Seaco containers efficiently guide miners from pit to port

The container leasing company has added value to various industries over the past 50 years. Now, it is targeting growth in this regard with mining companies. Australian Mining writes.

Seaco Global owns the world’s largest container leasing fleets, ranging from standard dry van, refrigerated, flat rack and open top containers to more specialised equipment, such as half heights, bulkers, powder and liquid tanks.

The company is targeting the mining industry with the latter category of equipment and plans to add value with other various equipment types.

Seaco has supported mining companies for several years, according to Richard Fedden, Seaco regional vice president for Oceania.

He says the company supplies equipment such as the cement tanks for the construction and maintenance phase where concrete is needed, through to liquid tanks for fuel in the mines, and half heights to move the product from pit to port.

“Due to the often-remote locations of mine sites, Seaco’s cement tank units are perfect for storage and discharge of powdered cement products on site. The half heights enable the mines to transport efficiently and economically and shortly after the mine goes operational,” Fedden says.

Seaco has the largest specialised container fleet in the world and is essentially a one-stop shop for customers looking for container solutions, Fedden continues.

“With an expert team with many years of experience we look to add real value to our customers and help them improve their bottom line,” he says.

Seaco’s containers proved to be the answer for Red River Resources when the miner needed a reliable and cost-effective solution to transport its zinc and lead concentrates from the Thalanga mine in Queensland to port.

Red River wanted to maximise returns from the operation with an efficient method for carting its product to the Port of Townsville.

In preparation for export, the concentrates would be trucked 200km from Thalanga to the Port of Townsville, before being shipped to customers.

Benjamin Lowry, Seaco Oceania marketing manager, says Red River identified the BK2, a 20-foot half-height container, as the perfect turnkey solution for this activity.

Seaco supplied more than 400 BK2s to accommodate Red River’s processing rates, with the miner realising several benefits by using the containers.

“BK2s offer a controlled and safe solution for carting mineral concentrates from mine to port,” Lowry says. “They also incorporate a removable lid with the cargo more secure for transport and ease of stevedoring services completed by NSS Port Logistics, Townsville.

“BK2s also offer superb dust control. With strict environmental controls in place, dust must be contained, something that the BK2s provide, along with reduced maintenance and repair costs.”

The BK2 is a standout example of a Seaco container that is proving popular in Australian mining. In addition to a robust design, the BK2 is rotatable, with lids removed from the half height. The BK2 also minimises double handling in most cases.

While the BK2 thrives as a controlled and safe solution for carting mineral concentrates from mine to port, Seaco offers several container solutions for mining.

Another container suitable for the movement or storage of commodities is the 20ft bulker. The 20/40ft dry and flat rack containers offer solutions for the transport or storage of goods and equipment.

For the storage or transport of chemical and cement products Seaco recommends its specialised ISO/cement tanks.

“These containers offer the mining company cost-effective turnkey solutions; the containers used are fully intermodal and ideal for storage purposes, carting commodities from pit to port. and are also safe/secure pieces of equipment that can be left out in the middle of nowhere at mining sites,” Lowry says.

Seaco’s range of containers is attractive to mining companies of all sizes, from major miners carting bulk commodities, to smaller companies focusing on a single operation.

The bigger miners may require thousands of containers to satisfy their needs, while the smaller companies often use between 10 and 100. Mining services companies generally use the containers for storage or to transport equipment.

Mitch Furness, Seaco WA marketing and container sales manager, says there are signs of increased demand for the company’s containers.

“General increases in activity have been growing demand for units in Western Australia in the past six months and this is expected to continue in the near future,” Furness says.

“Containers fulfil needs across all facets of the mining cycle, from exploration to research and development, to start-up, construction and finally production.”

In mining, Seaco has often worked with third parties that supply services, however, it is now focused on working more directly with its major operators as partners.

“We are here to let mining enterprises know that the opportunity now exists for them to deal directly and partner with us to realise the obvious benefits that offers,” Furness adds.

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