New Pacific National CEO appointed

Dean Dalla Valle has been appointed CEO of Pacific National.
Dalla Valle brings with him four decades of experience with BHP Billiton, most recently as its Chief Commercial Officer with responsibility for marketing and distribution of commodities, the global Health Safety and Environment program, technology and the Samarco recovery project in Brazil. Prior to this, Dean was President of BHP Billiton’s international coal business.
“With his depth of background in the successful management of large, capital intensive businesses, his knowledge of supply chain dynamics and his extensive hands-on operational knowledge and experience, Dean is an excellent fit for Pacific National,” said Russell Smith, Executive Chairman, Pacific National.
“As CEO, Dean will be extremely well placed to lead Pacific National as we continue to deliver on the company’s plans to strengthen and grow the business, leveraging the expected expansion in the national freight task over coming years.”
Dean will commence his role at Pacific National on 17 July 2017 and current Pacific National CEO David Irwin will step into an advisory role with the company, supporting the Board and Dean.
“I would like to express my gratitude to David Irwin for his many years of service with Pacific National,” Smith added. “The company is stronger for his leadership and I know we will continue to benefit from his deep knowledge of the freight and logistics sector in future.”
The Australian Logistics Council (ALC) welcomed the appointment.
“At a time of considerable change in the Australian freight logistics industry, Dean Dalla Valle’s will be a welcome addition to the policy debate around supply chain efficiency and safety and the requirements of the National Freight and Supply Chain Strategy,” the ALC said in a statement.

Awards and conference celebrate Women In Industry

The Women In Industry Awards recognise and celebrate the exceptional women who have achieved success through their invaluable leadership, innovation and commitment to their sector.
New for 2017, the awards event will be joined by an all-day conference. Speakers at the conference include Jennifer Conley from the Australian Advanced Manufacturing Council, Lyn George from AUSTENG and Kirsty Liddicoat from BHP Billiton.
In focus on the day will be emerging industrial trends, success drivers and strategic change, and afternoon break-out sessions will give attendees the chance to join peers and get in-depth insight into industry-specific issues.
The conference will be a great learning, sharing and networking opportunity for attendees, whatever their gender!
The awards ceremony will celebrate outstanding individuals in 10 categories:

  • Social Leader of the Year
  • Rising Star of the Year
  • Business Development Manager of the Year
  • Industry Advocacy Award
  • Safety Advocacy Award
  • Mentor of the Year
  • Excellence in Manufacturing
  • Excellence in Mining
  • Excellence in Engineering
  • Excellence in Road Transport

The deadline for nominations for each of the ten categories has been extended to 12 May, so make sure you get your vote in quickly.
“The Women In Industry Awards are always such a fantastic opportunity to recognise those who have gone above and beyond in their industry,” said Events Manager, Lauren Winterbottom. “This year, the conference will provide an extra opportunity to appreciate the expertise, influence and results that women are contributing to Australia’s industrial scene.
“We’ve been impressed with the calibre of the women put forward for awards this year and, due to a high volume of last-minute submissions, have decided to extend the deadline from Sunday 30 April  to Friday 12 May to make sure no one misses out.”
The conference will take place 9.00am to 5.00pm, Thursday 22 June 2017, at the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre.
The awards evening will then kick off at 7.00pm at Peninsula, Central Pier Shed 14, Docklands.
See more details and buy tickets for both events on the Women In Industry website.

BHP Billiton celebrate the export of one billionth tonne of iron ore to Japan

BHP Billiton has celebrated a significant milestone after shipping its one billionth tonne of iron ore to Japan.

BHP iron ore boss Jimmy Wilson was joined by joint venture participants ITOCHU Corporation (ITOCHU) and Mitsui & Co., Ltd (Mitsui) to mark the milestone in front of the Saiko bound for Japan.

Speaking at the event in Port Hedland on Wednesday, Wilson said Japan was a driving force behind the development of iron ore mining in the Pilbara.

BHP shipped its first tonne of the steelmaking ingredient to Japan nearly half a century ago in 1966.

“We also owe much to Japan for their role in growing the iron ore industry in the Pilbara. Our joint venture participants ITOCHU and Mitsui contributed capital, and as trading companies they were a key link into Japanese markets," Wilson said. 

“Over the past decade, we have invested US$24 billion in Western Australia’s mines, rail and port infrastructure and continue to adopt new technology to ensure our operations remain world-class."

BHP Billiton President HSE, Marketing and Technology Mike Henry said that the ore exported to Japan came back to Australia as high-quality manufactured products like motor vehicles and the rolling stock and rail equipment used within the mining industry.

“Today the high-quality iron ore we export from the Pilbara is an essential ingredient for Japan’s high-tech steel industry which leads the world in technology and efficiency,” Henry said.

Last year BHP agreed to sell 15 per cent of its stake in the Jimblebar iron ore mine to ITOCHU and Mitsui for $US1.5 billion.

The deal was aimed at aligning Itochu and Mitsui’s interests across BHP’s Pilbara iron ore operations so assets could be operated in a straightforward and flexible way.

As part of the deal, the Japanese firms will receive an annual output of over 5 million tonnes, plus shares of future production increases.

Jimblebar mine officially opened earlier this year.

The $US3.6 billion project delivered first production in the quarter ending September 2013 and is expected to deliver phase one capacity of 35 million tonnes per annum (Mtpa) per year by the end of the 2015 financial year.

This will increase BHP’s Pilbara supply chain capacity to more than 220 Mtpa.

A low cost option to expand Jimblebar to 55 Mtpa in the longer term would increase this to approximately 260 Mtpa to 270 Mtpa.

Wilson said as the company enters its next phase of growth, improving productivity, optimising capacity and working assets harder would deliver greater benefits to BHP customers.

“The good relationships we have between customers, employees, Indigenous land owners, ITOCHU and Mitsui have been and continue to be crucial to the success of the Western Australian business,” Wilson said.
 

Image: Perth Now

Seeing Machines fatigue system wins BHP contract

Seeing Machines has won a $1.5 million order for its Driver State System which uses driver eye tracking technology to monitor fatigue.

It comes after a 17 truck trial at BHP's Pilbara iron ore operations.

According to the company 110 trucks will implement the technology, which uses eye tracking and facial recognition technology to measure truck drivers fatigue.

It will be installed on the 87 truck fleet at Mining Area C and into the 23 truck fleet at Eastern Ridge.

In a company statement Seeing Machines CEO Ken Kroger said "the mining industry is acknowledging and supporting the advances being delivered with the DSS technology, and the integral role that eye tracking technology has to play in keeping their operators safe.

"The technology is fast becoming indispensable in the industry as a means to maximise worker safety and we are glad that this, along with our absolute commitment to the highest levels of service for our customers, is being recognised. This order re-affirms our confidence in our expectations for the full year

"We look forward to working with BHP Billiton at its Iron Ore sites in the Pilbara, supported by Caterpillar and by WesTrac in Western Australia".

In May this year the company signed a massive strategic agreement with Caterpillar to roll out the technology, known as the Driver State System (DSS), in Cat's machines, as part of the manufacturer's wider MineStar system.

At the time Cat said "the alliance with Seeing machines is a natural progression of Caterpillar Global Mining'swork to mitigate fatigue issues in mining activities".

It is reportedly working on 20 mine sites across 1500 vehicles.

During a Caterpillar presentation in Brisbane last month Cat demonstrated the technology to Australian Mining, explaining that it uses adash mounted camera to track the driver's eye and facial movement and head positioning to not only track drowsiness and microsleeps but also to ensurethey remain focused on driving and aren't distracted during operation.

It uses in cabin mitigation techniques"such as an audio alert and seat vibration, which would wake the dead," they told Australian Mining.

Unlike many other fatigue monitoringsystems in the market, the DSS system is 'untethered', which means drivers do not have to wear measuring caps or glasses that are plugged in to an in-cabin system.

The system also reached a milestone last month with contractor Toll Mining Services, which installed the 100th system into their fleet.

Toll first trialled it at Anglo American's German Creek coal mine in July 2011, where Toll says it was able to quickly reduce the number of distraction events by 70 per cent on site.

Following this it then rolled out thesystem amongst its other fleets in Queensland's north west, the Pilbara and increased its presence in central Queensland.

BHP cuts port expansion budget

BHP Billiton has cut $US400 million ($AU434 million) from its Pilbara expansion budget, pulling back on its plans for a new blending and rail stockyard at Port Hedland.

The West Australian reports the cutbacks will offset a $US340 million expenditure blowout at its Jimblebar iron ore mine, which is currently under construction.

But BHP – which reports all its financials in US dollars – stressed the project is on budget in Australian dollar terms. The project is now estimated to cost $US3.64 billion.

The company sold a 15 per cent stake in the mine in June to ITOCHU Corporation and Mitsui for $US1.5 billion.

In its production report, BHP yesterday said the south stockyard at Port Hedland was no longer included in the scope of works for the port blending and rail yard facilities project

Total iron ore production increased seven per cent for the 2013 financial year to 170 million wet tonnes, leading the company to lift this year’s guidance to about 207 million tonnes.

It remains unclear if trimming back its plans to build the new stockyard will hamper BHP’s plans to remove productivity bottlenecks which could potentially deliver an extra 20 million tonnes per annum of exports, The West Australian reported.

Atlas and QR National to rival BHP rail

Atlas Iron and QR National are working together on plans for a new rail line in the Pilbara to rival existing developments by BHP Billiton and Fortescue Metals Group.

A joint venture between Atlas and QR will be conducting a feasibility study for the $3.5 billion line.

The study is expected to be finished by the end of this year, with first haulage completed by 2015.

Atlas currently trucks ore to Port Hedland but needs a rail line to boost production and develop other sites in the southeast Pilbara.

In a statement today the company said a rail line could lead to it tripling iron ore production.

"Atlas intends to use rail haulage as part of its strategy to grow production from 15Mtpa to as much as 46Mtpa, enabling the company to take advantage of its highly valuable Port Hedland port capacity," the statement reads.

"The potential development of an independent Pilbara rail network could represent a paradigm shift for the progressive development of the Pilbara, breaking open long-standing barriers to new entrants to the iron ore industry."

Infrastructure is currently a valuable commodity in the Pilbara, with BHP, Rio, and FMG closely guarding their rail lines and port capacity.

Gina Rinehart’s Hancock Prospecting also has plans to build a rail line to Port Hedland from the Roy Hill development.

Atlas and QR’s joint venture follows indications last month QR was looking to expand operations to the Pilbara.

BHP wants free railways, ports

The world’s biggest mining company has called for the deregulation of Australia’s transport infrastructure.

Despite the recent mining boom, Australia has been incapable of maximising revenue due to the restricted infrastructure system, BHP Billiton chief executive Marius Kloppers told the ABC.

“At the end of the day it doesn’t matter how much material the mining industry digs up. If we can’t deliver it to our customers, it doesn’t count,” he said.

As Queensland’s coal royalty rates are set to increase by ten per cent on coal that is traded for over $100 per tonne, Mr Kloppers said it would cost the mining industry around $600 million in the next financial year.

“The more stable the tax regime, the higher the investment rate. [It is the] same story on infrastructure: the more certainty, the higher the investment rate,” he said.

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