QCC Resources Teams up with Glencore for Ravensworth North Project
Headquartered in one of the largest coal regions on earth, QCC Resources (QCC) is the essence of strategic consulting for coal processing.
The Australian-based company specializes in design, engineering, operations and optimization of coal preparation plants throughout Australia, China, New Zealand, Indonesia, South Africa, Canada and Russia.
“QCC Resources was born in 1987 at a time when consultants to the coal industry were a new thing,” says Andrew Swanson, Executive General Manager Strategic Consulting and Business Development.
“Over time we’ve grown as the use of consultants, engineers and contractors has continued to expand.”
In 2004, the company was purchased by Downer EDI Limited, becoming part of the company’s mining division. QCC, working with Downer Infrastructure, has become an established provider of Coal Handling and Preparation Plant (CHPP) design and construction services to the coal industry internationally.
The company recently completed one of the largest projects of its kind, working in unison with Glencore to deliver the design, procurement, construction and commissioning of the Ravensworth North Coal Handling and Preparation Plant (CHPP) in Hunter Valley, Australia.
Ravensworth North coal project
Known as the Ravensworth North coal project, the Downer/QCC portion of the project involved not only the establishment of CHPP facilities, but also the site wide electrical work, which required the relocation of a 330kV Transgrid transmission line requiring 48 new towers plus construction of a new 66/11kV substation, relocation of a 66kV Ausgrid transmission line and various overhead and underground HV works including all 11kV site wide reticulation.
To complete the project as efficiently as possible, Downer/QCC entered into an alliance contract partnership with Xstrata Coal, now incorporated into Glencore.
“We set up an alliance partnership between Downer/QCC and Xstrata Coal to form a good working relationship that could effectively deliver all the key aspects of the project in a timely manner,” says Swanson.
“Our teams were onsite for two and a half years delivering two million site hours with over 650 people onsite at the peak of construction. Importantly no lost time injuries were incurred and the project achieved a total recordable injury frequency rate (TRIFR) of 5.7.”
QCC had been working with Glencore in alliance projects since 2005, including CHPP work at Mt Owen, Liddell and Mangoola, and started work on Ravensworth North back in 2009 when QCC began assisting in the project for Xstrata Coal.
“We started off in 2009 doing a concept study for Xstrata, that progressed into a pre-feasibility study, followed by feasibility study and then set the design and scope for the Ravensworth North project,” says Swanson.
One of the biggest challenges in delivering the Ravensworth project was that it had to be constructed within an existing operational facility and was therefore governed by a wide range of constraints, incorporated within a large geographical area.
The project provided a 3000 t/h raw coal delivery system, two new 900 t/h processing modules, rejects handling and product stockpiling/reclaiming facilities. According to Swanson, an interesting fact is that the project required 14 new conveyors to be designed and constructed.
“The total length of the new conveyor network was over 9 kilometers. In addition, upgrades were required for existing conveyors which covered just under 5 kilometers, bringing the total length of the entire conveyor network to an incredible 13.9 kilometers.”
A key factor in overcoming the challenges was the deployment of QCC Resources team members from the recently successfully completed Mangoola project. The team brought with them high levels of technical expertise and valuable onsite experience. In addition, they were assisted by teams from Downer Infrastructure East who delivered all of the electrical work and some of the SMP work.
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AngloGold Ashanti establishes BG Umoja JV in Tanzania
AngloGold Ashanti, in line with it s strategy to ensure a sustainable contribution to the economies of host countries, has established the BG Umoja joint venture (JV), in Tanzania.
Awarded a $186m two-year mining contract for the Nyankanga and Geita Hill underground mining projects, the 80/20 joint venture is a partnership between Africa Underground Mining Services (AUMS) Tanzania, a subsidiary of Australia’s Perenti Group, and local drilling services and mining- supply company, Geofields Tanzania Limited.
The partnership is modelled on a similar underground mining joint venture at the Company’s Obuasi Redevelopment Project in Ghana between AUMS Ghana and Accra-based, wholly Ghanaian-owned Rocksure and will help build local specialised mining capacity.
“We’re working with our experienced mining contractors to assist in establishing local joint ventures for long-term transfer of sustainable skills, and to continue building on our sustainable local procurement programmes,” commented Sicelo Ntuli, AngloGold Ashanti’s Chief Operating Officer: Africa.
“AngloGold Ashanti is building sustainable local procurement programmes that will allow it to stimulate economic and social development at all of its operations, evidenced by the significant contribution Geita has made to the fiscus and people of Tanzania.”
AngloGold Ashanti’s annual expenditure with indigenous Tanzanian suppliers has almost tripled to $162mn since 2016. The company’s local team in Tanzania has set itself an ambitious target of 60% to 70% of all expenditures with indigenous Tanzanian companies, by 2025.
Scope 3 Emissions
In addition, AngloGold Ashanti’s Geita Gold Mine has awarded a two-year fuel transportation contract, worth approximately $10.8m a year, to two local contractors - one of which is originally from Geita. This is in line with the mine’s commitment to contribute to the economies of host communities. The Geita-based company was part of Geita Mine’s supply chain capacity building initiative for host community suppliers, a partnership between the Mine and the National Economic Empowerment Council.
To influence Scope 3 emissions, trucks are to be compliant with EURO IV emissions standards, tankers are to be made of an aluminium alloy material to reduce weight and the age of the fleet will be maintained at less than six years.
Diversity & Inclusion
The contractors already employ women fuel tanker drivers, fulfilling the Mine’s requirements for diversity and inclusion. The two contractors both own workshop facilities in Geita town and participate in social initiatives aimed at uplifting the lives of host community residents.
AngloGold Ashanti has been operating at Geita Gold Mine for more than 20 years, with the project initially a single pit mine, evolving now to a predominantly underground operation, employing 5,700 employees and contractors.
Earlier this year, the Government of Tanzania recognized AngloGold Ashanti’s contribution to the economy of the country, awarding it for its outstanding performance in a number of areas, including environmental and safety performance, corporate social investment, the best taxpayer in the mining sector, the runners up in local business content and overall best performer in the mining sector in Tanzania in 2019/2020.
Geita Gold Mine
Geita, one of AngloGold Ashanti’s flagship mines, is located in north-western Tanzania in the Lake Victoria goldfields of Mwanza region, about 120km from Mwanza and 4km west of the town of Geita. It has been in operation as a large-scale mine since 2000.