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Newlands Civil Construction has started work on the third stage of the Southern Suburbs Rising Main, a $10.4 million Townsville City Council project.

The project will see a gravity sewer and rising main installed in Wulguru. A separate tender to concurrently build a new pump station in the suburb will be awarded soon.

Mayor Jenny Hill said the project would relieve current pressure on the wastewater network in Wulguru and surrounding suburbs and allow for future growth in the area.

“The new wastewater pump station in Wulguru, gravity main and pressure main will significantly reduce the pressure experienced by the wastewater system during the wet season and cater for the population growth of the southern parts of the city,” Cr Hill said.

“Improving the capacity of our wastewater system in our southern suburbs has been a priority for council in recent years.

“Stage two of this project was completed 2020 and it’s great that work is now underway on the third and final stage of this project.

“The three stages of the Southern Suburbs Rising Main project represent a $54 million investment by Council.”

The Queensland Government contributed $5 million to stage 2 of the project.

Cr Hill said construction of stage 3 would be completed by the end of 2022, weather and conditions permitting, with the project expected to support 30 direct and indirect jobs.

IMAGE: Acting Mayor Cr Ann-Maree Greaney with Grant Campbell from Newlands Civil Construction as the project team breaks ground.

There is no shortage of takers for products from Greenvale Mining’s Alpha torbanite project as it targets major domestic supply gaps with Queensland-made diesel and bitumen.

In fact, managing director Neil Biddle says the company is looking to produce enough bitumen from Alpha to fill the equivalent of the whole state’s demand for the next 10 years at least.

“We’d expect that to run into the New South Wales market as well,” he said.

“We don’t expect we’d get the whole Queensland market, but post-COVID Queensland will be going through big infrastructure, building programs, massive roadworks around the state and at the moment all of our bitumen is imported.

“It’s getting harder to get imported products to this country, particularly seaborne (commodities).”

With prices increasing rapidly, Mr Biddle said Greenvale Mining would offer a much better bitumen price for asphalt producers than the imports.

“So the interest is extremely strong and it will be good for Queensland because it’ll be the only state in Australia with a local supply of bitumen and diesel….

“We can produce diesel out of this project at a very low cost. So yeah, of course, we’re going to be able to sell it quite readily and for the local market.”

The company already has buyers lined up for Alpha’s bitumen output and a client planning to source the diesel for the Bowen Basin mining industry.

Mt Biddle was reluctant to quote production figures with a feasibility study still underway, but said each tonne of torbanite contained about 650 litres of hydrocarbon – and two thirds of that would be diesel.

That translates to about 200 million to 300 million litres coming out of Alpha each year.

Greenvale Mining is also exploring options for another key Alpha offtake – carbon.

“We haven’t started work on upgrading the carbon to activated carbon yet,” Mr Biddle said.

“… We can sell all the carbon as it is – just as spent torbanite – for at least a hundred dollars a tonne. So we will start work on the activated carbon once we’ve got everything else bedded down, because at a hundred dollars a tonne, the project’s extremely viable.

“So it’s not an issue, but activated carbon sells for quite a premium. And again, it’s fully imported. It’s used extensively in water purification and emission controls in most industries. So there’s a big market for it.”

The proposed operation at Alpha – 500km west of Rockhampton – will include a hydro desulphurisation plant to take the sulphur out of the gas and diesel in the resource.

This will produce sulphuric acid, in demand in the fertiliser industry and base metal extraction.

Construction activities at the Kidston Pumped Storage Hydro Project continue to ramp up, with the project remaining on budget and schedule to be operational in late 2024.

Genex Power provided an update on the North Queensland project in its quarterly report this week, saying it was also making significant advancements on the Kidston Wind Project (K3-Wind) at the same site.

Another highlight for the past three months was the signing of a supply agreement with Tesla signed for the company’s planned 50MW/100MWh Bouldercombe Battery Project at Rockhampton.

“During the Period, Genex achieved a significant milestone with the signing of a supply agreement with Tesla for the Bouldercombe Battery Project in Queensland that will help support a final investment decision in the coming months,” Genex chief executive officer James Harding said.

“The project is Genex’s first large-scale Battery Energy Storage System and is part of our Como Storage Strategy to broaden our footprint in energy storage.

“Works continued at the Kidston Pumped Hydro project, with a number of initial site preparation activities including the airstrip, site office and workshops now complete.

“We will continue to work closely with our team of project delivery partners, notably John Holland, McConnell Dowell and Andritz to ensure successful delivery of an outstanding large-scale storage project for the National Electricity Market.”

Planned site works at hydro project (K2-Hydro) for the coming period include continuation of Main Access Tunnel (MAT) Portal face stabilisation works and the start of tunnelling works using drill and blast techniques.

Genex is continuing to advance the early stage of works for the 150MW K3-Wind project with joint venture partner J-POWER.

This includes modelling the wind resource at a number of sites and progressing the development approvals associated with the project.

The project will connect into the new 275kV transmission line being constructed by Powerlink Queensland for the K2-Hydro, which is expected to be completed in 2024.
M Mining has shared spectacular vision of the first blast for a new pit at the restarted Millennium and Mavis Downs site near Moranbah.

The mine was officially opened this month as the new owners work towards achieving first coking coal exports by the end of the year.

“It was a very successful, well-planned blast,” M Resources founder and president Matt Latimore said.

“We will use an excavator to load the coal, which will be transported by rail to the Dalrymple Bay Coal Terminal.”

A joint venture of M Resources and Stanmore Resources (MetRes) acquired the mothballed Mavis Downs and Millennium site from Peabody Energy in July, with M Mining acting as joint venture manager and operator of the restarted mining activities.

MetRes enlisted Coal Augering Services to kick off mining with auger production, to be followed by open-cut mining by the end of this year and underground mining in 2022.

It is investing $464 million to re-start and operate the mining complex – creating more than 230 jobs in the process.

The quick turnaround between acquiring the site and excavation beginning was a real achievement for the team, Mr Latimore said.

“We have had great support from our suppliers, subcontractors and local and state governments,” he said.

“Our next milestone is first shipment of coal in December.  Cargo from the coal mine will be travelling to Europe for delivery in France.  The next two cargoes will be going to Japan.

“There are massive global investments underway in infrastructure and the green energy transition. 

“With construction of wind turbines, solar panels, electric vehicles and electrical grid upgrades, the world needs more steel than ever.  Our premium quality coking coal for steel making is under high demand from customers in North Asian, India and Europe.

“First shipments in December will be an incredible achievement by our team. 

“We’ve gone from taking possession of the mine in July to shipping quality product to our customers in less than six months."

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Anglo American is continuing work towards restarting longwall mining at Grosvenor by the end of the year, with the first development coal washed in September.

The company provided an update in its latest quarterly report, saying the development activities continued as part of the mine’s staged approach to restarting longwall operations, subject to the approval of the Queensland Mines Inspectorate.

Production from the Bowen Basin mine ceased last year in the wake of a gas explosion on May 6, 2020, in which five coal mine workers were seriously injured.

The incident sparked the Queensland Coal Mining Board of Inquiry into a string of methane exceedances at underground coal mines in the Bowen Basin.

The re-entry process kicked off in April after a program of work that included permanently sealing the impacted area of the mine with five large, concrete seals and installing additional gas monitoring infrastructure.

In its quarterly report, Anglo American stated that the year-to-date average realised price for hard coking coal from its Bowen Basin mines was $149/tonne.

This was lower than the benchmark price of $177/tonne as sales had consisted of a lower proportion of premium quality hard coking coal from Moranbah and Grosvenor, it said.

Export metallurgical coal production across its sites decreased by 11 per cent to about 4.3 million tonnes last quarter compared to the same time last year due to operations at Moranbah being impacted by challenging geological conditions, the company said.

This was partly offset by Dawson and Capcoal increasing production levels after having scaled back production volumes since mid-2020 in response to reduced demand for their particular products.

Production guidance for the full year across Anglo’s metallurgical coal operations remains unchanged at 14–16 million tonnes, subject to COVID-19 related disruption.

Major fertiliser trader Samsung C&T is lined up to market phosphate from the Ardmore project in North West Queensland under an agreement with mine owner Centrex’s newly minted Agriflex business.

The parties have executed a conditional term sheet outlining Agriflex’s appointment of Samsung as its sole and exclusive marketing representative for sales into Korea, Japan, Indonesia, India and Mexico.

It covers the first three years of production from a planned 800,000 tonnes per annum operation at the Ardmore phosphate project.

“We are pleased to do business with Samsung, one of the world’s largest fertiliser traders,” Centrex managing director Robert Mencel said.

“The signing of the term sheet reflects the strong international interest in the project and its future production.”

He said Centrex was also in advanced discussions with a number potential customers in Australia and overseas.

Marketing deal for Ardmore phosphate

Centrex launched its Agriflex brand this month after carrying out a short mining campaign at Ardmore early this year.

It made 25,000 tonnes of high-grade phosphate rock available to Australian farmers and organic fertiliser manufacturers.

The company also recently signed a research and development contract with Microbiology Laboratories Australia to develop a new microbial product to further increase the value and effectiveness of its Ardmore Direct Application Phosphate Rock (DAPR) product.

An updated definitive feasibility study released in August showed the North-West Queensland project was expected to cost $78.47 million to bring into full production and have a pay-back period of less than two years.

Centrex said it confirmed the proposed operation’s profitability, with a forecast gross revenue of almost $1.5 billion and net cash flow of $429 million.

Marketing deal for Ardmore phosphate