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Aerial Drone of NSS @ Work

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News

CPB Contractors has been appointed to deliver the first phase of works for a new Defence training area near Greenvale, with hundreds of jobs expected to flow.

Upon the successful completion of the development phase of the $23.5 million contract, CPB Contractors would then be engaged to deliver $800 million in facilities under the Australia-Singapore Military Training Initiative (ASMTI), the Federal Government said.

The project’s construction workforce is expected to peak at 350 workers, as part of the Greenvale Training Area’s major works.

Design work will commence in early 2021 and construction of the ASMTI facilities is scheduled to be completed in late 2027.

Defence Minister Linda Reynolds said the contract marked a significant milestone for the ASMTI.

“These advanced training areas being delivered under the ASMTI will benefit the ADF and the Singapore Armed Forces (SAF), while enhancing our bilateral relationship and providing significant local economic opportunities for North Queensland,” Senator Reynolds said.

“When this initiative reaches maturity, up to 14,000 SAF personnel will conduct training in Central and North Queensland for up to 18-weeks-a-year for 25 years, which will provide enduring economic benefits to the region.

“This initiative will be key to bolstering growth and supporting local jobs in North Queensland as the economy continues to recover from the COVID-19 pandemic.”

The ASMTI will see a total of about $2.25 billion in work roll out in North Queensland and at the Shoalwater Bay Training Area in Central Queensland, where Laing O’Rourke is managing contractor for ASMTI facilities project works.

Herbert MP Phillip Thompson said the Greenvale works would provide a much-needed economic boost for the Townsville region.

“This news comes at such an important time as the local economy continues to recover from the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic,” Mr Thompson said.

“CPB Contractors will soon begin engaging with local industry, with initial design for works commencing early next year.

“I encourage local businesses to be ready to benefit from the opportunities this initiative will provide.”

Minister for Defence Industry Melissa Price said CPB Contractors had committed to sourcing about 90 per cent of work from the North Queensland region surrounding the proposed training area.

“This is a massive investment that will ensure local business can take advantage of the opportunities arising from construction of the new Defence training area,” she said.

“CPB Contractors has also committed to sourcing four per cent of the contracted price from Indigenous enterprises and at least four per cent of the full-time workforce from Indigenous Australians.”

Construction of the major project works is due to commence in mid-2022.

Additional early works packages to be delivered between 2020 and 2022 will include fencing and signage, contamination remediation, and construction of firebreaks. These packages will range in value from $50,000 to $4 million.

* Contractors who have the capacity and capability to deliver early works in Greenvale are invited to download and complete a Market Sounding Information Response form via the Austender website: www.Austender.gov.au.


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Australian heavy vehicle drivers will now have a choice in how they record their work and rest hours, with the National Heavy Vehicle Regulator approving the first Electronic Work Diaries (EWD).

Deputy Prime Minister Michael McCormack said the rollout of EWDs from December 1 would mean drivers could put down the pen, paper and ruler when recording work and rest hours.

“Congratulations to local Australian companies Step Global and Teletrac Navman who have met the strict requirements to provide an alternative to a written work diary,” Mr McCormack said.

“The work diary has been a requirement for fatigue-related heavy vehicles for more than half a century, and today more than 200,000 written work diaries are used by heavy vehicle drivers each year.

“This announcement will cut this red tape enabling drivers to record their work and rest hours by simply pressing a button, rather than spending time ruling lines and counting multiple time periods on multiple pieces of paper.”

Federal Leichhardt MP Warren Enstch  said moving to EWD’s was an investment in employee safety and better productivity.

“We know that the transport industry is managing excessive amounts of work diary paperwork and this is resulting in inefficiencies and lower productivity,” Mr Entsch said.

“The Morrison Government wants to see more freight moving, a safer more productive industry – and less red tape.”

The EWD Policy Framework and Standards were developed in association with technology providers, transport operators, police and transport authorities in 2018 and were subject to comprehensive review and consultation.


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Minotaur Exploration has completed its due diligence and will proceed to acquire the Pyramid gold project in North Queensland from Avira Resources.

Minotaur said it was attracted to the tenement group by the very credible drilling history and an extensive geochemical database, positioning Pyramid as a compilation of advanced gold exploration prospects.

West Pyramid Range offered significant potential to expand the gold mineralisation footprint defined through historic work, especially along an 8km section of the Gettysberg Fault corridor, the company said.

The East Pyramid Range is less advanced, however Minotaur believes it offers potential for Intrusion Related Gold Systems (IRGS), similar in style to other well-known gold deposits in the district such as Mount Leyshon and Mount Wright.

The Adelaide-based company had been planning to start drilling higher grade gold shoots at Gettysberg early next month.

But it said this week’s COVID outbreak in Adelaide and consequent closure of the Queensland border to travellers from South Australia stymied that plan.

Results of first drilling at Gettysberg, now likely not until early 2021, should lead to an expanded exploration program, the company said.

Under the purchase agreement for the Pyramid project, Minotaur will pay $150,000 cash (including the $25,000 option fee already paid) and allot $100,000 in shares to Avira Resources in return for transfer of titles.

On Minotaur’s publication of a JORC Resource of at least 25,000 oz gold grading not less than 1.8g/t gold, Minotaur will pay $75,000 cash, otherwise within 24 months of completion Minotaur will allot $75,000 in shares. A royalty will also apply to the first 50,000oz of gold produced.

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Mastermyne Group has sealed a deal to act as mining contractor for Bengal Coal’s proposed Dysart East Underground Coal Mine in the Bowen Basin.

Mining lease approvals are in place for the production of about 1.9mtpa ROM of metallurgical coal, with current JORC reserves of 84 million tonnes and the potential for further expansion at the site, 7km east of Dysart.

Mastermyne has been engaged through an Early Contractor Involvement (ECI) process.

The Mackay-based company said it had executed a binding term sheet with Dysart Coal Mine Management, acting on behalf of Bengal Coal, which would see it appointed as mining contractor for the proposed mine, subject to conditions.

DCMM will prepare a final bankable feasibility study focusing on developing a mining operation utilising continuous miners, shuttle cars and mobile bolters.

The study is expected to take 20 weeks to complete.

On completion of the study, and subject to final board and funding approvals, and finalisation of suitable commercial terms, DCMM will
appoint Mastermyne as the mining services contractor.

The contract is expected to include the box cut construction and drift driveage development (about 18 months’ work), and a further five years of coal mining operations.

“We are very pleased to have been engaged by DCMM and Bengal Coal at the early stages of this project,” Mastermyne chief executive officer Tony Caruso said.

Mastermyne lands contract for new Dysart coal mine
Mastermyne chief executive officer Tony Caruso.


“This engagement is yet another significant progression of the company’s strategy for whole of mine operations and reinforces our strong pipeline of these types of projects.

“We look forward to assisting with the study and seeing the mine move into production.”

Mastermyne also has an underground mining services contract with Sojitz Blue under negotiation as part of that company’s work towards restarting operations in the Crinum underground mine and won the contract last year to bring Anglo American’s Aquila project online.

Bengal Coal is a private Australian company incorporated in 2009 with the purpose of developing the Dysart East Coal Project. The company’s major shareholder is Indian coke producer Bengal Energy

Three of Ravenswood’s landmark chimneys are undergoing extensive repair works to restore the structures to their former glory and ensure their survival for future generations.

The chimneys were all part of working mine sites in the late 1800s and early 1900s.

Local mine operator Ravenswood Gold said the structures had been repaired in 1979, but had remained untouched in the meantime – leaving them with many missing or disintegrating bricks and several substantial cracks.

Ravenswood Gold chief executive officer Brett Fletcher said he was very happy to be part of such an important project and was impressed with the results of the restoration so far.

“To be in a position to help retain and repair the heritage of this wonderful old mining town is fantastic,” he said.

“These chimneys are such an important feature of the Ravenswood landscape – the three chimneys are the first thing visitors see when they turn off the Burdekin Falls Dam Road into the township.”

The chimneys are being repointed and repaired by Brisbane company Mozbiz, who specialise in heritage brickwork and use traditional methods to repair brick structures.

Alek Potrzeba from Mozbiz said that when replacement bricks were required, they were sourced from within the area to ensure they were of a similar age and structure.

“We have replaced around 100 bricks at the General Grant and it’s looking like it will be a similar number at the Sunset No.2. The chimneys are in good condition though, considering their age,” he said.

“We use a product called Helifix to bind the cracks, it’s a concealed structural tie that was specifically designed in the United Kingdom for use in heritage brickworks and it works very well in the chimneys.”

Mr Potrzeba believes the three chimneys were constructed in different styles – the round Mable Mill, the square Grand Junction and the octagonal Sunset No.2 – due to a sense of competition between early bricklayers and an opportunity to show off their craft.

“There is some beautiful work here, the base of the Sunset No.2 is a great example of tuck-pointing and we are using the same methods now to restore the mortar,” he said.

Three further chimneys – which are located within the mining footprint of the Ravenswood Expansion Project (REP) – are to be moved to a heritage storage area.

Mr Fletcher said the mine was working alongside the Ravenswood Restoration and Preservation Association on the establishment of a heritage precinct.

“Several of the larger mining artefacts from the Buck Reef West area including the Duke of Edinburgh boilers and the Deep Mine Mill strongroom will be relocated to the heritage precinct before mining recommences in that area,” he said.

“The precinct will be an accessible area for tourists and school groups and will highlight the early methods of mining in Ravenswood and the equipment used at this time.

“We are also in the process of setting up a museum in the precinct that will showcase the lives of women on the early goldfields and to capture the stories of the Birriah People – the Traditional Owners of the area.”

The REP will see the return to large-scale open pit mining in Ravenswood and the project will provide employment for about 400 people for at least the next 14 years.

Images below:  Alek Potrzeba at Ravenswood’s Grand Junction chimney, and the Grand Junction chimney after repairs to the brickwork.


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MMG Dugald River has reached a major milestone, producing and exporting one million tonnes of zinc concentrate in just three years.

The achievement was celebrated by MMG in Townsville on November 12, when mining executives presented commemorative plaques to supply chain stakeholders.

Townsville Port chief operations officer Drew Penny said the milestone was a testament to the production team at Dugald River, 65km north-west of Cloncurry.

“This is a significant achievement for MMG and it is great to see a project of this magnitude running so successfully and sustaining jobs in the region from Cloncurry to Townsville,’’ Mr Penny said.

“I’d also like to congratulate MMG and their stevedore, Northern Stevedoring Services (NSS), in building efficiencies and achieving some impressive loading rates at the Port.

“We are honoured to be sharing this milestone with MMG and look forward to continuing our strong working relationship well into the future.”

Dugald River mine general manager Tim Akroyd said the achievement continued to cement the company’s global presence in the industry.

“The success of this accomplishment is attributable to our hard-working team on site, and our strong partnerships with Wagners, Aurizon and NSS,’’ he said.

“Together we have been able to achieve greater efficiency and accommodate an increase in production volumes above our original estimates.”

Most of the concentrate is exported to China, but it also ends up in markets in Japan and Korea.

The Port of Townsville is Australia’s largest exporter of zinc, copper, lead, sugar and fertiliser.

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