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The Talwood and Walton coal projects in the Bowen Basin have hit the market, with offers sought by Argonaut PCF on behalf of owner Aquila Resources.

It comes as Aquila looks to rationalise its assets to focus on the West Pilbara Iron Ore Project (WPIOP) in Western Australia.

The Walton project is located 180km west of Rockhampton and is described as a potential open cut mining operation, producing high yielding low volatile PCI (LVPCI) coal.

Aquila has undertaken internal development studies to a pre-feasibility standard, and describes process for securing a mining lease and requisite environmental approvals as well-progressed.

The project has a JORC (2012) compliant Mineral Resource of 28.4Mt and is located adjacent to the Blackwater Rail System.

The Talwood coking coal project is located about 35km north of Moranbah,  immediately east and down dip from the BMA Goonyella Riverside and Peabody North Goonyella mining operations.

The vendor says three studies undertaken by Aquila demonstrated development optionality; potential for an underground mining operation or small-scale open-cut operations, targeting a coking coal product suitable for blending.

It has a JORC (2012) compliant Mineral Resource of 148Mt of coal and boasts rail access to the Abbot Point and Dalrymple Bay coal terminals.

Coronado plans to introduce a seventh fleet to its Curragh mining operations near Blackwater for 12 months from February.

The company has signed a letter of direction with mining contractor Golding to increase mining plant a the site.

“Our new chief operating offficer Douglas Thompson has reviewed the mine plan and is focused on partnering with Golding to accelerate pre-strip activities to achieve enhanced coal availability levels in the back half of 2022 and into 2023 and allow for greater stability of production rates moving forward,” a company spokeswoman said.

Golding Contractors parent company NRW Holdings announced in August that it had signed a letter of intent with mine owner Coronado Global Resources to extend its six-fleet mining services contract at Currragh in a deal expected to be worth $1 billion to $1.4 billion.

In its latest quarterly report, Coronado reported a 47.2 per cent increase in the realised price for metallurgical coal from Curragh compared to the previous quarter, reaching $154.9 per tonne.

Coronado expects that the average realised met oal price for Curragh in the December quarter will be higher again.

During the September quarter, saleable production levels from Curragh reached 2.8 Mt, up 5.6 per cent on the prior quarter.

“Under the leadership of Australia’s new COO Douglas Thompson, the Curragh mine is focused on enhanced coal production levels in the December quarter,” the report stated.

“Under the ‘One Curragh Plan’ all contracting parties and employees are committed to the mine plan and increasing operational efficiencies to ensure adequate coal availability to meet the current higher price environment.”

Epuron’s $750 million Boulder Creek wind farm is a step closer to development in Central Queensland after receiving State Government planning consent.

The consent is for installation of up to 60 wind turbines and associated infrastructure on a site about 5km west of Mount Morgan and 40km south-west of Rockhampton.

The company expects the 18-24 month construction period to commence towards the end of 2022 and create up to 350 jobs.

Epuron development director Paul Stangroom said it will be a significant project for the region.

“It is an exciting step that the Boulder Creek wind farm has been granted approval by the Queensland Government,” he said.

“This project will be a great opportunity for the Rockhampton region to benefit from Australia’s clean energy transition.”

The project would generate up to 372 megawatts (MW) – enough to power about 215,000 homes.

The planning consent follows Epuron’s lodgment of its development application and Environmental Impact Statement for the project in July 2021.

Epuron is also finalising documentation for the proposal’s assessment and approval under the Commonwealth Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (EPBC Act).

Once this has been accepted by the Australian Department of Agriculture, Water and Environment it will be placed on public exhibition.

The company plans to run information sessions in Westwood and Mount Morgan in December to give interested members of the community an opportunity to learn more about the final proposal.

The first tender for Stage 2 of Townsville’s Haughton Pipeline has been released and the rollout of works and supply contracts announced.

Townsville Water and Waste Committee chairperson Russ Cook said Townsville City councillors were recently briefed on the project. 

“Anyone who has built major infrastructure like this knows it simply doesn’t happen overnight, and this stage of the project has presented a variety of different challenges compared to the stage 1,” he said. 

“Detailed design work for the pipeline and pump station will now be finalised with delivery partners. 

“The tender for long lead items, such as pipes and pumps, will be released by the end of 2021, while the tender for the construction of the pipeline will be released in early 2022. 

“Construction of the pipeline and pump station is expected to be complete by the end of 2024 with testing and commissioning to be finalised by March 2025.”

Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said her government was providing up to $195 million in funding for the project. 

Townsville City Council has formally signed off on a detailed road map for the project, including approving increasing the budget to $274 million, which includes an appropriate contingency allowance.

Council would fund all costs above the $195 million provided by the State Government, said Townsville Mayor Jenny Hill.

“The council is committed to securing Townsville’s water security and this project will do that,” she said. 

“It will mean that Council will need to provide up to $79m to fund this vital investment in our city’s long-term future.

“We will manage the risks in this project closely to put downward pressure on costs, but we are not going to cut corners. This piece of infrastructure will provide water security for the next 50-80 years and we will do it right.”

A considerable amount of planning had been undertaken by Council officers and specialist consultants in the past 12 months said Cr Hill.

“Completing the second stage of the Haughton pipeline will give Townsville the water security it needs as it grows over the next 50 years,” she said. 

“It realises the recommendation made by the Townsville Water Security Taskforce’s final report of November 2018 that a pipeline be constructed between the Ross River Dam and the Burdekin River near Clare to enable the dam level to be managed to best deliver water to the city.

“I thank the Premier and her Ministers for their willingness to work with Council to deliver this game-changing infrastructure for our city.”

Prospective metallurgists and processing engineers from Townsville Grammar School were recently hosted at Glencore’s Townsville copper refinery.

More than 80 Year 11 chemistry students and teachers toured Copper Refineries Pty Ltd (CRL) on Wednesday, as part of their electrochemistry studies. 

It was a privilege for students to have the opportunity to gain real world exposure to the electrorefining process, said Head of Faculty-Science at Townsville Grammar School, Bianca Battoraro. 

“We’re very lucky to have a significant industrial operation on our doorstep allowing students to experience an authentic working environment,” Ms Battoraro said. “This gives them a complete educational experience where they can ask questions and interact with metallurgists.” 

Visiting the refinerystudents were allowed a glimpse into industrial scale electrorefining of copper. 

They inspected each step in the process of converting impure copper anode from the Mount Isa smelter into 99.995% premium copper cathode, which is the last step in the copper production process. 

From the refinery it is transported to customers’ production facilities where it is used in a wide range of products including electrical wiring, electronic goods like TVs, mobile phones and laptops, air conditioners, home heating systems, solar panels, wind turbines, medical equipment and Electric Vehicle batteries. 

The students also learned about the exciting and recently implemented robotic handling and welding technology used for Glencore Technology’s ISAKIDDTM cathode plate manufacturing process.

To date, more than two million cathode plates have been manufactured on site since the commercial manufacture of cathode plates began in 1982. 

The refinery was one of the world’s leading electrolytic refineries and we’re pleased we can involve schools and provide educational experiences outside of the classroom, said Copper Refinery manager Paul Taylor, 

“It’s great that we can give students exposure to our processes on site so they have the opportunity to get a feel for what it’s like to work in operational areas of the resources sector,” Mr Taylor said. 

“These experiences can open their eyes to the variety of career pathways available in our industry, something they may never have considered might now be something they want to pursue.” 

Port of Gladstone has taken recycling to a new level.

A fleet of dozers destined for the scrapyard have been given a new lease on life after Gladstone Ports Corporation (GPC) came up with a plan to rebuild nine of them.

The idea first came about more than three-years ago, when one of GPC’s D11 Dozers reached its end of life, hitting 56000 hours.

Instead of purchasing new machines, GPC’s mobile plant team decided to trial a Cat Certified rebuild.
The rebuild has saved more than 40 percent of a new machine and 10 percent in fuel by switching the engines to be more economical.

Since the trial GPC’s mobile plant team have undertaken nine dozer rebuilds over three-years with the help of Hastings Deering’s Rockhampton Mining workshop.
Updated dozers go another round at Gladstone Port

Each dozer took approximately 12-weeks to complete with GPC’s mobile plant team celebrating the ninth last month.

The rebuild has not only given the machines a second life but has improved reliability and performance of the dozers, said Chief Operating Officer Craig Walker.

“Rebuilding nine dozers was an enormous project and it’s great to see the final dozer restored back-to-life after we started the journey three-years ago,” Mr Walker said.

“These rebuilds have not only ensured reliability and longevity of our dozers but it has also increased power, balance and saved fuel with engine upgrades,” he said.

“The three-year journey has also supported regional jobs with Hasting Deering’s Rockhampton Mining workshop team coming onboard from the beginning until the end of the project, keeping our crew up-to date throughout the entire process.”

“There has been a great benefit for local and regional jobs as well as advantages to maintaining skills and opportunities for apprentices to hone their craft. It’s vital our fleet is maintained and fitted with world-first modifications.”

GPC is home to 25 dozers which operate around-the-clock on the stockpiles at the Reg Tanna Coal terminal.