Crisis forces mines to rent

The global economic crisis is continuing to take its toll on the mining industry. The liquidity in the market is gone and as such, minesites are finding it increasingly difficult to raise capital, Emeco International's business analyst Graham Borgerson told MINING DAILY.

The global economic crisis is continuing to take its toll on the mining industry. The liquidity in the market is gone and as such, minesites are finding it increasingly difficult to raise capital, Emeco International’s business analyst Graham Borgerson told Australian Mining.

As the global crisis worsens, minesites are increasingly being drawn to rental equipment suppliers in order to avoid the administration, asset management and procurement hassles that come with buying and owning equipment.

Emeco International’s northern region general manager Ian Testrow said the crisis had caused production on minesites to slow which can make some of the equipment superfluous.

“Rental companies have the capability to swap the current fleet for another, more suitable fleet,” he said.

Emeco International currently supplies to McArthur River Mine which recently won the 5th Annual Prospect Award for Mine of the Year.

The company also employs several personnel to work in the maintenance shed in order to ensure optimum availability, flexibility and productivity on site.

“With the skills shortage at boiling point, rental equipment suppliers must be able to competently manage the fleet,” Testrow said.

“It’s not easy placing a mining fleet into a remote location such as McArthur River and still achieve high availability.”

McArthur River Mine was commended by the judges for achieving a productivity record during a time of complete operational change.

The mine, located in the heart of the Northern Territory, started operations in 1995 as an underground mine.

However, by 2002, it became clear that the most accessible underground ore would soon be extracted and over 100 kilometres of underground tunnels would become uneconomical to maintain.

After many months of intensive planning, testing and negotiations, the Northern Territory Government gave McArthur River approval to convert the mine to an open pit in October 2006.

This two-year, $110 million open pit development, combined with a $50 million expansion of the concentrator, extended the mine’s life to 2027.

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