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

ARENA announces funding for Australian Hydrogen Centre

Adelaide-based Australian Gas Networks Limited (AGN) has been awarded $1.28 million in funding from the Federal Government’s Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) to establish the Australian Hydrogen Centre, which will investigate blending hydrogen into natural gas pipelines in South Australia and Victoria. The project will undertake feasibility studies and share knowledge focused on the integration of hydrogen into existing gas networks. As part of the project, the Australian Hydrogen Centre will explore the feasibility of blending 10 per cent hydrogen into the existing natural gas networks in regi... more

Queensland’s first community-scale battery to soon connect to the grid

Queensland’s first community-scale battery is a step closer to reality, with the arrival of the main battery unit and kiosk occurring today in Townsville. Once it is connected to the grid next month, the battery will power up at Bohle Plains on Townsville’s northern outskirts and provide valuable back-up power supply to the local community. Member for Thuringowa, Aaron Harper, said the 4MW/8MWh Tesla battery would be charged up on excess solar power fed into the electricity grid during the day and would be used to help out during evening peak demand and temporary disruptions, including summer storms. ... more

New large scale energy-from-waste plant to be built in WA

In late December 2019 it was announced that, through the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) and the Clean Energy Finance Corporation (CEFC), the Federal Government has committed up to $75.5 million in funding to support Australia's second large-scale energy-from-waste (EfW) plant. The $511 million plant, to be located in the Rockingham Industrial Zone in Western Australia, will help tackle Australia’s rising waste management problem by diverting waste from landfill. It will also generate renewable baseload energy to support WA’s electricity network. When complete, the East Rockingham Resourc... more

Australia’s largest hybrid renewable microgrid project powers up

Global producer of distributed energy, EDL, has switched on its 23-Megawatt (MW) power station that integrates photovoltaic solar with gas and diesel generation to power Gold Fields’ Agnew Gold Mine in Western Australia, completing the first stage of one of Australia’s largest hybrid renewable microgrid projects. Today, EDL CEO, James Harman, and Gold Fields Executive Vice President: Australasia, Stuart Mathews, joined Western Australian Mines and Petroleum and Energy Minister, Bill Johnston, on-site to officially open Stage 1 of the project. Mr Harman said EDL and Gold Fields are leading the way towar... more

$1B transmission line project declared a coordinated project

The Queensland Government has ticked off a major milestone on a proposed $1 billion overhead high-voltage electricity transmission line which would connect major energy users and North West Queensland’s public to the national electricity grid. Queensland’s independent Coordinator-General declared CuString Pty Ltd’s CopperString Project a ‘coordinated project’ on 27 April. The proposed project is a 1,100-kilometre 275-kilovolt overhead high-voltage electricity transmission line connecting the North West Minerals Provence and Mount Isa to the National Electricity Market grid south of Townsville. ... more

QLD provides $100m to keep Haughton pipeline moving

The Queensland Government has fast-tracked $100 million, as part of its $225 million commitment to Townsville’s water security, to keep construction of the Haughton 36.5 kilometre water pipeline moving. Member for Townsville, Scott Stewart said the $100 million payment (paid last week) would go towards supporting up to 1000 jobs over the life of the project. “We all know Townsville has been doing it tough and is currently recovering from an unprecedented flooding event. The jobs that flow from the Haughton pipeline are a shot in the arm during the rebuilding period,” Mr Stewart said. There are mo... more

Construction begins on Australia’s biggest lithium processing plant

Construction of the $1 billion Albemarle Kemerton Plant in Western Australia, Australia’s largest lithium processing plant, has commenced. The plant will become Australia's largest lithium hydroxide plant, with approval to produce up to 100,000 tonnes per annum of premium battery grade lithium hydroxide. Western Australia is currently the number one global producer of lithium, the second largest global producer of rare earths, the third largest global producer of cobalt and the fourth largest global producer of nickel. The Government of Western Australia is working with Albemarle to ensure job opportu... more

Construction commences on Australia’s first thermal waste-to-energy facility

Premier of Western Australia Mark McGowan, and Federal Minister for the Environment Melissa Price, have officially ‘turned the sod’ at Australia’s first thermal waste-to-energy facility in Kwinana, Western Australia. The facility, named Avertas Energy, will use state-of-the-art technology to process 400,000 tonnes of household, commercial and industrial waste each year to significantly reduce carbon dioxide emissions by more than 400,000 tonnes (equivalent to taking 85,000 cars off Perth’s roads). Once operational in 2021, the facility will generate and export 36 megawatts of baseload electricity t... 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