Mining other people's business

APRIL 2010

BHP Billiton has issued a vote of confidence in two Brisbane-based private companies, signing significant deals to secure staff and monitor mine sites.

Mining and infrastructure recruitment company WorkPac has won a competitive $180 million tender with the company, while rising star MineWare sealed a ‘multi-million dollar deal’ with BHP Billiton-Mitsubishi Alliance (BMA).

WorkPac will provide professional and industrial staff to BHP Billiton’s Olympic Dam mine, in a five-year deal which is the first major contract for Theresa Moltoni in her role as CEO.

Moltoni could not disclose the number of staff required by the mining giant.

“We’ve got a number of contracts in the sector and this will not be the biggest – we’ve got larger projects but this is still significant for us as the Olympic Dam is the largest underground coal mine in Australia,” she says.

“It was highly sought after and you can tell that by the number of people in the tendering process – there were eight or nine involved.

“We’re seeing lots of mining operations opening up in coal and other commodities, and for infrastructure there’s a number of construction projects already on the go in Queensland and some on the cards in Newcastle, Adelaide and Perth.”

Since her appointment to the top job last year, she says her time is going well, with the added benefit of four years prior experience with WorkPac.

“I don’t think we want to go in a different direction as we’re doing well in the direction we’re going in – our focus needs to be on making sure we continue to deliver,” she says.

MineWare CEO Andrew Jessett, says a recently signed five-year contract to supply dragline monitoring and intelligence solutions to BMA’s Queensland sites is the ‘biggest thing’ that has ever happened to the company.

“It gives us a more stable base so we can go more into other things – it’s a big vote of confidence from the biggest dragline operator in the country,” says the MineWare founder.

“It’s been a lengthy process as we went through a rigorous evaluation with five companies, going back two or three years now. We were awarded the tender for one system, but it had to prove itself in the field. After two years of operating they were happy to enter an enterprise agreement with us in Queensland.”

While the deal is for five years there are opportunities to extend the contract, with Jessett confident that MineWare will have a long-term customer in BMA.

“We are delighted with this outcome and look forward to supporting BMA by delivering enterprise-wide improvements in production, capacity, safety, staff training and communication,” he says.

“We offer a unique, highly consultative partnership approach to work with clients, understanding their operations and investigating long term business improvement solutions.

“Together with our commitment to service, innovation and research and development, this approach was a key factor in securing this win and strengthening our growing presence within the national and international mining industry.”

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