Demand for mining services ramps up (Part 1)

It was undoubtedly a better year for Australia’s leading mining services companies in 2017.

Improved commodity prices led to an increase in mining activity, meaning the expertise of the country’s mining services contractors was in growing demand.

Australian Mining takes a closer look at some of the companies that were awarded key mining contracts during 2017 in this two-part feature.

Click here for part 2

Ausdrill’s long-term relationships with mining clients in Australia and Africa continue to serve the company well. The Perth-based company’s 2017 was highlighted by a series of contract extensions, as well as a few new contracts across both continents.

Ausdrill finished off spring by announcing it had secured three extensions in the gold industry, including an extra three years of production drilling work with Evolution Mining at the Mungari project in Western Australia.

Through its African Mining Services (AMS) subsidiary, the contactor was awarded a two-year extension worth $142 million at AngloGold Ashanti’s Iduapriem gold mine in Ghana, while Resolute Mining extended its contract at the Syama operation until May 2018.

Earlier in 2017, Ausdrill secured more than $200 million worth of contract extensions with two of its existing clients in the Goldfields region of Western Australia – Kalgoorlie Consolidated Gold Mines (KCGM) and Gold Fields.

It was also awarded a three-year, $60 million contract extension to provide exploration drilling services at Gold Fields’s St Ives and Granny Smith gold operations.

BGC Contracting
BGC Contracting’s 2017 was highlighted by the award of two major contacts, one in Western Australia and the other in New South Wales. BGC most recently won a five-year, $700 million contract by Idemitsu Australia Resources at the Boggabri coal mine in New South Wales.

Earlier in the year, BGC secured a five-year contract worth more than $720 million at Arrium’s Iron Knob and South Middleback iron ore operations near Whyalla in South Australia. The Arrium contract replaced an existing mine services contract BGC had with the steel-maker and iron ore miner.

The Perth-based company topped off its year by taking out the Australian Mining Prospect Awards 2017 Contract Miner of the Year for the second straight time. The company was honoured for the collaborative model it has successfully applied to contracts with the likes of Arrium, Cliffs Natural Resources and now, Idemitsu.

CIMIC’s mining and mineral processing divisions – Thiess and Sedgman – thrived for the Spanish-controlled company during 2017.

Thiess’ contract wins and extensions continue to be at the top end of town with the likes of BHP and Fortescue Metals Group awarding it with significant work.

BHP, through its BHP Mitsubishi Alliance, awarded Thiess two contracts worth a combined $440 million. The contracts, at BMA’s Caval Ridge and Peak Downs coal mines in the Bowen Basin of Queensland, will see Thiess deliver mining services for specific components of work.

Fortescue extended its mining services contract with Thiess at the Solomon Hub in the Pilbara. The $650 million contract extension strengthens a relationship between the two companies first formed at the site in 2011.

Also in coal, Thiess was awarded a $189 million contract extension to continue to operate the Jellinbah Plains open pit at the Jellinbah East coal mine in central Queensland.

Thiess was active in Indonesia, winning a $437 million contract at the Gunung Bara Utama (GBU) coal mine and a $300 million contract with Kaltim Prima Coal (KPC) at the Sangatta coal mine.

Meanwhile, Sedgman backed up its $107 million EPC contract win at Heron Resources’ Woodlawn zinc-copper project in the first half of the year with two new agreements in the east coast coal industry.

Stanwell Corp awarded Sedgman a $6 million engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) contract to deliver a tailings dewatering facility at the Meandu mine coal handling and preparation plant in Queensland.

Sedgman then won contracts at QCoal Group’s Byerwen coal mine in Queensland worth almost $100 million. The contractor is delivering a stockpiling and train load-out facility, and a coal handling and processing plant at Byerwen through two engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) contracts.

Civmec announced plans to list on the ASX during 2017, a move that will add to its existing place on the Singapore Exchange. A listing on the ASX will complement the Perth-based company’s strong portfolio of mining-related contracts in the country.

In 2017, the company was active in the mining, oil and gas and infrastructure sectors. In mining, Civmec was awarded contracts or work extensions at a diverse range of projects in Western Australia.

In June, Civmec announced it had received $90 million worth of contracts for resources clients, with the most notable a construction job at Alcoa’s Pinjarra alumina refinery in WA. The company will undertake the engineering, procurement, delivery, construction, integration, commissioning and performance testing of a filter facility, materials handling system and supporting infrastructure at the refinery.

Civmec, as part of the Amec Foster Wheeler Civmec Joint Venture (ACJV), was awarded a $298 million engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) contract at the Gruyere gold project in WA.

The company also secured a contract to construct the civil component of the process plant at Altura Mining’s Pilgangoora lithium project in the Pilbara.

GR Engineering
Perth-based GR Engineering secured a series of contract wins in Western Australia during 2017, particularly in the state’s gold sector.

In April, Dacian Gold executed a $107.1 million EPC contract with GR at the Mt Morgans project in the Goldfields region. The work involves development of the Mt Morgans treatment facility and supporting infrastructure.

GR also signed an agreement with Gascoyne Resources for an EPC contract for a minerals processing facility at the Dalgaranga gold project in the Goldfields.

In June, GR secured another EPC contract, this time a $31.3 million deal with AngloGold Ashanti at the Sunrise Dam gold mine.

Click here for Part 2