Projects

BHP mine sets world record for largest electronic blast

BHP Mitsubishi Alliance’s (BMA) Caval Ridge Mine in Queensland's Bowen Basin now holds the title of the world’s largest electronic blast. The blast, which occurred in December 2019, saw 4.7 million cubic metres of overburden shifted in a blast fired with 2,194 tonnes of bulk explosives across 3,899 holes. Caval Ridge Drill and Blast Superintendent, Dallas Gostelow, detailed that the blast was loaded over 14 days and involved engineers, schedulers and the E and F Blast crews. It also required a combination of four related blast patterns, using 8,144 detonators – a number which the miner had never set ... more

First saleable concentrate produced at OZ Minerals’ Carrapateena mine

First ‘saleable copper-gold concentrate’ has been produced into the pre-filter press feed tank at Carrapateena - OZ Minerals’ new underground copper mine in South Australia which is located approximately 160 kilometres north of Port Augusta. OZ Minerals said the achievement of the concentrate production milestone (which was announced on 20 December 2019) met the schedule mapped out on Board approval of the project in August 2017. The pre-production capital cost at first saleable concentrate is approximately $970 million with 2019 growth capital spend on track for guidance of $540 million to $570 mill... more

Rio Tinto’s Western Turner Syncline iron ore project approved

On Monday 23 December 2019, Acting WA Premier Roger Cook announced the Western Australian Government had officially approved Rio Tinto’s Western Turner Syncline Phase 2 proposal. The new phase of the Western Turner mine, located approximately 35 kilometres north-west of Tom Price, will enable Rio Tinto to sustain approved production of 30 million tonnes a year. Construction work includes a new crusher and a 13-kilometre long overland conveyor to transport crushed ore to existing transfer infrastructure. The $1 billion project is expected to generate more than 1,000 construction jobs, with the extensio... more

New lease on life for former Ellendale diamond mine

The former Ellendale diamond mine area in the West Kimberley is heading towards a new lease of life. Gibb River Diamonds has accepted an offer to apply for new tenements at Ellendale and India Bore Diamond Holdings has been invited to apply for other tenements at the site. Before mining activities can commence, the companies will need to undertake more diamond exploration in their new tenure, conduct extensive consultations with key stakeholders in the region and develop mining plans for approval. Mines and Petroleum Minister Bill Johnston said it’s not going to happen overnight, but restarting mining... more

BP and Chevron to fund new exploration initiatives in South Australia

BP and Chevron have committed to investing a total of $116.5 million in oil and gas exploration activities, with at least half directed to projects in South Australia with a view to increasing energy supplies in the state and south-eastern Australia. BP and Chevron ceased their programs of exploration in the Great Australian Bight in 2017 and 2018 respectively. The commitments were announced following the conclusion of Good Standing Agreement negotiations with both parties after their decisions to cease petroleum exploration in the Great Australian Bight. Minister for Resources and Northern Australia Ma... more

Atlas Gas Pipeline commences operations

Commercial operations have commenced on the $140 million Atlas Gas Pipeline, which will transport gas from Senex Energy’s Atlas gas acreage - located near Wandoan in south-west Queensland - to the east-coast gas market via the Wallumbilla Gas Hub. In June 2018, energy infrastructure company, Jemena, signed an agreement with Senex Energy to build, own, and operate a 15 petajoule per annum (40 TJ/day) gas processing facility and 60km buried pipeline (Atlas Gas Pipeline) in order to fast-track new gas supply to the domestic market. Jemena’s Managing Director, Frank Tudor, said the Senex-Jemena partnership... more

Construction contract awarded for gas terminal

Australian Industrial Energy (AIE) has announced another important milestone in the development of its Port Kembla Gas Terminal (PKGT) with the award of the key wharf facility and pipeline construction contract for the LNG import facility. New South Wales currently imports over 95 per cent of its domestic gas from other states. This means that local industries, business and households can be impacted by supply or price shifts occurring in other states. AIE states that LNG will be sourced from international suppliers and transported by LNG carriers to Port Kembla, where it will be transferred to a floating,... more

Tanami Natural Gas Pipeline opens to power gold mine

The 440-kilometre Tanami Natural Gas Pipeline, which will transport gas to Newmont Mining’s Granites gold mine, located approximately 540 kilometres north-west of Alice Springs in the Tanami Desert, has been completed. The pipeline is part of Newmont’s $346 million Tanami power project which is expected to provide the mine with a safe and reliable energy source that lowers power costs and carbon emissions by 20 per cent. The power project involved the installation of two power stations, a 66 kilovolt interconnected power line and the approval to operate the natural gas pipeline. Historically, mining op... more

World’s largest scale battery to be expanded

Neoen, together with the South Australian Government, the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) and the Clean Energy Finance Corporation (CEFC), have announced a 50 per cent expansion of the Hornsdale Power Reserve battery. The 100MW / 129 MWh Hornsdale Power Reserve battery is the world's largest lithium-ion battery and is located approximately 15 kilometres north of Jamestown, in South Australia. The recently announced $71 million expansion project will see the battery expanded by 50 MW / 64.5 MWh to demonstrate the ability for grid-scale batteries to provide inertia services and fast frequency resp... more

Construction of Latrobe Valley hydrogen facility commences

Construction is underway on a new gasification facility in Victoria as part of the world-first Hydrogen Energy Supply Chain (HESC) Pilot Project. The HESC Pilot Project aims to safely and efficiently produce clean hydrogen from Victoria’s Latrobe Valley and transport it to Japan for use in fuel cell electric vehicles and power generation. It is one of the world’s first efforts to commercialise technology to liquefy and transport hydrogen. It will develop and trial a seven-stage hydrogen supply chain, which involves: The gasification of Victorian brown coal to produce synthetic gas (carbon monoxide... more

Pilot hydrogen project tackles emissions reduction targets

According to the Department of Industry, Innovation and Science, hydrogen could provide a secure and clean source of energy as countries tackle the challenge of meeting national and international emissions reduction targets. The Hydrogen Energy Supply Chain (HESC) Pilot Project aims to safely and efficiently produce clean hydrogen from Victoria’s Latrobe Valley and transport it to Japan for use in fuel cell electric vehicles and power generation - in one of the world’s first efforts to commercialise technology to liquefy and transport hydrogen. Under the Pilot Project, a new Hydrogen Liquefaction and L... more

FMG looks to renewable energy to power iron ore operation

Western Australia's Pilbara region will be home to the first major iron ore mining operation in Australia to be run entirely off renewable energy during the day. The Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) has announced $24.2 million in funding to Alinta Energy Pilbara Finance Pty Ltd (Alinta) to develop its Solar Gas Hybrid project to power Fortescue Metals Group’s (FMG) Chichester Hub. The Northern Australia Infrastructure Facility will also provide a loan of up to $90 million. As part of Alinta’s project, a 60 Megawatt (MW) solar PV facility will be constructed and approximately 60 kilometres of... more

Lynas Corporation sets sights on Kalgoorlie for new rare earth processing plant

Lynas Corporation Limited (Lynas) has selected Kalgoorlie, Western Australia, as the location for its new cracking and leaching plant - a decision that is set to create new jobs and is the first step in establishing a critical minerals hub in the Goldfields region. Kalgoorlie was selected from the two shortlisted locations in the Goldfields region following extensive due diligence from Lynas. The company detailed that Kalgoorlie provides close proximity to the Lynas mine at Mt Weld as well as a skilled workforce and rich history in the mining and processing industries. Lynas has signed an option to subleas... more

Innovative Mackay resources building now one step closer

Mackay construction company, Fergus Builders, has secured the contract to build the $7 million Resources Centre of Excellence – a world-class engineering, industrial and technology hub in Queensland. The Mackay-Isaac-Whitsunday region is home to 34 operating coal mines and the region is one of the largest Mining Equipment, Technology and Services (METS) hubs in Australia. The Resources Centre of Excellence, a joint Queensland Government and Mackay Regional Council project, will be an important nexus between research, education and the resources industry. Its objective is to leverage existing local expert... more

ARENA approves funding for groundbreaking hydrogen production facility in WA

The Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) has approved up to $9.41 million in funding to Hazer Group Limited to support the construction and operation of the Hazer Process Commercial Demonstration Project (HPCDP) in Western Australia. With an estimated capital cost of $15.8 million, the HPCDP is a 100 tonne per annum low emission hydrogen production facility that will be the first large scale, fully integrated deployment of the Hazer Process. This process is an innovative technology which converts bio-methane to renewable hydrogen and graphite using iron ore as a process catalyst. Hazer plans to sell ... more

$90M power plant overhaul to generate jobs

More than 400 jobs and a boost to the local economy will be an added bonus to a $90 million overhaul of the largest generating unit in Australia at CS Energy’s Kogan Creek Power Station. Located near Chinchilla in South West Queensland, the Kogan Creek Power Station is one of Australia’s most efficient and technically advanced coal-fired power stations. Commissioned in 2007, the 750 MW power station can generate enough electricity to power up to one million homes. Kogan Creek’s last major overhaul was carried out in 2016. This overhaul includes a range of inspections, maintenance and upgrades o... more

Rio Tinto to consider options for future of New Zealand’s Aluminium Smelter

Rio Tinto has announced that it plans to conduct a strategic review of its interest in New Zealand’s Aluminium Smelter (NZAS) at Tiwai Point, to determine the operation’s ongoing viability and competitive position. NZAS is a joint venture between Rio Tinto (79.36 per cent) and Sumitomo Chemical Company Limited of Japan (20.64 per cent). It is New Zealand’s only aluminium smelter and began operations in 1971. The plants produces primary aluminium in the form of ingot, billet, and rolling block. The majority of the plant's alumina is supplied from the Rio Tinto Yarwun and Queensland Alumina refineries ... more

BHP targets 100 per cent renewable energy at Chile operations

BHP has announced four new renewable power agreements to meet power demand for two of its copper operations in Chile. BHP’s Escondida mine, located in Northern Chile, is the world’s largest copper producer, while Spence is BHP’s wholly-owned open-pit copper mine, located in the Atacama Desert, in the North of Chile. BHP aims to supply Escondida and Spence’s energy requirements from 100 per cent renewable energy sources from the mid-2020s. The new contracts are expected to meet Escondida and Spence’s current energy needs and also contain the flexibility to help manage future demand as well. Pre... more

Rio Tinto’s Canada operations certified for responsibly produced aluminium

Rio Tinto now offers independently certified responsibly produced aluminium from all of its Canadian operations, with the extension of the Aluminium Stewardship Initiative’s (ASI) Chain of Custody certification to include the BC Works smelter and Kemano Power Operations in Kitimat, British Columbia. The certification reinforces Rio Tinto’s commitment to responsible mining and metals production by providing independent verification that material can be traced through a ‘chain of custody’ which extends from Rio Tinto’s Gove bauxite mine in Australia to its alumina refinery, aluminium smelters and cast... more

Results of Canadian zink mine feasibility study released

Zinc exploration and development company, Superior Lake Resources Limited, has announced the results of a Bankable Feasibility Study (BFS) for the Superior Lake Project, located approximately 200 kilometres east of Thunder Bay in the province of Ontario, Canada. The project spans an area of 175 square kilometres and consists of two deposits – Winston Lake and Pick Lake. It is owned by Ophiolite Holdings Pty Ltd, an Australian incorporated entity. Superior Lake owns 70 per cent of Ophiolite and recently announced transactions to acquire an additional interest of 15 per cent in Ophiolite. Since acquiring a... more