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News

Consolidated Tin Mines is hiring as it starts mining at Dry River South (DRS)  and works towards accessing a new ore body to extend the life of its Mount Garnet underground operations.

Managing director Ralph De Lacey said the company was looking to fill about 30 roles across projects in the Mount Garnet, Surveyor (DRS) and Einasleigh area.

It has completed rehabilitation work at the pre-existing Dry River South development and is on the verge of mining there.

“We expect to have ore from there at Mount Garnet (processing plant) by the middle of April,” Mr De Lacey said.

Dry River South is a polymetallic project bearing zinc, copper, lead, silver and gold.

Mining has been under way at the company’s Mount Garnet underground mine since mid-2017 and now Consolidated Tin is establishing a 5m x 5m decline from those workings to the new Mount Garnet Deeps zinc discovery.

“We are about half way to the Mount Garnet Deeps (mineralisation),” Mr De Lacey said.

“The Mt Garnet Deeps is  a significant deposit that will give us ore supply for at least 12 months.”

The other major front Consolidated Tin is putting resources into is its Einasleigh project.

“We see it as a key part of the future of the company,” Mr De Lacey said.

“We have recently purchased the Einasleigh caravan park and are relocating bunkhouse accommodation there to establish an initial 24-man camp. We have now established a permanent base with accommodation, kitchen, workshop, sample handling and storage and so on that will enable us to grow and develop the project.

“We have  a long-term plan for the Einasleigh project and will be developing that into a mine as soon as we can.

“We’re looking to try and bring that on, if possible towards the latter part of next year.”

Mr De Lacey said the company’s operations across the Einasleigh, Surveyor and Mount Garnet area currently employed about 135-140 people.

It was now recruiting for a range of skilled positions including underground operators, mining engineers and mine managers, he said.

More jobs as miner develops new fronts
Rio Tinto has reached a deal to sell its 80 per cent stake in the Kestrel underground coal mine in central Queensland for almost $3 billion ($US2.25 billion).

The binding agreement with a consortium of EMR Capital and PT Adaro Energy represents the company’s full exit from the Australian coal business.

It follows news of Glencore buying Rio Tinto’s majority stake in the Hail Creek coal mine and adjacent coal resources, as well as its 71.2 per cent interest in the Valeria coal resource, for $2.2 billion (US$1.7 billion), as well as the announcement last week of the sale of the Winchester South coal development project, 30km south-east of Moranbah, to Whitehaven Coal .

Subject to all regulatory approvals and other conditions precedent being satisfied, completion is expected to occur in the second half of 2018.

It will bring the total amount achieved from the recent divestments of Rio Tinto’s Queensland coal assets to about $5.4 billion ($US4.15 billion).

The Kestrel mine is located in the Bowen Basin, 40km north-east of Emerald, where longwall mining is used to produce coking and thermal coal products.

In 2017 the Kestrel mine produced 5.1 million tonnes of saleable coal, comprising 4.25 million tonnes of hard coking coal and 0.84 million tonnes of thermal coal.

Rio says goodbye to coal with Kestrel sale
Construction of the second of two new Liebherr 9800 excavators was completed at BMA’s Goonyella Riverside mine in the Bowen Basin last week.

The excavators, costing about $16 million each, have been brought online as part of an accelerated stripping project designed to increase the waste stripping and coal exposure capacity of the mine into the future.

Each machine weighs about 800 tonnes – more than a fully laden Airbus A380.

"The machine moves about 80 tonne of dirt in each pass and fills a 930E truck in four passes," BHP media specialist - corporate affairs Travis McNamara said.

"In total, each excavator will move about 15 million banked cubic metres (b.c.m) of dirt each year – roughly 30 million tonnes."

An additional 18 930E-4 trucks are also joining the site's fleet for the accelerated stripping project, as well as three more D11T dozers,  a 24M grader,  785D water truck, 777G service truck and a DR412i Sandvik overburden drill.

Big boost for Goonyella Riverside fleet
Businesses are being urged to shine a light on their accomplishments by entering the 2018 Resource Industry Network Awards.

Top performers from the region’s resource sector will be placed in the spotlight at the 2018 RIN Awards, to be held at the Mackay Entertainment and Convention Centre on May 18.

Last year’s Out of the Box category winner, Trish Edwards from Active Adrenalin Performance Coaching, said the awards were a ‘door-opening’ experience.

“Winning the Out of the Box category at the Awards in 2017 opened doors to have conversations with key personnel within mining organisations. These discussions provided us with valuable feedback to refine our program and directly align it with worker welfare and safety performance objectives at an organisational and industry level,” Ms Edwards said.

The 2018 event delivers a new award category – the Striving for Diversity Award – which will further showcase a business’ efforts to improve in all areas of their operations.

The award categories include: Chasing Foreign Markets Award, Leading from the Front Award, Out of the Box Award, Safety Foremost Award, Connecting in the Community Award, Standing out from the Crowd Award, Striving for Diversity Award, and the Tony Britton Award.

Nominations close on April 20.

Businesses who nominate can receive support from the Department of State Development, Manufacturing, Infrastructure and Planning, who will assist with application reviews, as well as tips and feedback on how strengthen their submissions.

This year’s judging panel includes:
• Grant Polwarth – CEO, Fitzroy Resources • Liz Watts – General Manager Daunia, BHP • Dan Clifford – Managing Director, Stanmore Coal • Derek Muirhead – Manager Health, Safety and Training – Mining, Downer • Matthew Gray, Partner, KPMG • Craig Doyle – Chief Executive Office, Mackay Regional Council • Ged Walsh – Regional Director, Hays Recruiting

To nominate visit: www.resourceindustrynetwork.org.au/rin-awards

Entries open in resource industry awards


Ports Australia has announced it has commissioned an extensive economic analysis into coastal shipping as the organisation looks to increase the role ports play in moving freight around the country.

Ports Australia chief executive officer Mike Gallacher told the Federal Government’s Standing Committee on Infrastructure, Transport and Cities on Thursday that Deloitte Access Economics would carry out an extensive review into coastal shipping.

Mr Gallacher said an expected dramatic increase in Australia’s population meant there was a greater urgency in correcting an imbalance which saw our ports currently moving just 15 per cent of freight around the country, compared to 56 per cent by rail and 29 per cent by road.

“For a maritime nation with over 70 ports strategically located right around our country, each with road and rail access, each with maritime-related industry nearby, in either a capital city or regional town . . . a continuation of this imbalance surely is not in our national interest,” Mr Gallacher told the committee.

“ . . . improved utilisation of our nation’s port structure and maritime network will add to the sustainability of (major) cities and also help to grow, in a sustainable way, existing regional towns and cities.”

Mr Gallacher said Australia’s ports would have a vital role to play in the future as the amount of freight needing transportation was expected to double over the next 20 years.

“Even with extra investment, Australian transport infrastructure will be hard pressed to meet this demand,” he said.

“Ports are the gateway for over 98 per cent of Australia's imports and exports, yet no strategic focus or funding is allocated towards improving the maritime network of this country to facilitate further economic growth and ensure the sustainability of our cities and regional centres.

“My members are confident that increased coastal shipping could go some way to (meeting) some challenges this committee is exploring.”

Mr Gallacher said Deloitte’s report was expected to take a number of months and would be the largest review of the shipping sector undertaken.

“Its objective is to seek out the data, in terms of the current state of coastal shipping, the maritime workforce and the barriers that prevent greater utilisation of the sector,” he said.

  “We are also interested to understand what needs to be done to create jobs in ports around the nation and the skills needed for the future.”

Ports Australia launches major review
Whitehaven Coal will take on Rio Tinto's 75 per cent interest in the Winchester South coal development project, 30km south-east of Moranbah, for $200 million.

Total consideration is comprised of $150 million payable to Rio Tinto by Whitehaven on the date of completion and a further unconditional payment of $50 million payable 12 months after the date of completion.

The news comes after an announcement this week that Glencore is buying Rio Tinto’s majority stake in the Hail Creek coal mine and adjacent coal resources, as well as its 71.2 per cent interest in the Valeria coal resource, for $2.2 billion (US$1.7 billion).

A separate process remains under way to sell Rio Tinto's interest in the Kestrel underground mine, the company’s remaining Australian coal asset.

Whitehaven Coal managing director and chief executive officer Paul Flynn described Winchester South as a significant strategic acquisition, offering an opportunity to develop and operate a high-quality, large scale coking coal mine in one of the world’s premier coking coal basins.

“Winchester South will form a key part of the company’s longer term growth plan and complements our Vickery project in the Gunnedah Basin as another high quality asset which will help Whitehaven respond to the strong and growing demand for premium coking coal that exists in Asian markets,” he said.

“Whitehaven generates the greatest value for shareholders where the company can deploy its full breadth of skills across approvals, construction and operations and the Winchester South project aligns perfectly with these strengths.”

The Scentre Group currently owns the remaining 25 per cent of Winchester South.

The project has a JORC resource of 356Mt and would produce coking coal and thermal coal products.

It would suit an open-cut mine and would potentially offer a 20 - 30 year mine life at a ROM production rate of 7.5Mtpa to 15.0Mtpa, although significant exploration potential remains.

Whitehaven to pay $200m for Qld coal project