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

New renewable energy generation precinct to create jobs

A new wind farm near Warwick in Queensland will be built by publicly owned generator CleanCo building, as part of a precinct that will create 400 jobs and supply up to nearly 700,000 homes. Early works are expected to start later this year, with construction scheduled to run from mid-2021 to 2024, with the Precinct generating its first power from mid-2022. Deputy Premier and Treasurer Jackie Trad said the wind farm will be part of the 1026-megawatt MacIntyre Wind Farm Precinct on the Southern Downs. “For the next few months, the entire focus of the Queensland Government is on protecting Queenslanders... more

The Pilbara looks to renewable hydrogen and ammonia production

The Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) has announced $995,000 in funding to Yara Pilbara Fertilisers Pty Ltd to support a feasibility study for the production of renewable hydrogen and ammonia. The feasibility study will explore the potential to make green hydrogen work at industrial scale at Yara’s existing ammonia production facility in the Pilbara. Yara will investigate producing renewable hydrogen via electrolysis powered by onsite solar PV. The renewable hydrogen produced will displace 30,000 tonnes per year of hydrogen which Yara currently derives from fossil fuels. The blended hydrogen wil... more

$768M solar farm receives conditional approval

The New South Wales' Independent Planning Commission has approved a new $768- million solar farm on the Northern Tablelands, with conditions. UPC Renewables Australia Pty Ltd (the Applicant) sought planning approval for the 720- megawatt New England Solar Farm on 3362 hectares of agricultural land, 6km east of Uralla. The solar farm will comprise more than 2.4 million solar panels, 150 power conversion units and a lithium-ion battery storage facility. It will connect to TransGrid’s existing transmission line that transects the development site. The Department of Planning, Industry & Environment fi... 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

$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

AngloGold Ashanti agrees to sell South African assets

AngloGold Ashanti has reached an agreement to sell its remaining South African producing assets and related liabilities to Harmony Gold Mining Company Limited. Consideration for the transaction is in cash and deferred payments with expected proceeds of around $300 million, subject to subsequent performance, and with additional proceeds if the West Wits assets are developed below current infrastructure. AngloGold Ashanti announced in May 2019 that it was undertaking a process to review sale options for the portfolio of assets, principally comprising the Mponeng underground mine, where further capital, neces... more

Rio Tinto to review future of smelter in Iceland

Rio Tinto has announced the company will conduct a strategic review of the ISAL smelter in Iceland, to determine the operation’s ongoing viability and explore options to improve its competitive position. ISAL is expected to remain unprofitable in the short to medium term in the challenging conditions facing the aluminium industry, due to the smelter’s uncompetitive energy costs and historically low aluminium prices. Rio Tinto will continue discussions with the Government of Iceland and power provider Landsvirkjun on how the smelter can return to profitability and become competitive in the global market... more

Glencore lands five-year deal to supply cobalt hydroxide

Glencore has signed a five-year agreement for the supply of cobalt hydroxide for use in lithium-ion batteries. Under the terms of the new supply contract, Glencore will provide up to 21,000 tonnes of cobalt contained in cobalt hydroxide between 2020 and 2024 to Samsung SDI . Glencore produced 42.2 kilotonnes of cobalt in 2018, mainly as a by-product of copper mining. The cobalt will be sourced from Glencore's Katanga and Mutanda operations which are located in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). Glencore and Samsung SDI state that they are committed to ensuring the ethical and responsible prod... more

Rio Tinto to curtail operations at Richards Bay Minerals

Rio Tinto has decided to curtail operations at Richards Bay Minerals (RBM) in South Africa to ensure the safety and security of its employees due to an escalation in violence in the communities surrounding the operations. RBM is South Africa’s largest mineral sands producer and beneficiation company. It produces predominantly rutile, zircon, titania slag and high purity iron. Rio Tinto noted that there has been an escalation of criminal activity towards RBM employees and one was shot and seriously injured in the last few days. As a result, all mining operations at RBM have been halted and the smelters... more