TEREX TRUCKS

Terex Trucks has teamed up with Porter Group to distribute its articulated haulers.

Terex Trucks has teamed up with Porter Group to distribute its articulated haulers.

ARTIC TRUCK PRODUCER BRANCHES OUT WITH NEW PARTNERSHIP

Terex Trucks has teamed up with Porter Group, a leading supplier of heavy equipment throughout Australia and New Zealand, to distribute its articulated haulers throughout the region.

According to a Terex Trucks statement, the partnership allows Porter Equipment – Porter Group’s sales division – to maintain its position as one the largest dealers of rental and sales equipment and gives Terex Trucks a “stronger foothold” in Australia and New Zealand.

“Porter Equipment is delighted to represent Terex Trucks across Australia and New Zealand as we share Terex Trucks’ commitment to the brand’s success in the region,” Porter Group sales and marketing general manager Darren Ralph said in a company statement.

“Terex Trucks has a strong pedigree in design and manufacture of robust haulers, and Porter Equipment provides a distribution network in Oceania that dates back over 70 years.”

Terex Trucks APAC sales and marketing director Clement Cheong echoed similar statements.

“Terex Trucks is excited to be part of this new journey of growth by partnering with Porter Group to serve the Australia and New Zealand markets,” Cheong said in the statement, adding, “We are confident that Porter Group will bring the same success story to Terex Trucks”.

Porter Equipment is set to distribute two models of the manufacturer’s articulated haulers – the TA300 and Generation 10 TA400.

Of these two, the highest specification model is the Gen10 TA400, which was launched in 2016 and described as “the first of a new era of haulers” for Terex Trucks.

The TA400 features magnetic suction filters that reduce the risk of contaminants entering the system, improve the cleanliness of the hydraulic oil and reduce wear and downtime.

The previous distributors of Terex Trucks products in Australia were OPS Equipment in Western Australia, South Australia and the Northern Territory, and Terrequipe in Queensland.

Terex Trucks, now a division of Volvo Construction Equipment and headquartered in Motherwell, Scotland, is a manufacturer of off-highway rigid and articulated haul trucks that are used in mining, quarrying and construction applications worldwide.

 

Mount Gibson off-take agreement with Chinese falls through

Mount Gibson Iron has terminated an off-take agreement with Xinyu Iron and Steel Group because the Chinese partner did not comply with the terms of the arrangement.

Perth-based Mount Gibson, which owns the Iron Hill project in Western Australia’s Mid West region, is now free to offer the production previously committed to Xinyu to alternative customers. Mount Gibson also has rights to pursue Xinyu for any resulting losses.

“Ther termination follows Xinyu’s failure to comply with a fundamental term under the off-take agreement,” the company said in an ASX announcement.

“Mount Gibson has already successfully sold Iron Hill material into the spot market, and fully expects to continue to place all production from Iron Hill with customers as it becomes available.”

According to a November 2016 ASX statement, Xinhu committed to buy about one quarter of the first year of production from Iron Hill under the off-take agreement.

Mount Gibson launched development of the Iron Hill project in the first quarter of 2017 after securing final approvals for the iron ore operation.

Iron Hill is about 3km south of the company’s now depleted Extension Hill open pit mine.

Australians flock to Toronto for PDAC

The world’s largest mining trade show (http://www.pdac.ca/convention) this year again attracted a slew of Australian mining companies, services exporters, government officials and investment promoters. Peter Diekmeyer writes.

Exhibitors, participants and presenters, including a platoon of Australians. attribute increased traffic at the Prospectors and Developers Association of Canada’s (PDAC) annual conference to renewed interest in the sector.

More than 24,000 prospectors, geologists, sector suppliers and investors, from more than 100 countries, crammed the Metro Toronto Convention Centre, earlier this year.

Every major Australian company is here,” said John Shanahan, president and chief executive of Tintina Resources, which is developing a high-grade copper deposit in Butte, Montana in the United States.

Canada is the place for mining companies to do business. People here understand that.”

Tintana is a case in point. At first glance the company has little connection with Canada. Shanahan grew up and went to school in Australia. Tintina’s majority shareholder, Sandfire Resources, is Australian-based.

Tintina’s major asset is in the United States, where Shanahan, also lives. However, Tintina is listed on a Canadian stock exchange and is nominally domiciled there.

“It’s much cheaper to list on a Canadian exchange than it is in Australia and Canada’s 43-101 mineral resource disclosure standards, have unparalleled international credibility,” Shanahan said. “For us a Canadian listing is a no-brainer. But we also use PDAC to meet our Canadian shareholders, seek out future partners and keep abreast of industry developments.”

Doug Ramshaw, a director at Vendetta Mining, which is looking to build interest in the company’s zinc/lead exploration play in Queensland, agrees that PDAC’s attraction is in part due to the fact that it is a great place for developer to connect with financiers.

This puts PDAC in the same playing field as the Diggers and Dealers event, which will take place in August in Kalgoorlie, Western Australia.

Sector suppliers focus on innovation

As usual, the PDAC halls were packed with sector suppliers, who used the event to plug their wares to a global audience.

According to Monika Portman, a spokesperson with Boart Longyear, a drilling services, tooling and equipment provider, innovation remains a key theme.

“Mining has gone through hard years and companies have been tightening expenses to maintain profitability or cut losses,” said Portman. “That means they need to do more with less.”

Boart Longyear, which regards Australia and North American as its two top markets, has been increasingly refining a “complete automation suite,” to help bring down perennially high sector labour costs.

This year Portman’s team was using PDAC to talk up the company’s hands-free rod handling, which she says makes the drill preparation less accident prone. 

“Safety isn’t just an operational cost,” she explains. “Most successful mining companies regard it a core social responsibility. Our goal is to help them fulfill that role.”

Caterpillar, which has been increasingly developing and marketing autonomous trucks, and whose banners and advertising adorned the PDAC walls, also used the event to great effect.

A turnaround in sight?

The strong PDAC attendance, which was up nearly 10 per cent relative to 2016 levels, provides an effective signal that the mining industry may be turning around, following a major trough.

According to data accumulated by S&P Global Market Intelligence, 2016 marked the fourth consecutive year of declining exploration budgets.

Australia accounted for 13 per cent total gold exploration. Gold’s share of Australia’s total budget jumped to 57 per cent from 48 per cent in 2015, due in part to falling base metals budgets.

Australia’s US$510 million (A$677 million) gold budget overtook Canada as the top gold exploration destination for the first time in more than a decade.

The yellow metal’s attraction among PDAC conference goers was further strengthened by a nine per cent increase in prices since the start of the year in US dollar terms.

This, coupled with the fact that production costs are often priced in local currencies that have weakened relative to the US dollar in recent years, has significantly increased potential profitability levels.

Australia minerals seek investment

Western Australia received more news at PDAC, when the region was named the world’s third best mining jurisdiction in the prestigious Fraser Institute’s annual rankings.

The only two regions ranked higher were Saskatchewan and Manitoba, two provinces in Canada, where the Fraser Institute itself is based, a factor which may have influenced survey methodology. 

Nevertheless the strong results provided momentum to Australian Government officials, such as Richard Blewett, branch head, mineral systems, resources division, at Geoscience Australia, who used PDAC to drum up investor interest in the country.

“We are open for business,” said Blewett. “Our data show that companies that invest in Australian exploration get a far better investment return than they do in other jurisdictions. We are here to get that message out.”

Investment will come back

As usual, PDAC’s most popular event with insiders was the Letter Writers presentations that took place the Sunday before proceedings started.

Rick Rule, president of Sprott U.S. Holdings, as has been the case in recent years, gave the keynote presentation, which set the increasingly optimistic tone that would prevail in the coming days.

“How many people in this room believe that in six years, when you go into the garage your car will start?” asked Rule rhetorically.

“Well then you have to believe that oil prices will go up. The IEA says that the average cost of producing oil is US$60 a barrel, when you include explorations and write-offs.

“If oil is US$50 per barrel now, that means the price has to go up. The same thing applies to many rare minerals and base metals. The cost of producing them is higher than existing selling prices. That means, over time the pressures on prices will be upwards.”

PDAC will be back next year between  4-7 March.

Peter Diekmeyer is a Canada-based business journalist, specialising in mining and resources.

Reducing The Environmental Impact On Mines

There are two main issues to consider when it comes to the environmental impacts of a mine:

  • The erection of plant, and its ongoing effect on its surrounds; and
  • How the site is rehabilitated after the mine has been decommissioned.

A fixed plant typically requires land being cleared, walls being built and roads being established. Then there is the plant assembly itself, which involves conveyor belts being constructed, material processing equipment put in place and draglines being set up, plus a range of peripheral considerations.

Sizing ore or minerals is a key component in mining operations. Setting up a permanent plant to allow processing and its affiliated operations can have a massive impact on the environment.

First, traditional plant used for high capacity crushing is enormous – it can be up to 32 metres high. This means that even before a site is set up, fixed plant has a large carbon footprint due to the amount of material used to construct it.

Then there is the construction of the plant onsite, which can take up large tracts of land due to the equipment itself plus support structures including buildings.

Also, there are the concrete or Reinforced Earth (RE) walls that are necessary for permanent plant. Not only can they have a negative impact on the environment, but they also take time to establish and require a lot of resources to complete.

Finally, there is the rehabilitation of the site. Costs can run into millions of dollars, depending on how much impact a mine has had on an area. If care has not been taken, or the plant has operated outside its agreed parameters, it means the approved remedies decided between state/local government bodies and the mining company might not be met.

Australian state and federal legislation puts the onus on mining companies to return a site to as close to its original condition as possible. The more permanent plant and installations that are set up initially, the more that has to be deconstructed and managed.

Minimising The Carbon Footprint

A piece of equipment that could help alleviate the impact on the environment is a Semi-Mobile Sizer Station from MMD.

For a start, they can be smaller than a permanent station – available in a range of modular designs, currently with a maximum height of 17 metres.

It also negates the need for concrete retaining walls because a fabricated truck bridge is used instead. Like the Semi-Mobile Sizer Station, the truck bridge can be deployed again and again, so there is no fixed plant to dispose of once the mine’s life expires.

Finally, there is no decommissioning of plant. With permanent plant there are concrete walls to be removed and earth landscaped. The area where the plant was located has to be rehabilitated with plants, trees, dirt and other stipulations as agreed.

With a Semi-Mobile Sizer Station, the plant is not in place long enough to cause as much impact. Furthermore, when it comes to moving to a different site, it is simply a case of picking up the unit on a transporter and moving it to its next location. There is no need for plant breakdown, crushing of concrete, or large fleets of trucks to take equipment away.

With modular construction and minimal maintenance, MMD equipment provides greener, more cost effective-solutions for today’s mines.

To read more on the environmental benefits of Semi-Mobile Sizer Stations, view MMD Australia’s whitepaper here.

Turning mining performance around: Moving from efficiency to effectiveness

During the last upswing in the commodity cycle, the incoming tide lifted all ships. But, to paraphrase Warren Buffet, now that the tide has gone out it seems to many investors that the mining industry has been swimming naked.

PricewaterhouseCoopers’ (PwC) Mine 2016 contains some sobering facts.

The PwC financial index for the top 40 miners (2015) shows earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) at levels lower than during the global financial crisis (GFC).

During the upswing, miners took on substantial debt to increase production volume, but now the cash flow is not sufficient to retire this debt.

The financial industry has started to lose faith in mining companies’ ability to generate a decent return. This affects the availability and terms for obtaining equity and share capital.

And finally, it states: “Pressure will rise as attention turns to the next wave of productivity initiatives, which will have longer-term paybacks and require fundamental rethinking of structures, processes, systems, technology, organisational designs and capability needs. This is uncharted territory for the industry, at a time of rapid change in all sectors of the global economy.”

It is the authors’ opinion that this fundamental rethink has happened and is being applied successfully, even though the majority of the mining establishment is unaware of this.

Over the past 15 years we have observed a productivity intervention, delivering 20 per cent average output increase, in over 80 mine interventions, spanning Africa, South America and Asia.

This required limited or no capex, using no more than two consultants and within three to five months. The approach engages employees, and drastically reduces the cognitive load and pressure on mine management.

The impact of increased productivity on mine profitability

It is clear a turnaround requires drastic, sustainable productivity improvement. In a 2015 article titled: Productivity in mining operations: Reversing the downward trend, McKinsey showed that mining productivity had declined an average 28 per cent over the past decade.

From this, there would seem to be ample opportunity for improvement. Ernst and Young’s 2014 report: Productivity in mining: Now comes the hard part noted: “Executives see increasing productivity as their number one challenge, most are reducing cost and increasing volumes, but this has not affected the core productivity of miners.”

It is possible to make a conservative estimate of the impact of the productivity gap on the financial performance of miners by using the aggregate top 40 financials from the PwC Mine 2016 report.

According to this data, in 2015, if the top 40 could increase output by 20 per cent (using current assets), they would have delivered a 345 per cent increase in EBITDA.

This calculation assumes that sales value increase by 20 per cent, totally variable cost of production comprises no more than 50 per cent of the operational cost. Increasing supply would decrease pricing, but this would not be the case if a small fraction of mines improved to this extent.

Why is the mining productivity decline persisting?

A production system can be conceived as existing of three critical, interacting elements: technology, process and people.

Most productivity improvement efforts have focused on these elements in isolation, and in particular on better technology (automation, big data) or improving on process models. Strengthening and adjusting the linkages from these elements to the people link, and the people element itself have not received much attention.

Doing better than what we have always done will not deliver these results. Einstein said: “We cannot solve our problems at the level of thinking that caused them in the first place.”

The new paradigm requires a shift in the way the production flow process is designed and managed and strengthening of the link between production process flow and people behaviour. This drastically simplifies what needs to be done and allows managers and employees to coordinate horizontally, close to where the work is happening.

Eliminating variability and optimising all processes

Despite increasing knowledge around systems thinking and complexity, best practice in managing production flow in mining does not take these ideas into account.

Mining is different from most manufacturing systems in that the variability experienced is much greater and in that, the interdependence between production steps are tight, not only in space but also in time. Applying what works in manufacturing into mining should therefore be done carefully. Operational excellence, statistical process control, lean and the theory of constraints are all necessary, but not sufficient.

People aspects need to be integrated with all of these interventions. More important is that the prevailing management paradigm needs adjustment to do this integration well.

Systems thinker Russel Ackoff maintained: “If we optimise all the parts of the system then the overall system will not be optimised. And if we optimise the overall system then all the parts will not be optimised.”

And yet, with the help of ERP systems and budgets, the production flow through mines is constrained by trying to improve the local efficiency of every production department. The belief is that better planning and reducing variability will deliver better results – in this way we force certainty on what is inherently uncertain. This results in inter-departmental and hierarchical conflict, leading to unstable flow.

The consequence of this thinking is that we try to plan production with “just enough of everything”. In this way, we hope that we will achieve high efficiency on all the parts and thus achieve the greatest productivity for the system. 

This is a fundamental mistake.

If we were to put together a set of six production units in sequence, each capable of delivering on average 10 units per hour, most observers would expect an average of 10 units produced every hour.

That would have to deliver 100 per cent efficiency in each process. But industrial processes do not follow a normal distribution.

Often a unit goes down and output is zero for that period. This unit blocks all the processes before and starves all downstream. For the time the unit is down no production occurs.

The unit sometimes produces 12, but then 0 now and then delivers 10 on average. The instantaneous output of the chain is always determined by the slowest production department – this gives us an overall chain which only produces five.

This important fact, which management is not aware of, creates tremendous pressure for mine personnel to improve. Often employee engagement is negatively affected.

In most chains one will find one production department with less capacity. This department should determine the maximum output achievable, and cause work to pile up here, but due to the dynamics described the bottleneck often seems to move.

This means that the flow is so unstable that output is significantly less than what the bottleneck department can deliver. This is where the lost output can be liberated.

A step change in mining productivity

Embrace variability and learn to manage it.

We have to identify the capacity bottleneck, put a material buffer in front and a space buffer behind and then ensure excess capacity in the other departments.

In this way, we can decouple the bottleneck from the rest of the system and replenish the buffers in time. Instead of focusing our attention on six departments we ensure that the bottleneck is resourced for maximum production and efficiency.

Other departments will work on not depending on the status of the two buffers. This simplifies production dramatically. The part in blue (see figure 1) is now added to the output, typically around 20 per cent of the  total.

It is important to note that non-bottleneck departments in this example need to be resourced and run at 12 and 13 units capacity. This is to ensure that the buffers can be quickly replenished in cases where they have almost been depleted.

These departments will show a drop in their efficiency measurements, to the consternation of those tasked with measuring performance. It is crucial that change be allowed, only the bottleneck department needs to run at maximum efficiency, this requires a huge shift in thinking.

Reconfigure and strengthen the process – people link

A daily 30-minute cross-functional meeting is instituted. This is where the heads of departments, middle managers and selected employees get up-to-date visual information on what is happening to the production process (flow).

Colour codes identify where attention should be focused and where help from support functions such as HR and maintenance is required.

The productivity platform meeting provides visual feedback on the processes workers are responsible for and shows them how their actions affect the overall system and the outcomes.

It highlights problem areas in these processes and allows for dialogue in improving understanding of causes and actions to take. Management and workers simultaneously become aware of problems in the system, and restrictive policies and bottlenecks are addressed on the spot.

It is not possible to hide anymore – those not doing their part are visible to all. Peer pressure ensures that they rise to the challenge and start to support their colleagues. 

Sometimes, as workers start to experience success, they become accountable and begin to volunteer their energy and talents. This reduces the load on management; they are not drawn into work which can be better performed by their employees.

A system of this nature was first implemented at Peabody Energy’s Warkworth mine in 1995 and yielded a productivity gain of 16 per cent in six months. In the past 15 years, further fine tuning has led to the development of a productivity platform which delivers a 10-50 per cent increase in output within three to five months.

Sustainability

The intervention is sustainable, provided the management team stays intact. After a few years of excellent performance, it is typical for the person that initiated the project to be promoted.

The new manager often lacks the context of the new paradigm and re-introduces standard industry practice. Output reverts to the level before the intervention. This points to the need for expanding the intervention to include top management. Otherwise, the intervention survives as an island of new thinking in a sea of old paradigms, eventually it will be submerged.

Summary

Miners are aware of the need for dramatic productivity improvement. When asked whether they are doing productivity improvement the answer is nearly always “we are doing this already”. The absence of substantial sustainable results suggests that something is amiss in these efforts.

The new approach flows from complexity science and systems thinking and pushes for greater effectiveness instead of greater localised efficiency. It does not attempt to force certainty (through better central planning) onto processes and interactions that are inherently uncertain.

It states that variability in mining is a given and needs to be managed, it cannot be eliminated. Centralised decision making must be relaxed and replaced with horizontally coordinated decisions close to the coalface.

We do this so that management maintains visibility of what is happening. In this way, we can empower and engage our employees without losing command of the situation.

This requires mine managers to embrace a new paradigm, which requires courage. But the reward to risk ratio is tremendous, a 20 per cent increase in output fundamentally affects mine profitability and the mine’s position on the cost curve. 

This article was written by Stratflow Australia’s Hendrik Lourens. It was co-authored by Blakemore Consulting’s John Blakemore.

Schneider releases system architecture for the mining sector

Schneider Electric has released EcoStruxure for the mining industry a new system architecture and platform that leverages innovative digital technologies and the industrial internet of things (IIoT) to allow companies to connect, collect, analyse and act on data in real time to improve safety, efficiency, reliability and sustainability.

Core technology layers

EcoStruxure integrates innovation at three levels:

  1. Connected Products: Field devices with embedded intelligence such as sensors, circuit breakers, meters, variable speed drives and process instrumentation provide the link to real-time data that is essential to higher-level control and decision-making.
  2. Edge Control: Real-time and runtime control systems are connected to field devices and collect data from them, analyse current conditions against goals and past performance, and make autonomous control decisions (or aid in operator decion-making) to improve process performance. At the heart of the edge control layer is the Modicon M580 Ethernet PAC (ePAC), the automation controller that uses open Ethernet standards to enable process efficiency, flexibility, and cybersecurity.
  3. Applications, Analytics, and Services: At the highest level of the EcoStruxure architecture, sophisticated problem solving and analysis is performed on an enterprise-wide basis to optimise business operations and maximise results. On this level, Schneider Electric provides a portfolio of software and associated services, including: Advanced predictive analytics for process and equipment; leading-edge virtual and augmented reality for operators and maintenance personnel; energy/ process optimisation and simulation; and integrated operations, planning and supply chain management.

Rob Moffitt, president of Schneider’s Mining, Minerals and Metals segment said, “With EcoStruxure, Schneider Electric is redefining automation and power connectivity as well as adding an unprecedented layer of software applications and services to help our customers get the most of their assets.

“By bridging IT and OT, EcoStruxure enables them to maximise the value of data and translate it into actionable intelligence for better business decisions.”

EcoStruxure provides added value in three key stages:

  1. Digital supply chain: through solutions that integrate resource to market activities, inventory management, and operations and planning.
  2. Next generation workforce: by providing technologies that attract and empower the next generation of workers and facilitate knowledge transfer, collaboration, situational awareness, mobility and remote operations efficiency.
  3. Operational excellence: with solutions that optimise and stabilise process performance and reduce energy usage, thereby achieving the highest level of performance and reliability from critical assets.

Moffitt added that EcoStruxure is not just another platform limited to asset performance analytics.

“It’s a complete set of digital technologies and applications that can improve the performance of the entire organisation, from people to operations to supply chain,” he concluded.

Earthmoving equipment giant Komatsu has completed its acquisition of renowned extractive equipment company Joy Global.

After officially acquiring Joy Global, Komatsu will now provide a full range of mining equipment.

After officially acquiring Joy Global, Komatsu will now provide a full range of mining equipment.

KOMATSU ACQUIRES JOY GLOBAL, EXPANDS MINING BUSINESS

Following a 2016 agreement to purchase Joy Global for USD$3.7 billion (AUD$4.9 billion), Komatsu has completed its acquisition of the multinational extractive equipment company.

As previously reported by Quarry, the Japanese manufacturer announced it would be buying Joy Global in August 2016 and subsequently running it as a separate subsidiary.

A Komatsu company statement issued on 5 April stated that Joy Global will retain its US headquarters but will be renamed Komatsu Mining Corp.

Komatsu’s former Latin America president Jeffrey Dawes will lead Komatsu Mining Corp, with the acquisition bringing the company’s total employees to approximately 57,000.

According to Komatsu president and CEO Tetsuji Ohashi, the agreement is expected to increase the range of mining and quarrying equipment available to customers of both companies.

“The combination of our Komatsu-brand surface mining equipment with the P&H, Joy and Montabert brands of surface and underground products will allow us to offer a complete range of mining solutions for our customers,” Ohashi said.

Despite being engaged with the mining industry since its inception in 1921, Komatsu’s current mining portfolio comprises earthmoving vehicles, such as loaders, haul trucks and excavators, but not specific mining equipment for drill and blast, tunnelling, underground crushing and conveying systems, longwall systems or room and pillar/entry development.

A previous press release stated Joy Global’s surface mining equipment – including its rope shovels, super large wheel loaders and draglines – would ‘pair well’ with Komatsu’s large electric dump trucks.

Established in 1921, Komatsu is a provider of construction and mining equipment products and services. Based in Tokyo, Japan, Komatsu has 144 global subsidiaries and 52 branches located throughout Australia.

Joy Global to be renamed Komatsu Mining

Japanese based industrial machinery provider Komatsu has completed its acquisition of Joy Global, expanding its global mining services business.

Under the approximately $3.7 billion acquisition, Joy Global will be renamed Komatsu Mining Corp and will keep its headquarters in Milwaukee in the United States.

The company will operate as a subsidiary of Komatsu and will continue to invest in the P&H, Joy and Montabert brands in addition to Komatsu’s mining products, services and technologies.

Komatsu president and CEO Tetsuji Ohashi, said, “The combination of our Komatsu-brand surface mining equipment with the P&H, Joy and Montabert brands of surface and underground products will allow us to offer a complete range of mining solutions for our customers.”

“We plan to build on the strength of our shared cultures, including our unwavering belief in safety first and our passion for providing innovative solutions, to become an unrivalled mining solutions and services provider.”

The acquisition adds more than 100,000 people to Komatsu’s team bringing the company’s total to more than 57,000 employees.

Komatsu Mining will be headed by former leader of Komatsu Latin America, Jeffrey Dawes.

Joy Global will no longer be publicly traded, with its shares delisted from the New York Stock Exchange.

Komatsu’s Australian subsidiary recently acquired Queensland-based mining equipment solutions MineWare to enhance its mining technology.

Komatsu acquires Queensland based mine solutions provider MineWare

Komatsu’s Australian subsidiary has acquired MineWare, a mining equipment solutions provider based in Queensland.

MineWare provides systems for loading equipment such as draglines as well as rope and hydraulic shovels in mines, enhancing their payloads and visualising excavating positions.

It also has an advanced technology portfolio to improve the loading process, which boosts productivity on mining operations.

Komatsu automates mining equipment using Information and Communication Technology (ICT) and enhances worker safety and productivity through connecting jobsite data on open platforms.

With the acquisition, Komatsu can implement MineWare’s solutions into its equipment to help operators optimise their mining operations.

MineWare CEO Andrew Jessett said, “With several potential partnership opportunities in the last year, what appealed about Komatsu was the ability for MineWare to remain a highly independent entity.”

“Komatsu is the right partner to support MineWare’s next level of growth, giving us the ability to expand our global footprint quickly into new markets.”

Peabody arises from bankruptcy

Peabody Energy has come out of Chapter 11 bankruptcy and will begin trading in the New York Stock Exchange under the ticket symbol BTU.

The company filed bankruptcy last year to reduce its debt amid the weakened coal market.

At the time, it highlighted “industry pressures in recent years including a dramatic drop in the price of metallurgical coal, weakness in the Chinese economy, overproduction of domestic shale gas and ongoing regulatory challenges” as key reasons for filing.

Peabody president and CEO, Glenn Kellow, said the ‘The New BTU’ will create value for both shareholders and stakeholders over time.

Peabody is the only global pure-play coal investment, and we have the scale, quality of assets and people, and diversity of geography and products to be highly competitive,” he said

“We also have taken significant steps to create a capital structure to succeed through all cycles.

“Our financial focus will now be on reducing debt, targeting high-return investments and returning cash to shareholders over time.”

Peabody has reduced its debt by more than $5 billion over the past year. During that time, it has also accelerated its coal mine restoration, achieved record safety and strengthened its Australian arms.

“We thank our 6,700 employees and all stakeholders for their widespread support for the company and our plan of reorganisation,” Kellow added.

“We look forward to this next phase in our company’s history.”