Diggers & Dealers: BGC builds on reputation with Boggabri contract

BGC Contracting’s track record as a collaborative mining services partner is serving the company well as it pursues growth to its contract portfolio.

The Perth-based company’s latest major win – a $700 million mining and equipment maintenance services contract with Idemitsu Australia at Boggabri coal mine in New South Wales – was awarded off the back of its performance collaborating with mining companies.

The collaborative model is setup to establish long-term partnerships with bulk commodity miners, like Idemitsu, with a key aim to significantly reduce costs at their operations.

According to BGC chief operating officer – mining, Andrew Taplin, the collaborative model has reduced operating costs by as much as 40 per cent for its partners.

Taplin said tendering for the Boggabri contract was a competitive process, but BGC won over Idemitsu because of the strengths of the collaborative approach.

“What stood out was the importance of the relationship and the importance of a long-term relationship of trust,” Taplin told Australian Mining on the sidelines at Diggers & Dealers.

“We spent quite a bit of time showcasing the collaborative contract models we have at our other sites.

“The client spent time engaging with our clients, which are operating under the collaborative contracting model, to get confidence that we can actually deliver on our promises when it comes to that engagement.”

BGC’s five-year contract with Idemitsu will be launched in December. It expands the company nationally into a new location and commodity.

The contract win continued a strong 2017 in mining for BGC, with it also securing a $720 million, five-year extension at Arrium’s Iron Knob and South Middleback Ranges iron ore operations in South Australia.

Taplin said Idemitsu “clearly witnessed” the BGC working environment and was impressed with the organisational structure of the company.

“Cost is the biggest opportunity that we have been able to drive out in terms of results,” Taplin said.

“But the thing that works so successfully that drives results across the board is a collaborative work environment.

“This is all about having a one team approach, an integrated leadership team, an integrated management team, and a team that is fully aligned on the key KPIs for the business.”

BGC is in the process of adding to the model by integrating a technology programme. This involves working with equipment manufacturer, Komatsu, to identify operations that can be enhanced through emerging mining technologies.

“There’s some good work we are doing in terms of capturing equipment performance from the Komatsu machines and doing some robust analysis around the equipment performance to drive improvement on the operational performance and maintenance performance,” Taplin said.

An upcoming development of the technology initiative, Taplin added, will be the introduction of autonomous Komatsu dozers at an operation in early 2018.

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