FULL LIST: Every winner at the 2020 Queensland Mining Awards
GAS Field Services has been named the 2020 Queensland Mining Contractor of the Year at a sold-out black-tie gala held tonight in Mackay.
The Mackay-based company was also named the winner in the Safety Initiative Award and was also strong contenders in the productivity category for its 4C Wireline drilling technique.
The 2020 Queensland Mining Awards 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.
Federal Resources Minister Keith Pitt said it was a year when all involved in the mining industry deserved recognition.
"The industry has gone to extraordinary lengths to keep workers and community safe through the COVID-19 pandemic, and this has paid real social and economic dividends," he said.
"At a time when it needs it most, the Queensland economy is being supported by the resources sector and importantly, thousands of Queenslanders have remained employed."
The Bowen Basin Mining Club and the Queensland Resources Council co-hosted the awards which recognised contractors, suppliers and producers across nine peer-judged categories.
The 29 finalist entries represented diversity in the industry, representing the full spectrum of major contractors and producers, right down to one-man businesses.
Creative solutions to industry problems showcased skills in mathematics, engineering, environmental, human resources, procurement and manufacturing.
Bowen Basin Mining Club director Jodie Currie was thrilled with how the event came together, showing celebration could be safely accomplished in a COVID-19 environment.
"Tonight, 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 FINALISTS AND WINNERS
METS Ignited Collaboration Award: The most outstanding collaborative effort between producers and contractors/suppliers, delivering results and enhancing cost-saving, time-saving and/or innovative outcomes.
Winner: 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.
Judge Sharna Glover said: "This entry showed strong work over an extended period, with cross-industry collaboration."
• Ava Risk Group
• Mitchell Services
• Unearthed Solutions
• Universal Field Robots
McLanahan Environment Award: The most innovative approach to environmental protection or rehabilitation.
Winner: 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.
Judge Darren Oliver said: "An innovative engineering solution that met a clear need for improvement, considering the environment it needs to work in. This looks like it will achieve a much better result than the current solution."
• KCB Australia
• New Century Resources
Greyhound Innovation (METS) Award: The most original and ground-breaking approach to a project, including any new concept, technology and/or innovative process that was instrumental in increasing operational efficiency or improving project delivery.
Winner: Universal Field Robots & IMDEX - Increased drill and blast safety, productivity and reduced risk
Universal Field Robots and IMDEX conquered the challenge of logging blast holes, while removing operators from harm's way.
The IMDEX BLASTDOGTM solution moved from concept to prototype in just four months, providing geological data and enhancing productivity.
This was a hotly debated category, with judges looking at all five finalists as addressing the industry's big issues.
Judge Sharna Glover said: "A great innovation that shows the power of partnering. A robotics platform that is able to be exported makes a very commendable entry."
• Redeye Apps
• Universal Field Robots & IMDEX
JCB CEA Innovation (Miner) Award: The most original and ground-breaking approach to a project, including any new concept, technology and/or innovative process that was instrumental in increasing operational efficiency or improving project delivery.
Winner: Anglo American (Dawson Mine) - World's first remote multi-pass drill supports safer operations
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.
Judge Andrew Wilson said: "This initiative showed great ingenuity, and really challenges the status quo for the exploration industry."
• Anglo American
• Anglo American (Dawson Mine)
Glencore Productivity Award: A project completed through an innovation or new process which resulted in a significant time and/or cost-saving solution for the client.
Winner: Polymathian - Maximising NPV with Industrial Mathematics
Polymathian used its ORB mathematical solution to optimise mine planning for a client, condensing the planning process from weeks to just 12 hours.
The client experienced a 35 per cent increase to NPV, with superior productivity outcomes.
Judge Peter Kane said: "Applying cutting edge industrial mathematics to complex mine planning situations saves time and money, and Polymathian is now a major part of the intelligent mines of the future."
• Gas Field Services
SMW Group Community/Staff Award: The most outstanding community or internal consultation and engagement project
Winner: New Oakleigh Coal - Jeebropilly Mine Closure - 'Finishing Well' program
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%.
Judge Dan Reynolds said: "A great program to transition employees through closure, while maintaining safe production and setting employees up for life."
• Anglo American
• Hastings Deering
• New Oakleigh Coal
SMW Group EEO Award: The most outstanding initiative to promote equal opportunity (whether indigenous, women in mining or a community initiative).
Winner: 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.
There were 24 new-to-industry roles created, with full-time employment offered following completion of training.
This increased Indigenous participation rates at Byerwen to more than 12 per cent.
Judge Dan Reynolds said: "A positive initiative bringing the traditional owner, contractor, and mine owner together to promote Indigenous employment."
• Anglo American
• Byerwen Coal | Jangga Operations | Macmahon
QME Best Product Launch Award: This category highlights the most innovative product launched during May 2018 to April
Winner: BIS - Razor: the proprietary underground grader increasing safety and performance
BIS realised innovation was sorely needed to fix inefficient, underpowered machinery that lacked reliability.
Razor - developed, designed and manufactured in Australia - delivers more than 30 per cent increased tractive effort, improved braking and most importantly, improved safety.
Judge Peter Kane said: "The BIS Razor was designed with miners, for miners and exhibits long-awaited improvements in safety, efficiency, power and ergonomics. Great to see the conversion from the design board to the coal face."
• Ava Risk Group
• SMW Group
Sonic Health Plus Safety Initiative Award: The most outstanding initiative to make safety a priority on site, including continuous improvement and full integration into a project/initiative, with real results able to be demonstrated.
Winner: Gas Field Services - Hands Free Drilling - The Way of the Future
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.
Judge Chris Mijnssen said: "Eliminating manual handling is a great step forward to reduce high numbers of injuries and incidents."
• Gas Field Services
• Waterline Projects
Bowen Basin Mining Club Queensland Mining Contractor of the Year: Selected from category finalists/winners above, for excellence displayed across a number of categories.
Winner: Gas Field Services - Awarded for safety, productivity and innovation across multiple categories.
The judging panel felt Gas Field Services clearly demonstrated strong innovation and a willingness to collaborate with OEMs to solve persistent industry issues.
Their solutions were collaborative, innovative and had a strong safety element.
"Gas Field Services is having a major impact on the way we think about exploration, innovation and technology in our industry." - Dan Reynolds
"We're happy to award someone in the exploration space, particularly a small company looking to make a big impact." - Andrew Wilson
"We applaud the foresight and investment by Gas Field Services as a contractor to introduce significant technology to the Australian market." - Darren Oliver