May 01, 2017

Loads of talent in awards line-up

Loads of talent in awards line-up

SIMCO Mining Products and Services is a small business with no problem thinking big.

The Mackay-based operation, with a workforce of 10, produces some of the largest dragline buckets in the business – including the 120m-class buckets that allow a Marion M8750 at Wesfarmers Curragh to shift as much as 235 tonnes per swing.

The company also embraces big horizons – making inroads in the South African mining industry and recently landing a deal worth more than $US15 million to supply 15 dragline buckets to Coal India over 18 months.

SIMCO is among those shortlisted for the 2017 Resource Industry Network Chairman’s Awards, to be held on Friday May 12 at the Mackay Entertainment and Convention Centre.

Resource Industry Network chairman Tony Caruso said nominations across the six categories this year had again been of the highest calibre, making shortlisting extremely difficult for judges.

“All of the nominees are testament to the high level of professionalism and expertise we have in this region,” he said.

SIMCO, based in Paget, is a finalist in the Chasing Foreign Markets category of the awards (see below for full list).

Managing director Martin Simpson said the recent lull in the domestic market had encouraged SIMCO to chase overseas work.

The company opened an office in 2015 in South Africa, where it supplies buckets and parts predominantly to Anglo American coal operations.

Last year it was approached by Indian firm HEC (Heavy Engineering Corporation) and was able to build a relationship that saw SIMCO land the contract to provide 15 dragline buckets and parts for Coal India.

“Once we’ve completed that we’re quietly confident we’re going to get an order for another 15, which basically will be a three-year contract,” Mr Simpson said.

The units are partially manufactured in Australia, with HEC completing the assembly in India under SIMCO supervision and engineering guidelines.

“It’s been a substantial process to be able to even be considered,” Mr Simpson said.

“Partnering with HEC has given us the advantage over our competitors, we have some local support and local manufacturing.

“The Indian industry wants to lift productivity with their existing draglines and they see that obviously the SIMCO buckets perform well and maintenance-wise are a lot more reliable than what they are currently using – so we’re quietly confident we’re going to be dealing with Coal India for many years to come.”

The initial order comes at a time when SIMCO is producing about 10 buckets annually for a subdued domestic market, although Mr Simpson said inquiries were starting to pick up.

In addition to its work in India and South Africa, SIMCO supplies wear parts and components for draglines in China.

“We’re also currently working with potential customers in North America and Estonia,” Mr Simpson said.


2017 Chairman’s Awards – Category Finalists

Safety Foremost Award – sponsored by Ergon Energy



Dalrymple Bay Coal Terminal

Leading from the Front Award – sponsored by Miles Dolphin Consulting Group

Dalrymple Bay Coal Terminal

Coast to Coast Cleaning

McKays NQ

Connecting in the Community Award – sponsored by Local Buying Foundation


McKays NQ


Chasing Foreign Markets Award – sponsored by Helloworld

Jet Engineering

Mackay Conveyor Equipment


Out of the Box Award – sponsored by NQBP

Mackay Conveyor Equipment


Active Adrenalin Performance Coaching

Standing Out from the Crowd – Adani Mining

Werner Engineering – Chris Geach

ADiT Engineering – Arthur (Derek) Thompson

QCCS – Leanne Carter

Ubora Furniture – Leisa Barnett

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