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Vitrinite is ramping up to full-scale production at the Vulcan coking coal project in the Bowen Basin after its mining lease was granted last week.

Director Nicholas Williams said the company expected to start exporting premium low-volatility (PLV) hard coking coal from next month.

“Mining commenced in June 2021 under our MDL (mineral development licence) approvals. Since then we have co-shipped small amounts of coal into Korean and Japanese markets,” Mr Williams said.

“Our ML was granted this week, so production is now ramping up to full scale rate of up to 2mtpa.”

State Resources Minister Scott Stewart said the $160 million mine was the first mining operation for Vitrinite and showed ongoing investor confidence in Queensland’s world-class resources, infrastructure and skilled workforce.

“Queensland’s resources industry has been integral to our economic recovery, operating through the pandemic and now supporting a sector record 85,000 jobs in our state,” he said.

The Vulcan project, which sits between Moranbah and Dysart, already has a workforce of about 80, and this will increase to 150 in full-scale production.

The mining lease approval was welcomed by the Queensland Resources Council, which said it not only paved the way for 150 full-time jobs, but for $170 million in royalties to the State Government over the next four years, and even more money through taxes and spending.

Vitrinite has contracted Turners Engineering to conduct mining operations at Vulcan and Kalari for haulage.

Mr Williams said Vitrinite had awarded its drill and blast contract to a new player in the field, Blackrock Drilling, founded and operated by highly experienced local people who had recently gone out on their own.

“We also have long-standing arrangements with Metserve for all of our environmental assessments and approvals and we are finalising tender appraisals for a major road relocation project, which is critical for the continuity of production at the Jupiter Pit,” he said.

The mining lease for the Jupiter Pit paves the way for the first four to five years of open-cut mining at the 2mtpa rate.

Plans are in place for a continuation of open-cut mining after Jupiter at the Vulcan South pits for a further eight years at the same production rate.

“In parallel, we are advancing plans for contour-based highwall mining, producing up to 3mtpa. Highwall mining is currently planned to commence in parallel with open-cut mining at the Vulcan South pits, increasing ROM production to 5mtpa,” Mr Williams said.    


Full steam ahead for new Vulcan coal mine