Macmahon – a star mining contractor from coast to coast

From Australia’s east coast coal mines to remote gold projects in the west, Macmahon Holdings provides services for mining operations all over the nation. Its work to build up some of Australia’s top projects has led to it taking out the Epiroc Contract Miner of the Year title.

During the course of the year, Macmahon strengthened its order book with key contract wins, including at the Byerwen coal mine in Queensland and the Mount Monger gold mine in Western Australia.

Macmahon has been working at the Byerwen coal mine in the Bowen Basin since its greenfield days in August 2017 and undertakes all drilling, blast design, loading, hauling, haul road maintenance and mobile plant maintenance work.

In June, Macmahon’s contract at Byerwen was extended until at least November 2023, with the option of another two-year extension by joint venture owners QCoal Group and JFE Steel.

Under the contract extension, Macmahon will boost production at the hard coking coal project from five to 10 million tonnes of coal per annum.

During the 2020 financial year, Macmahon not only enhanced operations for its mining customers but also its won portfolio, finalising the acquisition of the GBF Underground Mining business.

Through GBF Underground Mining, Macmahon is executing works at the Mount Monger gold mine, after inking the contract with Silver Lake Resources.

This boosted Macmahon’s order book in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, positioning it strongly to work through this challenging period.

Macmahon’s work at Mount Monger is representative of its versatility across a range of commodities, servicing multiple gold mines, in addition to its work at Queensland coal sites.

The contractor also provides a full scope of services for fellow Western Australian gold operation, Newcrest Mining’s Telfer gold-copper mine in the Great Sandy Desert.

At Telfer, Macmahon has been contracted since 2016 on a rolling basis, which will last until 2022. It mines the open pit at the fly-in fly-out (FIFO) mine, completes bulk earthworks, drill and blast work, hires out equipment and subcontractors and is responsible for dealing with mining waste materials.

During 2020, Macmahon also ramped up the Boston Shaker underground project at the Tropicana gold joint venture in Western Australia.

Underground mining at Boston Shaker will improve the gold production profile and cash flow at the Tropicana mine between 2021 and 2023 while the mining plan includes periods of higher waste stripping from the Havana open pit.

First commercial production from the Boston Shaker underground mine was declared during the September quarter of 2020, mining a total of 14,637 ounces of gold in the period.

This was achieved on schedule, thanks to the hard work of Macmahon, as well as joint venture partners AngloGold Ashanti (70 per cent) and IGO (30 per cent).

Macmahon also led the Batu Hijau copper-gold mine in Indonesia and Byerwen to record volumes of production during 2020.

The company tackled a challenging year by taking quick action to implement appropriate COVID-19 measures across its sites using its Strong Minds, Strong Mines, mental health program to support the workforce during this time.

The strategy paid off, with Macmahon experiencing minimal interruption to its business and supply chain and entering the 2021 financial year with an order book of $4.5 billion and a significant tender pipeline worth $7 billion.

“Our aim is to be an advanced mining contractor and as such we are investing in our systems and technology,” Macmahon chief executive officer and managing director Michael Finnegan says.

“We are building a platform to connect our people, processes, equipment and production plans to identify and eliminate waste, improve safety and increase production for our clients.

“In addition, we remain focussed on expanding our service offering across the mining value chain, with specific focus on the civil, underground and rehabilitation sectors.”

Contract Miner of the Year sponsor Epiroc is proud to support this award, stating that it values diversity and inclusion for the success of Australian mining businesses, striving for all workers to be welcomed, valued, represented and included.

“As a long time award sponsor of the Prospect Awards, we have returned in 2020 to sponsor the Contract Miner of the Year award, which recognises a site that sets the standard for the rest of the industry to follow,” Epiroc states.

“Epiroc recognises that gender diversity is particularly critical to our success. We’re passionate about strategies to attract and retain talented people in our global operations. Congratulations to all the finalists for being nominated for the Australian Mining Prospect Awards.”

– Australian Mining Prospect Awards, Epiroc Contract Miner of the Year
Australian Mining, December 2020

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