Australian Mining Prospect Awards Finalist: Contractor of the Year

The shortlist for the 10th Annual Prospect Awards Contractor of the Year.

Significant Environmental Services 

Significant Environmental Services differs from a lot of the other environmental services companies out there as it essentially acts on behalf of multiple mining companies as a one man operation, using sub-contractors as required. 
Owner and operator Matt Holmes started the company at the back of the mining boom, when he saw an opportunity to aid smaller mining companies and explorers in meeting their ongoing environmental obligations. At the time many of these companies were unable to afford the high prices of the major environmental contractors, or had enough work to rationalise the hiring of someone full-time. 
Holmes business, Significant Environmental Services, fills this void. 
"There was not enough work for a full-time Environmental Manager at many operations, which often amounted to only around three months of work per year; I offer value for money and practicality to fill this void for many small to medium sized mining tenement holders," he said.


Abergeldie has been nominated as the Contractor of the Year for its innovative work in developing Ulan West's ventilation shaft. 
The Ulan West Ventilation Shaft contract was for design and construction of a 4.5m finished diameter, hydrostatically lined, vertical ventilation shaft to a depth of 46m to serve underground coal mine workings at GlencoreXstrata's Ulan West Operations.  
Initially the client proposed that the shaft was to be sunk using a drill and blast methodology.  
Mechanical rock breaking equipment was to be used and lining and shoring would be carried out progressively in pace with excavation, using interlocking precast concrete segments.  
Abergeldie's alternative methodology proposal that blind boring be adopted as methodology for sinking the shaft was accepted and welded steel liner segments were used in lieu of the originally proposed segmented concrete liners.  
Practical thinking and careful planning resulted in the shaft being successfully delivered on time and on budget with zero safety transgressions or environmental incidents and allwithin the specified window of availability of Abergeldie's blind boring drill rig.

ODT Australis 

For its work in the Whiskey Swamp mine rehabilitation project, ODT Australis has been nominated for the Contractor of the Year award. 
Operations at the sand mine ceased more than five years ago, with rehabilitation starting in April. 
The scope of work involved returning the site to its natural environment and removing any items deemed artificial to its natural state, however the challenge of this task was increased by the fact that there were several different stake holders.
BHP Billiton, the Kokatha Uwankara people, the Department for Manufacturing, Innovation, Trade, Resources and Energy (DMITRE) and former leaseholders all had a stake in its rehabilitation.
ODT worked closely with the Kokatha to rehabilitate the site, with a representative present for the duration of the site's works. 
It completely reseeded the site, removed all rubbish, demolished structures on site, and carried out scarification of disturbed areas to promote re-vegetation. 


For its work in providing BHP's Leinster nickel mine with a unique ore handling system Orontide has been nominated as the Contractor of the Year. 
Earlier this year Orontide was engaged by BHP Billiton NLN to design, supply and install a new underground orepass system for their Leinster underground operation. The underground orepass system is used to break nickel ore into smaller sizes through a rock breaker, filter it through grizzly panels and into a 20 metre deep orepass. The orepass was comprised of a series of 40 tonne liner cans made from quenched/tempered Hardox steel. Replacing orepass cans and large grizzly panels has always presented great challenges and risks to workers involved due to the requirement for the task to be performed whilst suspended over open voids/under suspended loads, and often whilst undertaking hot work tasks simultaneously. Orontide Group Limited is pleased that it not only achieved no injuries during the installation, but halved shut down times.

Action Drill & Blast 

Action Drill & Blast have been nominated as the Contractor of the Year for the development of new technology that is aiding efficiency on site. It created a new ANFO Hopper which fits onto a front end loader or interchangeable tool carrier and safely carriers 1.8 tonne of ANFO explosives into sloping and uneven ground where blasting activity previously required manual handling of bulk explosives. By developing this hopper Action Drill & Blast has greatly reduced the risk of injury on mine sites through repetitive manual handling and carrying loads whilst walking on rough ground. It came about after the contractor asked "how can we best protect our show crew in carrying out their day to day duties?" 
Direct delivery into the blast hole from the hopper also enables more accurate record keeping of explosives consumed on a hole by hole basis. The use of the hopper also reduces the number of personnel required for contour blasting and provides a quicker turn around in the delivery of product to the blast holes. 

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