Central Queensland drilling contractor Gas Field Services has been named the 2020 Queensland Mining Contractor of the Year, for excellence in productivity, safety and innovation.
The title was announced at a sold-out, 350-person black-tie gala held last night in Mackay to celebrate the 2020 Queensland Mining Awards.
Gas Field Services took out the Safety Initiative Award and were strong contenders in the productivity category of the awards for their 4C Wireline drilling technique.
Judges felt that for a small company, Gas Field Services’ clear focus on investing in innovation made a major impact in moving exploration methodology forward.
The Queensland Mining Awards were co-hosted by the Bowen Basin Mining Club and the Queensland Resources Council, recognising contractors, suppliers and producers across nine peer-judged categories.
Bowen Basin Mining Club director Jodie Currie said she was thrilled with how the event came together.
“We saw a celebration of the Queensland mining industry, one that was particularly sweet given the extraordinary circumstances we’ve seen this year,” she said.
“In two years, we look forward to once again partnering with Reed Exhibitions to host the 2022 Awards alongside the Queensland Mining and Engineering Exhibition in Mackay.
“Gas Field Services’ win tonight is truly representative of the resilience and creativity found across the sector, come what may.”
Category award winners:
Greyhound Innovation (METS) Award
- Universal Field Robots and IMDEX – Increased drill & blast safety, productivity: Universal Field Robots and IMDEX conquered the challenge of logging blast holes, while removing operators from harm’s way. The IMDEX BLASTDOG™ solution moved from concept to prototype in just four months, providing geological data and enhancing productivity.
JCB CEA Innovation (Miner) Award
- Anglo American Dawson Mine – World’s first remote multi-pass drill: The Anglo American (Dawson) team produced the first known rotary blasthole drill rig to complete multi-pass operations remotely. This removes operators from the field, with strong safety outcomes.
Sonic Healthplus Safety Initiative Award
- Gas Field Services – Hands Free Drilling: Gas Field Services introduced the LF-160 Drill Rig and Freedom Loader. This solution drastically reduces manual handling and increases safety-critical functions with hands-free drilling
Glencore Productivity Award
- Polymathian – Maximising NPV with industrial mathematics: Polymathian used their ORB mathematical solution to optimise mine planning for a client, condensing the planning process from weeks to just 12 hours. The client saw a 35 per cent increase to NPV, with superior productivity outcomes.
SMW Group Staff / Community Award
- New Oakleigh Coal – Jeebropilly Mine Closure, ‘Finishing Well’: The Finishing Well program aimed to retain employees with a positive safety and productivity culture in the months leading up to the Jeebropilly mine’s closure. Staff retention through the two-year program was 98.9 per cent.
SMW Group EEO Award
- Byerwen Coal, Jangga Operations, Macmahon – Yila Yina Mundu (Turn Around from Here) Program: This collaborative effort built on the Thida Bullaroo (Step By Step) program, expanding QCoal’s Indigenous participation strategy. Twenty-four new-to-industry roles were created, with full-time employment offered following completion of training. This increased Indigenous participation rates at Byerwen to more than 12 per cent.
McLanahan Environment Award
- KCB Australia – Isaac River Upstream Drop Structure: The Isaac River Diversion’s existing drop structure failed repeatedly under flood conditions. The new design’s modelling predicts enhanced energy dissipation, improved flow stability and prevention of scour upstream.
METS Ignited Collaboration Award
- Ava Risk Group, Mining3 – Innovation Through Collaboration: Mining3 and Ava Risk Group collaborated to deliver a game-changing predictive conveyor monitoring system. Within 10 months, the team produced the Aura IQ, an innovative, low cost and flexible maintenance solution that uses fibre optics, signal processing algorithms and data analytics.
QME Best Product Launch Award
- Bis – Razor, proprietary underground grader: BIS realised that innovation was needed to fix inefficient, underpowered machinery that lacked reliability. Razor – developed, designed and manufactured in Australia – delivers over 30 per cent increased tractive effort, improved braking and most importantly, improved safety.