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Aerial Drone of NSS @ Work

NSS recently partnered up with SkyDronics to bring you a series of aerial drone videos of just some of the services we offer at NSS.

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News

The new $7 million Mackay Resources Centre of Excellence has officially opened its doors to students and industry.

State Development Minister Kate Jones said the one-of-a-kind facility in Queensland featured an Underground Simulator Mining Facility, control room, workshop, laboratory, and classrooms.

“This is about creating jobs and ensuring locals have the training they need to fill them,” Ms Jones said.

“The government has a clear strategy to rebuild Queensland’s economy and save jobs. Projects like this are vital to that strategy.”

Assistant Minister for Treasury and Member for Mackay Julieanne Gilbert said the coal mine simulator spanned more than 6800sq m and replicated the physical conditions of working underground.

“The centre will provide safer and more accelerated training options for students and apprentices, and support companies developing new products and researching the field,” she said.

“It’s infrastructure like that will attract more private sector investment and create new jobs.”

The centre will be run by the Resource Industry Network.

BMA asset president James Palmer said BMA was proud to support the Resources Centre of Excellence.

“It is a world-class facility that will drive innovation in the mining and METS sector across the entire region,” said Mr Palmer.

“The collaborative nature of the RCOE will mean that the brightest minds can connect with this experience to drive innovation and growth, critically as we all turn our attention to Queensland’s economic recovery.”

“We want to see people have the best skills and training in the world and we want them to be proud to say it all started for them in regional Queensland.”


IMAGE: RIN chairman David Hartigan and acting general manager Mark Walter at the opening of the Resources Centre of Excellence with Innovation Minister Kate Jones and Member for Mackay Julieanne Gilbert.



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Work has kicked off on a $6 million upgrade on the Mount Isa Rail line, bolstering flood resilience on the critical freight route between the North West Minerals Province and Port of Townsville.

Transport and Main Roads Minister Mark Bailey said also that $20 million had been accessed from the State Government’s $80 million, four-year incentive scheme, encouraging freight operators and the resource industry to use the rail line.

The $6 million upgrade will take place along roughly 320km of the line, starting just west of Hughenden and continuing right through to near Cloncurry.

The works include bridge abutment and scour repairs in nearby drains and creeks, stonework including gabion flood protection to embankments, and further drainage and cleaning works as required.

About 10 workers from each of three regional Queensland businesses – Morton’s Earthmoving, Townsville Earthmoving and Schwartz Excavations – will be involved in the project.

Work is expected to take place along the line until October, and follows major repairs last year to the line, which saw a 400-strong Queensland Rail taskforce rebuild the line following unprecedented monsoonal weather.

Mr Bailey said in addition to investing in more resilient rail infrastructure, the Palaszczuk Government was also encouraging more freight line usage through its incentive scheme.

“Since we introduced the scheme, more than four billion gross tonne kilometres of eligible freight has moved along line to the Port of Townsville,” he said.

“This is an increase of more than one million in tonnage from the year prior to the scheme being introduced.”

Queensland Resources Council chief executive Ian Macfarlane said the incentive scheme would help exports at a time when the State needed them the most.

“QRC’s own recovery strategy pointed to the Mount Isa rail line as a key economic corridor for regional jobs and contributor to the billions of dollars in royalty taxes paid to government from our resource exports,” Mr Macfarlane said.



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Drilling is underway at the Camel Creek gold project, 200km west of Townsville, for the first time since 2006.

Great Northern Minerals has announced the start of its maiden drilling campaign at the site – the largest system of its three North Queensland gold projects based on historical workings.

Eagle Drilling NQ is carrying out the work, which will include 15 holes for about 2180m and comes as gold prices hit highs above $US1900 an ounce.

Camel Creek is part of the Golden Ant group of projects Great Northern Minerals acquired in August 2019, which also includes the former Big Rush and Golden Cup gold mines.

At Camel Creek a total of 28 pits were mined over a 4km strike length, with more than one million tonnes of ore extracted for treatment by the heap leach process.

Ore below the pit was sulphide bearing and could not be recovered through that process. Great Northern says most pits were shallow (12-25m deep) when terminated.

Great Northern said the current drill campaign was designed to follow up on drill intersections recorded from old pit floors including 12m at 8.4g/t gold, 22m at 2.94 g/t gold and 9m at 10.4g/t gold.



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Anglo American will permanently seal the section of longwall panel at the Grosvenor coal mine where a blast in May injured five men and does not expect to restart the Bowen Basin site’s production until the second half of 2021.

The move to seal off the area will result in a $75 million write-down relating to the lost equipment, according to the company’s half-year financial report.

Chief executive officer of Anglo American’s metallurgical coal business, Tyler Mitchelson, said safety was the priority and the company was taking the time to ensure the safe restart of operations at Grosvenor, assessing all technology options.

“We have made the decision to permanently seal the part of the longwall panel where the methane ignition incident occurred in May,” he said.

“Permanent sealing provides the greatest level of safety, and will help facilitate works to prepare Grosvenor mine for a safe restart of operations, which is likely to be in the second half of 2021.”

He said the company had installed three temporary seals in the longwall area in the past two weeks.

This allowed it to isolate the area of the mine where heating occurred and stabilise the environment prior to permanent sealing work commencing.

“We are in the process of developing the detailed technical roadmap to safely restart mining next year, including a detailed risk assessment process involving internal and external experts,” he said.

Mr Mitchelson said new longwall equipment would be purchased.

This would give the company the opportunity to assess the best available technology to further expedite the ‘automation and technology journey’ at Grosvenor.

“As we communicated to our workforce including key contractors recently, we are continuing to review our controls to prevent a methane ignition occurring again,” he said.

“The pilot study to assess the use of pressure sensors to cut power to the longwall at Moranbah North is underway and we will be reviewing all technology options to improve our controls at Grosvenor.

“This work will continue as more information becomes available from investigations.

“We have continued to support our workforce since the methane ignition occurred 12 weeks ago.

“As we develop our technical roadmap to restarting longwall mining next year, we will work through the resourcing impacts and will be engaging further with our workforce over coming weeks.

“Surface activities will continue and underground development work will resume when it is safe to do so.”

He said mining operations at Grosvenor would restart with the benefit of learnings from internal investigations and the Board of Inquiry’s recommendations, and with additional safety measures in place.

“Our injured colleagues are continuing their medical treatment on the road to recovery and we continue to offer support to our colleagues and their families,” Mr Mitchelson said.



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Townsville’s largest mobile concrete pump was brought into action this month as work continued on the Berth 10 wharf extension project at the port.

The Easy Reach Concrete Pumping equipment was beautifully captured in action by Townsville drone service Visual.

Easy Reach owner and director Andrew Trezona was the pump operator on the project, employing a 52m concrete placement boom.

The Easy Reach crew was engaged by Pacific Marine Group to undertake the concrete pumping on the $2.5 million project, which is extending the secondary wharf at Berth 10 to boost Port of Townsville’s capacity for car carriers.

The concrete pumping truck has a boom with a horizontal reach of 51.7m, a vertical reach of 47.7m and a reach of 35m depth.

About 271 cubic metres of concrete was pumped in the early morning task at Port of Townsville on July 16.

A Port of Townsville spokeswoman said this week that the Berth 10 wharf extension project was progressing well and on budget.

The wharf is expected to be fully completed and operational by the end of August 2020.

Once completed, the secondary wharf will have a 55m extension to accommodate the stern ramps of car carriers. The Berth 10 upgrade corresponds with the $193 million Channel Upgrade project which is designed to allow bigger ships to enter Townsville from 2023.



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The Queensland Mining & Engineering Expo (QME) planned for Mackay in September has been cancelled.

Organisers said the decision was made in consultation with event partners and key industry stakeholders.

“We are in unprecedented times and continue to witness first-hand the challenging impact of COVID-19 on all industries, both professionally and personally,” they said in a statement signed as the QME team.

“Prior to the recent escalation of COVID-19 we were optimistic that QME would run safely and successfully in September this year and our principle focus was on ensuring that the rescheduled dates were ideally positioned to support Mackay and the Queensland mining industry. However, we have concluded that the best option is to cancel the 2020 edition of QME.”

The organisers would now be focusing on the 2022 edition of QME, the statement said.

Bowen Basin Mining Club has confirmed that the Queensland Mining Awards Gala Presentation Dinner will be held as a stand-alone event on September 23.

The event had been timed to tie in with the influx of people for QME.

It will be held at the Mackay Entertainment and Convention Centre from 6pm.


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