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Aerial Drone of NSS @ Work

NSS recently partnered up with SkyDronics to bring you a series of aerial drone videos of just some of the services we offer at NSS.

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Move drone video and other NSS videos can be found over on our YouTube Channel.


Anglo American will permanently seal the section of longwall panel at the Grosvenor coal mine where a blast in May injured five men and does not expect to restart the Bowen Basin site’s production until the second half of 2021.

The move to seal off the area will result in a $75 million write-down relating to the lost equipment, according to the company’s half-year financial report.

Chief executive officer of Anglo American’s metallurgical coal business, Tyler Mitchelson, said safety was the priority and the company was taking the time to ensure the safe restart of operations at Grosvenor, assessing all technology options.

“We have made the decision to permanently seal the part of the longwall panel where the methane ignition incident occurred in May,” he said.

“Permanent sealing provides the greatest level of safety, and will help facilitate works to prepare Grosvenor mine for a safe restart of operations, which is likely to be in the second half of 2021.”

He said the company had installed three temporary seals in the longwall area in the past two weeks.

This allowed it to isolate the area of the mine where heating occurred and stabilise the environment prior to permanent sealing work commencing.

“We are in the process of developing the detailed technical roadmap to safely restart mining next year, including a detailed risk assessment process involving internal and external experts,” he said.

Mr Mitchelson said new longwall equipment would be purchased.

This would give the company the opportunity to assess the best available technology to further expedite the ‘automation and technology journey’ at Grosvenor.

“As we communicated to our workforce including key contractors recently, we are continuing to review our controls to prevent a methane ignition occurring again,” he said.

“The pilot study to assess the use of pressure sensors to cut power to the longwall at Moranbah North is underway and we will be reviewing all technology options to improve our controls at Grosvenor.

“This work will continue as more information becomes available from investigations.

“We have continued to support our workforce since the methane ignition occurred 12 weeks ago.

“As we develop our technical roadmap to restarting longwall mining next year, we will work through the resourcing impacts and will be engaging further with our workforce over coming weeks.

“Surface activities will continue and underground development work will resume when it is safe to do so.”

He said mining operations at Grosvenor would restart with the benefit of learnings from internal investigations and the Board of Inquiry’s recommendations, and with additional safety measures in place.

“Our injured colleagues are continuing their medical treatment on the road to recovery and we continue to offer support to our colleagues and their families,” Mr Mitchelson said.

Townsville’s largest mobile concrete pump was brought into action recently as work continued on the Berth 10 wharf extension project at the port.

The Easy Reach Concrete Pumping equipment was beautifully captured in action by Townsville drone service Visual.

Easy Reach owner and director Andrew Trezona was the pump operator on the project, employing a 52m concrete placement boom.

The Easy Reach crew was engaged by Pacific Marine Group to undertake the concrete pumping on the $2.5 million project, which is extending the secondary wharf at Berth 10 to boost Port of Townsville’s capacity for car carriers.

The concrete pumping truck has a boom with a horizontal reach of 51.7m, a vertical reach of 47.7m and a reach of 35m depth.

About 271 cubic metres of concrete was pumped in the early morning task at Port of Townsville on July 16.

A Port of Townsville spokeswoman said this week that the Berth 10 wharf extension project was progressing well and on budget.

The wharf is expected to be fully completed and operational by the end of August 2020.

Once completed, the secondary wharf will have a 55m extension to accommodate the stern ramps of car carriers. The Berth 10 upgrade corresponds with the $193 million Channel Upgrade project which is designed to allow bigger ships to enter Townsville from 2023.

The Queensland Mining & Engineering Expo (QME) planned for Mackay in September has been cancelled.

Organisers said the decision was made in consultation with event partners and key industry stakeholders.

“We are in unprecedented times and continue to witness first-hand the challenging impact of COVID-19 on all industries, both professionally and personally,” they said in a statement signed as the QME team.

“Prior to the recent escalation of COVID-19 we were optimistic that QME would run safely and successfully in September this year and our principle focus was on ensuring that the rescheduled dates were ideally positioned to support Mackay and the Queensland mining industry. However, we have concluded that the best option is to cancel the 2020 edition of QME.”

The organisers would now be focusing on the 2022 edition of QME, the statement said.

Bowen Basin Mining Club has confirmed that the Queensland Mining Awards Gala Presentation Dinner will be held as a stand-alone event on September 23.

The event had been timed to tie in with the influx of people for QME.

It will be held at the Mackay Entertainment and Convention Centre from 6pm.

Superior Resources has kicked off a 2500m reverse circulation and diamond core resource drilling program at its Steam Engine project in North Queensland.

Fifty holes are planned to enable completion of a scoping study for the project in a program expected to last at least two months.

“We are very pleased to be kicking off the next stage of Steam Engine just as the gold price begins to test its record highs,” managing director Peter Hwang said.

“Earlier this year we started evaluating that deposit on the basis of an Aussie $2000 gold price and fundamentals appeared attractive at the time.

“On the back of the current outlook for gold we are doubling our efforts to expedite completion of a scoping study and investigate our toll treatment options.”

The mineral resource estimate for Steam Engine stands at 1.27 million tonnes at 2.3g/t gold (about 94,000 ounces).

Mr Hwang said that resource was based on only 30 per cent of at least 2.5km of historically identified strike length and only to shallow depths.

“We have also identified a substantial amount of additional lode potential from existing data and field observations,” he said.

“Additionally we recognise that a more significant high-grade ore shoot system may exist as a feeder system beneath the known lodes.

“This represents significant upside potential for Steam Engine, which we will be testing during the current program.”

Ravenswood Gold is recruiting now for the first 58 mining roles in an expected workforce expansion of more than 200 as it kicks off open-cut operations.

It is also close to signing the paperwork for a $110 million investment in mining fleet for the North Queensland gold operation.

Chief executive officer Brett Fletcher said the company would be conducting interviews in Townsville over the next few weeks for the first round of mine technical and operating roles required for the planned Ravenswood ramp-up.

“This is the first round (of recruitment) to make sure we are ready to start mining operations in October to December,” he said.

EMR GEAR Consortium officially took over the Ravenswood gold operation, 90km east of Charters Towers, from Resolute Mining in April.

It is progressing towards a Final Investment Decision (FID) on the planned Ravenswood Expansion Project, expected to create 150 contract jobs in construction and more than 200 full-time positions in mining.

The expansion project will see the gold operation, now processing low-grade stockpiles, step up production with a return to open-pit mining -beginning with the Buck Reef West deposit.

Mr Fletcher said about 600 applications had poured in by Tuesday morning after weekend advertising for positions including equipment operators, heavy vehicle tradespeople, mining engineers and geologists.

A second tranche of mining jobs will be advertised later in the year.

“While there are 58 positions we want to fill as quickly as we can over the next two months, we’re looking to upsize the operation by over 200 permanent full-time roles,” Mr Fletcher said.

EMR GEAR Consortium has already added 30 new permanent positions at Ravenswood since taking over and seven full-time permanent roles at the company’s Brisbane office, in addition to 32 contract roles on site.

Exploration is also on the agenda, with Eagle Drilling NQ working on near-mine and regional exploration program. “They have mobilised the first of two drill rigs to site,” Mr Fletcher said.

Mr Fletcher said reaching FID would open the way for a raft of work packages to go out to tender.

  • For the full list of positions available at Ravenswood Gold visit the company’s careers page HERE

Vessel Traffic Services operator Warren Bath’s quick response during a Central Queensland incident with a bulk carrier has been recognised with a new Australian Maritime Safety Authority award.

The Australian VTS Award was launched in December 2019 to recognise outstanding contributions to the safety of life at sea, safety and efficiency of navigation and protection of the marine environment.

Mr Bath was nominated after coordinating the response action of allied services including tugs, port pilots and helicopter operators when reports came through of a bulk carrier drifting 20m off the southern-most berth at the Port of Hay Point in the early hours of April 21 2019.

Within 10 minutes of receiving the call, the ship had turned 90 degrees to the berth and was in danger of being damaged and causing damage to its surroundings.

Mr Bath’s quick response ensured the vessel was brought back alongside within three and a half hours with no damage to the bulk carrier, other ships berthed at the port, the offshore terminal infrastructure or the environment.

Two other nominations have been highly commended.

Todd Stewart and Ricky Blake from Brisbane VTS received commendations for coordinating local vessels to assist in the search for a sinking recreational craft off Caloundra Headland.

Port Hedland VTS were commended for the successful response to a call from the bulk carrier Cape Reliance reporting people clinging to a drifting upturned boat.

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Development Michael McCormack said all nominees went above and beyond to keep people using their local waterways safe.

“Vessel Traffic Services are a key part in keeping Australia’s maritime industry moving and keeping vessels safe on the water,” Mr McCormack said.

“Each nominee kept their cool under pressure, combining quick thinking with swift action to save lives.”

Nominations for the 2020-21 Australian VTS Award will open on 1 October 2020.