Telstra moves into the mining industry
Telstra, Australia’s largest telecommunications company, is moving into the mining industry with the formation of Telstra Mining Services.
Telstra Mining Services is a strategic investment following the appointment of global mining experts and the acquisition of mining communications technology services business from CBO Telecommunications.
Martijn Blanken, Group Managing Director, Telstra Global Enterprise and Services, said that Telstra Mining Services was a key pillar of Telstra Global Enterprise and Services’ strategy to build new growth businesses.
“These investments are part of our strategy to create a significant global mining technology product and services business,” he said.
“Telstra is committed to becoming a new driving force for mining in Australia by helping the industry transition to a digital future.”
David Keenan, Head of Telstra Global Industries, said: “The decline in global commodity prices is largely driving a downturn in the resources sector and, as a consequence, sharpening the industry’s focus on reducing costs and maximising production.
“This downturn has created a once in a lifetime shift, where miners are looking to technology innovation to help them future proof their operations.
“Telstra Mining Services will be focused on helping our mining customers drive better business outcomes by significantly improving in-shift staff and asset productivity.
“Telstra Mining Services will deliver the technology solutions that makes this possible, such as high bandwidth networks, mobility solutions and software capabilities, through our own developments, strategic partnerships and in bespoke collaboration with customers.”
Telstra has also appointed Jeannette McGill and Eric Nettleton. Starting on July 1, Ms McGill, the recent Head of Technology and Innovation at AngloAmerican Platinum, will be the Head of Telstra Mining Services.
From Johannesburg, McGill is well respected for translating technology insights and trends in global markets to strengthen mining business’ value chain and has a wealth of technical and operational mining experience.
“This investment means we can confidently meet the industry’s communication needs at Australian mine sites. With the addition of Jeannette McGill, Eric Nettleton and the CBO team to the existing Telstra Mining Industry team, we have significantly strengthened our mining specific domain expertise.
“This is only the beginning as we will continue to deepen our capabilities to deliver tailored technology innovation to our mining customers, both in Australia and internationally.”
Vale invests $150mn to extend life of Manitoba operations
Vale has announced a $150mn CAD investment to extend current mining activities in Thompson, Manitoba by 10 years while aggressive exploration drilling of known orebodies holds the promise of mining well past 2040.
Global energy transition is boosting the market for nickel
The Thompson Mine Expansion is a two-phase project. The announcement represents Phase 1 and includes critical infrastructure such as new ventilation raises and fans, increased backfill capacity and additional power distribution. The changes are forecast to improve current production by 30%.
“This is the largest single investment we have made in our Thompson operations in the past two decades,” said Mark Travers, Executive Vice-President for Base Metals with Vale. “It is significant news for our employees, for the Thompson community and for the Province of Manitoba.
“The global movement to electric vehicles, renewable energies and carbon reduction has shone a welcome spotlight on nickel – positioning the metal we mine as a key contributor to a greener future and boosting world demand. We are proud that Thompson can be part of that future and part of the low carbon solution.”
Vale continues drilling program at Manitoba
Coupled with today’s announcement, Vale is continuing an extensive drilling program to further define known orebodies and search for new mineralization.
“This $150mn investment is just one part of our ambitious Thompson turnaround story. It is an indicator of our confidence in a long future for the Thompson operations,” added Dino Otranto, Chief Operating Officer for Vale’s North Atlantic Base Metals operations.
“Active collaboration between our design team, technical services, USW Local 6166, and our entire Thompson workforce has delivered a safe, efficient and fit-for-purpose plan that will enable us to extract the Thompson nickel resources for many years to come.”
The Thompson orebody was first discovered in 1956 by Vale (then known as Inco) following the adoption of new exploration technology and the largest exploration program to-date in the company’s history. Mining of the Thompson orebody began in 1961.
“We see the lighting of a path forward to a sustainable and prosperous future for Vale Base Metals in Manitoba,” said Gary Annett, General Manager of Vale’s Manitoba Operations.