investment in the region, with a total of 45 jobs created during construction.” Dr Lynham said the pipeline would also support the development of the new $70 million Knauf Plasterboard facility. “The Knauf project alone is expected to bring 200 construction jobs and 40 operational jobs to Bundaberg,” he said. Member for Bundaberg Leanne Donaldson said the Bundaberg Port ... more

Woodside awards new contract offshore Western Australia

McDermott International, Inc. will put its new flagship derrick lay vessel, the DLV 2000, to work offshore Western Australia, supporting a transportation and installation contract awarded by Woodside for the Greater Western Flank Phase 2 Project. The installation will occur approximately 32 kilometres from the Goodwyn A platform located in the North West Shelf region off Western Australia. The DLV 2000 is a class 3 dynamically positioned vessel combining a 2,200-ton revolving crane with a deepwater S-lay pipelay system configured to install pipelines with diameters ranging from 4.5 to 60 inches in water depths up to 10,000 ft. Work is expected to be performed in conjunction with McDermott’s other new subsea installation vessel, the Construction Support Vessel 108 (CSV 108). The CSV 108 is expected to undergo an upgrade later this year to install a Vertical Lay System and Reel Dep... more

Eastern gas pipeline delivers more gas to NSW and ACT

Jemena has officially opened the Eastern Gas Pipeline (EGP) expansion, which has increased capacity on the pipeline by 20% to meet growing demand for natural gas on Australia’s east coast. A vital link connecting gas from Victoria’s Gippsland Basin to the east coast market, the EGP can now transport at least 22PJ more gas each year into NSW. That’s enough gas to supply around one million NSW homes for a year. The almost $150 million project involved installing two new midline compressor stations at East Gippsland and Michelago, plus additional delivery facilities at Wilton. The EGP supplies more than half the gas consumed in NSW, and on many occasions this year has transported 100% of the gas used in the state. NSW is a critical market for Jemena. The EGP feeds into the company’s distribution network, which delivers natural gas to more than 1.2 million homes and busin... more

Esso Australia begins construction of major pipeline

Esso Australia, a part of the ExxonMobil Australia group of companies, has started the construction of a $400 million pipeline in Victoria. The 187-kilometre pipeline, which replaces an existing pipeline constructed in 1969, will transport crude oil and condensate between Esso Australia’s Longford and Long Island Point facilities in Victoria. “This project will support the continuing supply of natural gas to businesses and households in Victoria and is part of our multi-billion dollar investment in oil and gas infrastructure in the region,” said ExxonMobil Australia Chairman Richard Owen. “This will be a major project for the Gippsland region delivering not only new jobs, but also opportunities for local suppliers.” ... more

Contract awarded for INPEX-led Ichthys FPSO facility

Clough has announced that Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering Co. Ltd. (DSME) has awarded a contract for the hook-up services on the Ichthys LNG Project Floating, Production, Storage and Offloading (FPSO) facility. The Ichthys FPSO is a 336 metre long, permanently moored and weather-vaning vessel designed to hold more than one million barrels of condensate. This is the second hook-up contract awarded to Clough for the Ichthys LNG project, with Samsung Heavy Industries (SHI) awarding a similar contract earlier in the week. The scope of work includes the preparation and execution of offshore hook-up and assistance to commissioning. Work will commence in the first quarter of 2016 with the mobilisation of engineering and technical teams to the DSME fabrication yard located in Geoje, Korea before moving offshore in the Browse Basin, 200 km off the northern coastline of Wester... more

A$2 billion invested in North West Shelf

A multi-national joint venture has been given the go-ahead for a US$2 billion investment in a subsea development at the North West Shelf Project, located about 125 kilometres north-west of Karratha off the Pilbara coast in Western Australia. The project, called the Greater Western Flank Phase 2, will develop 1.6 trillion cubic feet of raw gas using subsea infrastructure and a 35 kilometre, 36 inch pipeline that connects to an existing platform. Australia’s largest oil and gas company, Woodside Petroleum, the operator of the North West Shelf Project, is joined in this development by partners BHP Billiton, Shell, BP, Chevron, and Japan Australia LNG – a joint venture between Mitsui & Company and the Mitsubishi Corporation. Woodside Petroleum CEO Peter Colman said that this is the fourth major gas development for the massive North West Shelf project in the past seven years.... more

Amec Foster Wheeler wins Sweden refinery contract

A contract by Preem AB, the largest fuel company in Sweden, has awarded a contract for the Engineering, Procurement and Construction management (EPCm) of their Lysekil refinery’s new Vacuum Distillation Unit (VDU). The new facility will manufacture Vacuum Gas Oil hence removing the need for its import. Amec Foster Wheeler announces the award of the EPCm contract follows the successful completion of a feasibility study for the VDU by Amec Foster Wheeler in 2014 to confirm the technical viability of the project, and its subsequent Front End Engineering Design in 2015. “I am delighted that we are able to continue our work for Preem on this important facility for them. The award of this contract demonstrates our excellent relationship with Preem and our ability to constantly deliver high-value solutions for customers," said Nick Shorten, Managing Director of Amec Foster Wheeler’s... more

ConocoPhillips awards brownfield services contract

Amec Foster Wheeler has announced that its Clough AMEC joint venture has been awarded a three year contract by ConocoPhillips to provide asset support, operations and maintenance services to the Bayu-Undan offshore field development, located in the Timor Sea. The Bayu-Undan offshore facilities consist of a floating storage and offloading facility and three fixed platforms, a remote wellhead platform and a compression, utilities and quarters platform (CUQ) and a drilling, production and processing platform. The latter two are located adjacent to each other and linked by an access bridge, forming the Central Production and Processing Complex. “We are delighted to build on our 11 year history of providing services to Bayu-Undan and look forward to adding another project success to our track record," said Roberto Penno, Amec Foster Wheeler’s Group President for Asia, Middle East... more

Australia Pacific LNG exports first LNG from Curtis Island

Australia Pacific LNG has announced it had commenced operations with its first liquefied natural gas (LNG) cargo departing from its LNG facility on Curtis Island, near Gladstone. The LNG vessel, the Methane Spirit, departed Australia Pacific LNG’s facility on Saturday 9 January. Australia Pacific LNG CEO, Page Maxson, said the departure of the LNG vessel marks over four years of planning and construction since making the Final Investment Decision. “This achievement is testament to an extraordinary amount of work completed by co-venturers Origin Energy, ConocoPhillips and Sinopec, a multitude of key contractors, including Bechtel, and a 15,000-strong workforce. “In addition, we are thankful for the ongoing support from all of our stakeholders; including Local, State and Federal governments, landholders and community members. “With our domestic customer portfolio, th... more

Woodside approves new development

Woodside, as Operator of the North West Shelf (NWS) Project, advises that the project participants have approved the Greater Western Flank Phase 2 (GWF-2) Project off the north-west coast of Australia. The GWF-2 Project will develop 1.6 trillion cubic feet of raw gas (2P 100% project basis) from the combined Keast, Dockrell, Sculptor, Rankin, Lady Nora and Pemberton fields using subsea infrastructure and a 35 km, 16” pipeline connecting to the existing Goodwyn A platform. The total investment for the project is expected to be approximately US$2.0 billion (Operator’s estimate; 100% cost), with initial project start-up expected in 2H 2019. Gas delivery will initially commence from five wells in the Lady Nora, Pemberton, Sculptor and Rankin fields, followed by the remaining three wells in the Keast and Dockrell fields in 1H 2020. The GWF-2 Project is the fourth major gas dev... more

ZEN Energy invests in 1GW renewable generation

The Board of ZEN Energy has approved a strategic plan for establishing 1GW of additional dispatchable renewable generation assets to support long-term electricity supply contracts with South Australia’s large industrial users, including the Liberty OneSteel Whyalla Steelworks, to provide access to lower cost, reliable and low emission energy. ZEN Energy held its first Board meeting in Adelaide, after Sanjeev Gupta’s GFG Alliance purchased a 50.1% share in the company. Sanjeev assumed the role of Chairman. Outgoing Chairman Ross Garnaut is retaining an active role on the Board as President of the company, and Raymond Spencer will remain on the Board. The projects ready for early development endorsed by the Board include: 200MW of solar PV, comprising 80MW in the Whyalla Council industrial area, expanded by 120MW on adjacent land owned by Liberty OneSteel; 100MW/100MWh ba... more

$160 million 60 MW hybrid project reaches financial close

The Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) has announced $18 million in funding for the $160 million Kennedy Park wind, solar and battery project, based in North Queensland. The 60.5 megawatt (MW) project will consist of 43.2 MW of wind, 15 MW of solar PV, a 2 MW lithium ion battery and a synchronous condenser. On behalf of the Australian Government, ARENA will provide $18 million recoupable grant for the project, a joint venture of Australian renewable energy developer Windlab and Eurus Energy. In an ASX announcement, Windlab announced the project had reached financial close. The project will also receive up to $93 million in debt finance from the Clean Energy Finance Corporation. ARENA’s funding was originally committed in July 2016, but the project has subsequently been expanded in scope to overcome connection challenges. Kennedy Park will now include nearly double the ... more

Collinsville Solar Project takes shape while the sun shines

Activity is ramping up on the land surrounding the decommissioned Collinsville Power Station as construction of Ratch Australia Corporation’s $100 million Collinsville Solar Photovoltaic (PV) Project starts to take shape. A fleet of excavators, bulldozers, graders, cranes, trucks and trenchers are currently transforming close to 70 hectares surrounding the old power station to accommodate the installation of 169,000 PV solar panels and more than 550 kilometres of cabling over summer. Ratch Construction Manager Glenn Rice said that more than 150 people would be busy on site come Christmas as construction on the 42.5 megawatt (MW) project reached its crescendo. “At present there are around 50 people on site on any given day including heavy equipment operators, engineers, surveyors, safety and security staff but we expect to have a peak workforce of 152 once we start installing... more

ARENA to help fund $30 million 30MW SA battery

A new large-scale battery, designed to demonstrate how energy storage can strengthen the grid and potentially lower energy prices, will be built in South Australia with support from the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA). The Agency will provide up to $12 million in funding toward a 30MW, 8MWh battery at the Dalrymple substation on the Yorke Peninsula. ARENA CEO Ivor Frischknecht said the battery - the second phase of the Energy Storage for Commercial Renewable Integration (ESCRI) project – was expected to cost around $30 million. ESCRI Phase 1 consisted of a study into the potential for energy storage to benefit the South Australian network. It has allowed key aspects of a utility scale battery, such as revenue generation, to be thoroughly planned ahead of today’s announcement. Mr Frischknecht said the ESCRI battery would make an important contribution to securit... more

Battery system set to transform the NT’s energy future

As announcements of breakthrough battery storage solutions continue to transform the rapidly growing renewable energy sector, the government-owned Northern Territory based Territory Generation, has announced the go-ahead for its own battery storage solution, a 5 MW / 3.3 MWh Battery Energy Storage System (BESS) to be located in Alice Springs. Developed with the assistance of global engineering and infrastructure advisory company Aurecon, who are also the specialist and technical engineering advisors to the South Australian government for the agreement to build the world’s largest lithium-ion battery, the ground-breaking NT BESS will be one of the largest grid-connected storage solutions in Australia. The growing interest in battery storage facilities coincides with calls this week by the new CEO of the Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO) for State and Federal Energy ministe... more

Tesla to build world’s largest lithium ion battery in SA

The world’s largest lithium ion battery will be installed in South Australia under a historic agreement between French renewable energy company Neoen, US sustainable energy company Tesla and the South Australian Government. The energy storage systems from Tesla will be paired with Neoen’s Hornsdale Wind Farm and installed before summer. Confirming the commitment from Tesla CEO Elon Musk to deliver the battery within 100 days or it is free, it has been agreed between Tesla and the South Australian Government that the starting date for the 100 days will be once the grid interconnection agreement has been signed. After leading the nation in renewable energy, the 100MW / 129MWh battery places South Australia at the forefront of global energy storage technology. South Australian Premier Jay Weatherill said battery storage is the future of Australia’s national energy marke... more

Australia’s first offshore wind farm proposed off Gippsland

Victorian-based developer Offshore Energy is planning the development of Australia’s first offshore wind farm off the coast of Gippsland, in eastern Victoria. The company will present at a Victorian Government New Energy Technology Roundtable with key community and government stakeholders at Federation University, Churchill in Gippsland on Friday 2 June 2017. Offshore Energy has been working with the Commonwealth government to establish the appropriate rights in order to investigate the feasibility of constructing the project. An extensive and positive preliminary planning and environmental study has already been undertaken by leading global engineering firm WSP/Parsons Brinckerhoff. Development of the Star of the South Energy Project is at an early stage but as currently proposed would: have a feasibility phase of at least three years; have a total investment value... more

$117M solar project contracts awarded

CIMIC Group company UGL has been awarded engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) contracts to design and build two new solar farms. The two EPC contracts – for the Collinsville Solar Farm in Queensland and the White Rock Solar Farm in New South Wales – will generate combined revenue for UGL of $117 million. In addition, UGL will provide operation and maintenance (O&M) services at both solar farms. CIMIC Group Chief Executive Officer Adolfo Valderas said: “With these contracts, UGL has been awarded a total of nine solar farm projects, making it one of the most awarded contractors for utility-scale solar projects in Australia. “With such a diverse portfolio of solar projects, UGL is driving innovation and firmly positioned as the leader in the renewable energy market.” The Australian Government, through the Clean Energy Finance Corporation (CEFC), a statut... more

South Australian 300MW solar farm speeds ahead

Reach Solar energy (Reach) has announced financial close on the first phase of the 300MWac Bungala Solar Photovoltaic (PV) project near Port Augusta, and at the same time, entered sale agreements with Enel Green Power (EGP) and the Dutch Infrastructure Fund (DIF). The Bungala Solar project will be built on land leased from the Bungala Aboriginal Corporation, about 12km from Port Augusta. On full completion it will produce enough electricity for around 130,000 homes, is able to assist the grid with ancillary services, and is 'energy storage ready' for the future. The financial close milestone for Bungala Solar One incorporates debt and equity commitments for the project's second phase, Bungala Solar Two. Both projects will be delivered without financial support from government. Origin Energy will purchase all electricity and renewable certificates produced by both solar projects ... more

The world’s biggest large-scale solar and battery storage project to be built in SA

A $1 billion combined large-scale solar and battery storage project – the world’s biggest – will commence operations in South Australia’s Riverland district by the end of 2017. Speaking at the announcement of Riverland Solar Storage with the South Australian Premier Jay Weatherill in Adelaide today, Lyon Partner David Green said construction will commence in the coming months and is expected to employ 270 workers. “Riverland Solar Storage’s 330MW solar generation and 100MW battery storage system will be Australia’s biggest solar farm with 3.4 million solar panels and will also include 1.1 million batteries,” Mr Green said. Mr Green said that Lyon’s previously announced Kingfisher Solar Storage project near Roxby Downs was also likely to start construction in 2017. Riverland Solar Storage will proceed first, as the land has been secured and the grid connection i... more

$100m solar farm boost for New South Wales

Electricity supply in New South Wales is set to be boosted with the construction of a new $100 million 42MW solar farm in Manildra.  The solar farm will generate more than 120,000 megawatt-hours of clean electricity a year or enough to supply up to 14,000 homes. First Solar will deliver the project, which will use 466,000 thin-film photovoltaic modules and NEXTracker single-axis tracking technology. First Solar has entered a 13-year power purchase agreement with EnergyAustralia for the electricity and large-scale generation certificates from the project. The Manildra Solar Farm is also supported by a $9.8 million grant from the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA). EnergyAustralia Managing Director Catherine Tanna said customers rightly expect access to reliable, affordable and cleaner supplies of energy. “The Manildra Solar Farm is a great example of the project... more

Landmark $380m solar financing deal completed in Australia

Australian renewable energy developer Edify Energy and German group Wirsol have successfully completed Australia’s largest single solar project financing to build and operate three new large-scale solar farms: the Whitsunday and Hamilton Solar Farms in Queensland, and the Gannawarra Solar Farm in Victoria. When complete in Q1 2018, the Queensland and Victorian markets will benefit from an additional 198 MWp of renewable capacity, including the first large-scale solar farm in Victoria. The transaction marks Australia’s largest single solar project financing deal. A long-term syndicated $232m debt facility will be provided by the Clean Energy Finance Corporation (CEFC), the Commonwealth Bank of Australia (CBA) and NORD/LB; the long tenor of this financing is rare for a domestic commercial bank lending to renewable projects. Mark Hogan, MD of Wirsol Energy Limited said they are... more

Renewable energy to power more than half of Onslow’s electricity needs

Australia's largest distributed energy resource microgrid was recently approved, aiming to deliver more than 50 per cent of Onslow's electricity needs with renewable energy in Western Australia. Energy Minister Mike Nahan said the new Onslow microgrid would include a mix of distributed solar energy generation and battery storage. The project includes essential electricity network infrastructure, a new transmission line and substation, as well as a 5.25 megawatt gas-fired modular power station, designed to efficiently contract in size as the renewable energy contribution expands to meet energy needs. "This project connects traditional energy sources with solar power and battery storage to deliver more than half of Onslow's electricity needs with renewables," Dr Nahan said. "This will be Australia's largest distributed energy microgrid, creating a new era of energy compet... more

Wave, solar and energy storage combine forces to power WA island

Could a mix of renewable energy completely and independently power Garden Island off the coast of Perth, Western Australia? With $2.5 million in support from the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) local Perth company, Carnegie Wave Energy, is set to design and build the world’s first renewable energy island ‘microgrid’ that includes wave energy generation as part of the mix. The total $7.5 million project will involve the construction and integration of 2 megawatts (MW) of photovoltaic solar capacity and a 2MW/0.5MWh battery storage system, coupled with Carnegie’s own unique and innovative CETO6 off-shore wave energy generation technology developed at the same site with ARENA funding support. ARENA CEO Ivor Frischknecht said the landmark project represented the next generation of Carnegie’s wave technology and is expected to demonstrate the viability of integra... more

Biofuels project receives environmental approval

A Gladstone oil refinery has been given environmental approval for a new plant that will turn waste such as tyre rubber into renewable oil for biofuels. The Department of Environment and Heritage Protection has granted an Environmental Authority for Northern Oil Refineries at Yarwun, near Gladstone. Environment Minister Dr Steven Miles said the company, which won the Innovation in Sustainable Technologies Award at the 2015 Premier’s Sustainability Awards, had created a whole new industry for Queensland. “Queensland is on the cusp of a new, 21st century clean industry for Australia. “Biofuels promises to be a revolutionary game changer for the environment, for transport fuels, and for regional Queensland economies. “This is the first facility in Queensland to recycle waste lubricating oil for re-use. In fact, this was a business destined for NSW but the Palaszczuk ... more

South Australian wind farm switches on

South Australia’s newest wind farm, the Neoen and Siemens developed Hornsdale project, was switched on to the grid in a special ‘energisation ceremony’ which included the announcement that local indigenous Australian art will feature on one of the wind towers in a world-first. At the opening ceremony in Hornsdale, South Australian and ACT government officials and the local community came together to switch on the first turbines of Phase 1 (comprising a total of 32 turbines) of the project developed by Neoen - the French renewable energy producer and developer of the Hornsdale Wind Farm - and Siemens Australia. Xavier Barbaro, Neoen’s global CEO who was in Australia for the celebration said that he was proud to see his company’s ability to deliver on ambitious clean energy targets. “Hornsdale is a great example of the global strength of France and Germany working toge... more

Queensland’s biggest wind farm one step closer

Queensland’s proposed biggest wind farm near Kingaroy is a step closer to generating clean energy and 370 jobs with its declaration as a coordinated project. Minister for State Development and Minister for Natural Resources and Mines Dr Anthony Lynhamsaid that AGL’s $500 million Coopers Gap Wind Farm would now move to an environmental impact statement with public consultation. “This project is an example of the Palaszczuk Government’s focus on diversifying our economy, generating jobs of the future, and becoming a leader in renewable energy generation,” Dr Lynham said. “AGL Energy Limited has said the project could create up to 350 construction jobs and ongoing employment for up to 20 people in the region. “Depending on the Coordinator-General’s evaluation, construction could start in late 2017 and take two and half years, making it operational by 2020. “... more

Renewable energy boost for Queensland

Construction of the $360 million Mount Emerald Wind Farm near Walkamin is on track to start before the end of the year after Ergon Energy announced today it had entered into an agreement to purchase all of the electricity generated by the wind farm through to the end of 2030. The wind farm, a joint development between Ratch-Australia (Ratch) and Port Bajool, was chosen ahead of six other renewable energy projects shortlisted by Ergon in November last year as part of their green energy tender process. Power producer Ratch owns a number of wind farms around Australia including the Windy Hill wind farm near Ravenshoe, while Port Bajool has developed property in the region for more than 20 years. The project received approval from both the Queensland and Australian governments last year after more than four years of on-site research and community consultation. Ratch Business Develop... more

Callide B Power Station gets $31 million overhaul

A massive $31 million overhaul of the Callide B Power Station, approved by the Queensland Government, will see 350 direct jobs created in the region. Treasurer Curtis Pitt said the $31 million investment would bring enormous flow-on economic benefits to Central Queensland. “In July this year state-owned electricity generator CS Energy Limited will commence a major service of Unit 1 of the Callide B Power Station. This $31 million overhaul will create and sustain around 350 direct jobs, this is in addition to the power station’s permanent workforce of around 205 employees." The works are expected to take around two months, commencing on 30 July 2016. Minister for Energy Mark Bailey said the $31 million investment was critical to continuing Queensland’s reliable electricity supply. “The Palaszczuk Government is determinedly moving Queensland towards obtaining more of... more

NSW solar farms shortlisted for $100 million funding

The Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) has announced shortlisted projects under its $100 million competitive funding round for large-scale solar photovoltaic (PV). From the 22 shortlisted projects, eight are located in NSW – totalling 242 megawatts of capacity and worth an estimated $500 million of investment for the State. The Renewable Energy Advocate and NSW Industry Investment teams have been working closely with the project developers to help them navigate planning processes, network connections and leverage Commonwealth funding. Neoen, the developer of three shortlisted projects in Griffith, Dubbo and Parkes, sent this complimentary feedback about the Department's services: "The help provided to Neoen by the Department of Industry to date has been very positive and has certainly contributed to strengthen Neoen's engagement on the NSW solar market. We look forw... more

New era for solar power in NSW

The Minister for Industry, Resources and Energy, Anthony Roberts has marked the official completion of Australia’s two largest solar plants at Nyngan and Broken Hill. “This is a legacy that will last for generations and will greatly benefit the local and wider communities by providing a reliable and cost-effective energy source,” Mr Roberts said. “The NSW Government provided almost $65 million dollars towards the Solar Flagship projects at Nyngan and Broken Hill, which have collectively supported over 450 regional jobs and driven $440 million of investment into the State.” The Nyngan Solar plant is the largest in Australia and the Broken Hill facility is currently the second largest. Nyngan and Broken Hill now provide an important part of the State’s energy security and diversity by supplying affordable and sustainable energy for NSW. At full capacity, the Nyng... more

Clarke Energy deploys country first 616 diesel engine

Diamantina Power Station (DPS) in the city of Mt. Isa in the Australian state of Queensland has selected Clarke Energy to supply and install the country’s first highly efficient 2.6-megawatt (MW) 616 diesel engine from GE’s Distributed Power business (NYSE: GE). GE’s 616 diesel unit will help give the station needed “black start” capabilities to allow the plant to return to service in the event of a system outage. DPS operates in an isolated regional grid that is not connected to the National Electricity Market. The Mount Isa region is affected by high levels of lightning activity during summer that can interrupt power supplies. As a result, the new black start capability is critically important to this regional network. The DPS site, which is jointly owned by APA Group and AGL Energy, includes a 242-MW natural gas combined-cycle power station and the adjacent, 60-MW L... more

West-east Gas pipeline pre-feasibility study

ACIL Allen, in conjunction with GHD, is the successful tenderer to conduct a pre-feasibility study on the West-East Gas Pipeline. Announced in this year’s Federal Budget, the West-East Gas Pipeline pre-feasibility study is the first Commonwealth investigation of the potential for constructing a gas pipeline from Western Australia to link up to the east coast gas market. The findings from the study may inform a full feasibility study to test the viability of constructing a natural gas pipeline to provide additional gas supplies and increase competition in the east coast gas market. ACIL Allen will be involved in the market and analysis component of the study, while GHD will take on the pipeline engineering and pipeline route assessment component. Together, the parties have deep and wide ranging experience in gas markets and infrastructure and demonstrated through their bid t... more

Rio Tinto completes first fully autonomous rail journey in Western Australia

Rio Tinto has successfully completed the first fully autonomous rail journey at its iron ore operations in the Pilbara region of Western Australia as the company progresses toward full commissioning of the AutoHaul® project in late 2018. The nearly 100 kilometre pilot run was completed without a driver on board, making it the first fully autonomous heavy haul train journey ever completed in Australia. The journey was completed safely, being closely monitored in real-time by Rio Tinto teams and representatives of the Office of the National Rail Safety Regulator, both on the ground and at the Operations Centre in Perth. The successful pilot run from Wombat Junction to Paraburdoo is a significant step toward full commissioning of AutoHaul® in 2018 once all relevant safety and acceptance criteria have been met and regulatory approvals obtained. Rio Tinto Iron Ore chief executiv... more

Jemena engages construction partner for pipeline project

Jemena’s $800 million Northern Gas Pipeline Project (NGP) continues to progress smoothly, with a number of critical milestones being reached in recent weeks. Jemena’s Managing Director, Paul Adams, said the final length of line pipe required for the NGP has been delivered to Darwin, while Jemena is also well advanced with preparatory works as part of the construction of the NGP. Mr Adams also stated that Jemena has appointed a construction partner for the Territory, and part of the Queensland, portion of the pipeline. “Jemena has now finalised paperwork to reappoint McConnell Dowell, which means they will construct 481km of the 622km long pipeline,” said Mr Adams. “McConnell Dowell has been a key partner to Jemena since 2015, having worked closely with us as part of the initial tender for the project. We’re confident they have the right skills and experience to en... more

Southern hemisphere’s most advanced recycling facility opens in WA

The City of Perth has become home to the most high-tech recycling facility in the southern hemisphere. Cleanaway’s brand new Materials Recovery Facility (MRF), has the capacity to process the city’s entire household recyclable waste. Up to 250,000 tonnes of recyclable material, enough to fill almost 470 Olympic-size swimming pools could be handled by the new MRF, each year. Cleanaway’s MRF is the most advanced commingled recovery system in the country, with state of the art optical sorting technology capable of separating recyclable materials including plastics, metals, paper and cardboard. This new plant will deliver some of the highest diversion rates in Australia - 97 percent, in comparison to average recovery rates of less than 85 percent. Mr Reece Whitby, Parliamentary Secretary for the Environment, joined Cleanaway CEO and Managing Director Vik Bansal to mark the off... more

Jemena acquires Darling Downs gas transmission pipelines

Gas transmission and distribution company, Jemena has reached agreement to acquire the Origin Energy-owned Darling Downs Pipeline System (DDPS) following an extensive six-month due diligence process. Jemena will now focus on safely and efficiently integrating the DDPS into its portfolio of gas transmission assets which includes the Eastern, Queensland, and Northern Gas Pipelines. The transition period will commence in early June following financial close and is expected to conclude by the end of October this year. Jemena MD, Paul Adams, said that the acquisition is a crucial next step in delivering on Jemena’s Northern Growth Strategy which seeks to build an interconnected supply chain of energy delivery assets in northern Australia through targeted acquisitions and greenfield developments. “This is a strategic investment for Jemena which leverages the DDPS’ connection ... more

BHP Billiton invests in Caval Ridge Southern Circuit

BHP Billiton Mitsubishi Alliance (BMA) will invest US$204 million (100 per cent basis)* in the Caval Ridge Southern Circuit (CRSC) capital growth project, in Central Queensland’s Bowen Basin.  CRSC is an 11 kilometre overland conveyor system which will transport coal from Peak Downs Mine to the Coal Handling Preparation Plant (CHPP) at the nearby Caval Ridge Mine. The project will create up to 400 new construction jobs and lock in approximately 200 ongoing operational roles. It will also result in the Caval Ridge preparation plant increasing its throughput to reach its 10 million tonne per year capacity. BHP Billiton President Operations, Minerals Australia, Mike Henry said the project formed the missing link between the two mines, and will accelerate growth and productivity. “This investment furthers our productivity agenda, reduces costs, releases latent equipment capa... more

Jemena secures land access for the Northern Gas Pipeline

Jemena’s $800 million Northern Gas Pipeline (NGP) has reached another crucial milestone, after land access arrangements with the Wakaya People were finalised. The decision means Jemena has now secured land access with all Traditional Owner groups across the 622km pipeline route in both the Northern Territory and Queensland. Jemena will now move to formalise these arrangements over the coming days. The agreement follows more than 12 months of discussions and negotiations with Traditional Owners and their representative Land Councils. Northern Gas Pipeline Project Director, Jonathan Spink, said the agreement recognises Jemena’s strong commitment to working closely with local communities along the NGP pipeline route. “This is an important next step towards delivering the Northern Gas Pipeline, and Jemena is pleased to have reached a positive outcome with the Wakaya People and... more

$42m emissions reduction project begins

CO2CRC’s largest emissions reduction research project has kicked-off in Nirranda South, Western Victoria. The first stage of a $42 million carbon capture and storage (CCS) project will commence with the drilling of a new appraisal well at CO2CRC’s Otway Research Facility. The project will focus primarily on developing a cost effective ‘smart field’ where up to 40,000 tonnes of CO2 will be injected underground and monitored using various new tools and techniques in real-time. This injection amount is necessary to model a commercial storage project of 4 million tonnes per annum of CO2. The project has been designed to be transferrable to different environments both onshore and offshore making it a valuable investment for a range of industries. Tania Constable, CEO of CO2CRC said “A smart field gives regulators and the community confidence that the CO2 can be constantly moni... more

Above ground rail line to transport iron ore recommended for approval

An above-ground rail structure used to deliver iron ore across 330km of the Pilbara region has been recommended for approval by the Environmental Protection Authority. Mineral Resources Limited’s Pilbara Bulk Ore Transportation System, also known as BOTS, proposes to transport iron ore mined from the Iron Valley Project, about 90km north-west of Newman, to the Port Hedland Inner Harbour in Western Australia. The BOTS design, which will replace the need for road trains, includes an elevated structure that is mounted onto precast concrete beams, spanned between precast concrete substructures. Purpose-designed power cars and wagons will use a dual fuel (diesel and gas) generation system to transport the ore. The project, which also includes supporting infrastructure, will be autonomously monitored from a Perth-based control centre. EPA Chairman Dr Tom Hatton said the EPA tes... more

Australia’s first subsea fibre optic cable project completed

INPEX and Shell have welcomed completion of Australia’s first purpose-built subsea internet cable for Australia’s northern offshore oil and gas industry. Installed on the seabed between Darwin and Port Hedland, the 2100 kilometre North West Cable System (NWCS) provides offshore oil and gas facilities in the Browse, Bonaparte and Carnarvon Basins with access to high-speed data and voice communication services for the life of their operations. The NWCS will provide cutting-edge communications for the operational workforce on offshore facilities in the Ichthys and Prelude Fields, located up to 220 kilometres off the northern coast of Western Australia. The cable system also delivers reliable communications for the first time to remote communities living in Australia’s northern and western regions through onshore connections to data centres and businesses throughout Australia.... more

Pipeline upgrade project completed in WA

Joint integrity specialist Hydratight has completed an upgrade project on a section of subsea pipeline on the North West Shelf of Western Australia. Contracted by Western Australia (WA) based Quadrant Energy Pty Ltd on behalf of the John Brookes Joint Venture, Hydratight engineered, manufactured, delivered and supported the installation of an 18” MORGRIP® connector on the John Brookes subsea pipeline located 54 km north-east of Quadrant’s Varanus Island facilities. Two of Hydratight’s most experienced engineers, Mark Fisher and Bob Till, who have been in senior industry roles for a combined 65 years, were embedded in the offshore installation team. “This was an exciting project to be part of due to strict safety and environmental expectations in place,” explained Mark.  “These included working closely with a DNV inspector who flew in from Singapore to witness all a... more

Pilbara Iron: A new transport system

Mineral Resources of Perth is a mining company, but it is also a mining-services company, offering services in fields such as crushing and pipeline design and construction. The company is developing a new transport system for taking iron ore from its Iron Valley mine in the Pilbara region to Port Hedland for shipping. The system is an elevated rail line. Mineral Resources says that it occupies a “niche between heavy rail and conveyor”, adding that it is “significantly less capital intensive than traditional heavy-haul rail” (see further information). The system will be open to third-party users. It has the potential to rescue so-called “stranded assets” in the Pilbara, that is, potential iron-ore mines currently held back by the absence of a cost-effective ore-transport system. By Project Monitor... more

Esso Australia begins construction of major pipeline

Esso Australia, a part of the ExxonMobil Australia group of companies, has started the construction of a $400 million pipeline in Victoria. The 187-kilometre pipeline, which replaces an existing pipeline constructed in 1969, will transport crude oil and condensate between Esso Australia’s Longford and Long Island Point facilities in Victoria. “This project will support the continuing supply of natural gas to businesses and households in Victoria and is part of our multi-billion dollar investment in oil and gas infrastructure in the region,” said ExxonMobil Australia Chairman Richard Owen. “This will be a major project for the Gippsland region delivering not only new jobs, but also opportunities for local suppliers.” ... more

A$2 billion invested in North West Shelf

A multi-national joint venture has been given the go-ahead for a US$2 billion investment in a subsea development at the North West Shelf Project, located about 125 kilometres north-west of Karratha off the Pilbara coast in Western Australia. The project, called the Greater Western Flank Phase 2, will develop 1.6 trillion cubic feet of raw gas using subsea infrastructure and a 35 kilometre, 36 inch pipeline that connects to an existing platform. Australia’s largest oil and gas company, Woodside Petroleum, the operator of the North West Shelf Project, is joined in this development by partners BHP Billiton, Shell, BP, Chevron, and Japan Australia LNG – a joint venture between Mitsui & Company and the Mitsubishi Corporation. Woodside Petroleum CEO Peter Colman said that this is the fourth major gas development for the massive North West Shelf project in the past seven years.... more

Australian mining projects making progress in Africa

Construction at the US$80-million Epanko project in Tanzania is expected to commence next year. Following mining and processing, Epanko will produce a high-grade graphite concentrate. The proponent, the Australian company Kibaran Resources, is also looking at a further processing step, to produce graphite suitable for lithium-ion batteries. Because of their use in electric vehicles, such batteries present a strongly-growing market for graphite. Australia is the largest foreign investor in mining in Africa. Epanko is one of several dozen Australian projects that have progressed beyond an early exploration stage. There are many more at an early stage. According to one estimate, there are nearly 200 listed Australian companies developing or operating mining projects in Africa (source: Australia-Africa Minerals & Energy Group). Australian mining companies tend to use Australian... more

Swedish 5G technology is helping mining industry modernise

5G technology from Ericsson could soon be used to improve communication and remote control operations in the Swedish mines. A project designed to improve productivity and safety in traditionally dangerous environments is being run by Ericsson, ABB, Boliden, SICS Swedish ICT and Volvo Construction Equipment. In the pilot phase of the project, a 5G development system consisting of new and existing technologies will be used to remotely control a Volvo truck used for transporting ore within the mine. The actual location for the pilot is still to be chosen from a shortlist of mines operated by Boliden. The successful implementation of such technology should lead to improved safety, according to Torbjörn Lundahl, programme manager for Ericsson's 5G for Sweden programme. “More connected machines and devices mean fewer people will be required to work underground. The seamless inte... more

Amec Foster Wheeler wins Sweden refinery contract

A contract by Preem AB, the largest fuel company in Sweden, has awarded a contract for the Engineering, Procurement and Construction management (EPCm) of their Lysekil refinery’s new Vacuum Distillation Unit (VDU). The new facility will manufacture Vacuum Gas Oil hence removing the need for its import. Amec Foster Wheeler announces the award of the EPCm contract follows the successful completion of a feasibility study for the VDU by Amec Foster Wheeler in 2014 to confirm the technical viability of the project, and its subsequent Front End Engineering Design in 2015. “I am delighted that we are able to continue our work for Preem on this important facility for them. The award of this contract demonstrates our excellent relationship with Preem and our ability to constantly deliver high-value solutions for customers," said Nick Shorten, Managing Director of Amec Foster Wheeler’s... more

ConocoPhillips awards brownfield services contract

Amec Foster Wheeler has announced that its Clough AMEC joint venture has been awarded a three year contract by ConocoPhillips to provide asset support, operations and maintenance services to the Bayu-Undan offshore field development, located in the Timor Sea. The Bayu-Undan offshore facilities consist of a floating storage and offloading facility and three fixed platforms, a remote wellhead platform and a compression, utilities and quarters platform (CUQ) and a drilling, production and processing platform. The latter two are located adjacent to each other and linked by an access bridge, forming the Central Production and Processing Complex. “We are delighted to build on our 11 year history of providing services to Bayu-Undan and look forward to adding another project success to our track record," said Roberto Penno, Amec Foster Wheeler’s Group President for Asia, Middle East... more