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

Seismic survey commences at QEM’s flagship Julia Creek Project

A seismic survey program has commenced on QEM Limited's (QEM) 100 per cent owned Julia Creek project, covering approximately 496 square kilometres in the Julia Creek area of North Western Queensland. Julia Creek is located over the vast Toolebuc Formation, which is the host to widespread vanadium mineralisation, and is considered an ‘oil shale’, meaning it has the potential to hold significant petroleum resources. QEM announced in February this year that it had engaged geological service company, Velseis Pty Ltd, to conduct the 26-kilometre 2-D seismic survey which would outline the geological structur... more

Contract awarded for Newcastle LNG import terminal work

EPIK Co. Ltd. has executed an agreement with Watpac for the provision of  design, engineering and construction services for the onshore infrastructure components of the Newcastle LNG floating storage regasification unit (FSRU) import terminal at the Port of Newcastle. Situated at the back-end of the existing gas transmission network, the Port of Newcastle is one of Australia’s largest ports and a major trade and logistics hub, making it an ideal area to develop an LNG import terminal. The potential investment for the Newcastle LNG project is estimated to be approximately $AU547 million and is set to inc... more

Sheffield locks in LNG supply agreement for Thunderbird

Sheffield Resources Limited has secured a 15-year agreement with Woodside Energy Limited and Energy Developments Pty Ltd (EDL) for the supply and delivery of 1,950 terajoules per annum of liquified natural gas (LNG) to the Thunderbird Mineral Sands Project, in northern Western Australia. As per the agreement, LNG will be supplied from Woodside’s Pluto LNG Truck Loading Facility near Karratha and transported to Thunderbird’s LNG storage facility by a newly formed joint venture between Woodside and EDL. The Woodside-EDL joint venture will own and operate a purpose-built road tanker fleet to deliver the L... more

Alcoa secures BHP, Chevron and Woodside gas deals

Western Australia’s single largest user of natural gas, Alcoa of Australia Limited has secured three new gas supply agreements which in full will supply close to 25 per cent of the company’s gas requirements from 2020. The agreements with BHP, Woodside and Chevron coupled with other gas supply contracts, which were announced in 2015 (Quadrant Energy and Santos), complete Alcoa’s gas portfolio to fuel its Kwinana, Pinjarra and Wagerup alumina refineries for the mid-term. The company consumes approximately 40 per cent of the gas supplied to the south west of Western Australia and about 25 per cent of t... 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

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

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