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Safety excellence recognised at the Australian Mining Prospect Awards

The 2023 Australian Mining Prospect Awards were held last week in Brisbane, celebrating the mining industry and those working in it who are going above and beyond.

And with 12 awards presented last night, there was a lot to celebrate.

Excellence in Mine Safety, OH&S – proudly sponsored by Geographe

Recognising a mine, company, or project that has developed or carried out a program that increased safety, removes risk, or cuts worker issues on a project or mine.

The 2023 Excellence in Mine Safety award was taken home by Engentus for its TopTorque precision reactionless bolting system.

Developed in WA, the system is designed to eliminate some of the biggest hazards from tightening industrial bolted joints with powered torque wrenches.

Safety Advocate of the Year – proudly sponsored by Flexco

Recognising an individual that is committed to ensuring safety – either for an individual site or company, or for the mining industry as a whole.

Alongside taking home the Project Lead of the Year award, Craig Hagan was also recognised as the Safety Advocate of the Year.

As head of training and safety culture at Yancoal Australia, Hagan swept up the award for his compelling 30-year history developing, coordinating and implementing continuous safety systems across the industry.

“Craig has been working in high-risk industries for over 30 years, and he’s seen firsthand how critical it is to slow down and focus on what matters,” Yancoal Australia said.

Indigenous and Community Engagement Award – proudly sponsored by Sandvik

Recognising collaboration between Aboriginal-owned businesses and/or community organisations and mining and minerals processing companies operating within Australia.

The Indigenous Community Engagement category at this year’s Prospect Awards went to BHP’s Banjima land rehabilitation partnership with the Banjima people in WA.

The partnership is an “informal but highly valued” collaboration between Banjima Traditional Owner members, organisations and businesses in land conservation and the re-vegetation of native plants on BHP mining areas located on Banjima traditional lands in the Pilbara.

Excellence in Environmental Management & Sustainability – proudly sponsored by Bonfiglioli

Recognising a mine, company, or project that has developed or carried out an innovative, environmentally-focused sustainable program to protect, preserve and/or rehabilitate the natural environment, contributing to decarbonisation and/or reducing waste and/or waste emissions.

Maven Greentech’s AirX Initiative took out the category at this year’s Prospect Awards.

The company pioneered AirX to be a robot-driven air filter cleaning system tailored for mine sites and workshops.

“The war on cost reduction will be won through the innovation of technology,” Maven Greentech said of its AirX Robot system. “The future of the planet will be saved by the very same technology.”

Excellence in IIOT Application – proudly sponsored by ifm

Recognising an outstanding implementation of IIoT that enhances mining and minerals processing operations. 

Hexagon took home the top spot at this year’s Prospect Awards with its HxGN MineProtect Operator Alertness System, or OAS, which keeps heavy and light vehicle operators alert and attentive throughout long working hours.

The OAS operates by using computer artificial intelligence (AI) to provide real-time alerts and notifications to drivers and supervisors, empowering them to act to keep sites safe from the hazards of fatigue.

The solution employs state-of-the-art sensor technology and advanced algorithms to continuously monitor operators’ alertness levels in real-time.

Project Lead of the Year – proudly sponsored by Regal Rexnord Australia

Recognising an individual who has led a project or mine site to a successful outcome. This could be an internal project at a mine, or a project lead by a contract miner or supplier. 

The Project Lead of the Year category at this year’s Prospect awards celebrated Craig Hagan, Yancoal head of training and safety culture.

Hagan’s most recent project saw him implement a culture and change strategy that has reduced total injuries at Yancoal by 60 per cent and lost time due to injuries by 50 per cent over the past three years.

Innovative Mining Solution – proudly sponsored by Austmine

Recognising a mine, company, or project that has developed a unique mining solution. 

As champions of innovation, Roy Hill has always planned to undergo a transition to autonomous haulage.

After three and a half years of collaborating with two mining technology specialists, 2023 was the year in which the Pilbara-located iron ore mine made it happen, developing the world’s first OEM agnostic and autonomous haulage systems (AHS) solution.

Mine Project Success of the Year – proudly sponsored by Epiroc

Recognising a significant engineering and/or contract mining project that has been undertaken on a mine site.

Having already taken out the Excellence in IIoT Application category, Hexagon’s HxGN MineProtect Operator Alertness System (OAS) was again celebrated for its successful implementation at MMG’s Rosebery mine in Tasmania.

Outstanding Mine Performance – proudly sponsored by SEW Eurodrive

Recognising a rock mine that is performing well and has carried out an innovative project, partnership, initiative or program.

This year saw Anglo American honoured for its Aquila coal mine in central Queensland.

The mine was reopened with an expansion in 2022 and is expected to surpass a five million tonnes in production in 2023.

The crowning jewel of the mine’s resurrection is its longwall shear, which was completed last year on time and within budget and has seen a reduction in operational exposure of 15,000 hours annually.

Discovery of the Year – proudly sponsored by Atlas Iron

Celebrating a significant discovery at either a greenfields or brownfields site. The discovery must have been made or recognised as significant for the broader Australian industry.

International Graphite (IG6) was victorious in the category this year for its Springdale graphite project near Collie in Western Australia.

Having grown from an unknown asset into the second biggest graphite deposit in the country in under 18 months, the discovery puts IG6 on track to become one of the largest producers of battery anode graphite for the global lithium-ion battery market in the world.

Lifetime Achievement Award – proudly sponsored by Roy Hill

The Lifetime Achievement Award recognises an individual who has contributed to the Australian mining and minerals processing industries throughout their life. They are a dedicated individual and leader within the industry and have been committed to improving and advancing the sector.

The Lifetime Achievement Prospect Award honoured late Lincom Pacific Equipment chief executive officer Roy Watterson.

Watterson dedicated his life to the business he founded and watched grow and develop for 25 years.

Under his leadership, Lincom expanded across Australia, Papua New Guinea and the Pacific Islands to become one of the most successful equipment manufacturing suppliers to the Australian mining industry.

Watterson’s legacy is one of dedication and commitment to the Australian mining industry.

Australian Mine of the Year – proudly sponsored by National Group

The Australian Mine of the Year recognises a well-performing mine.

Roy Hill, a Hancock Prospecting subsidiary and a jewel of the WA mining scene, was awarded the top prize this year for its plans to become the world’s largest autonomous mine.

Located 1200km north of Perth in the Pilbara, Roy Hill is one of Australia’s largest iron ore mines, employing more than 3000 people across its Perth, Port Hedland, and Newman operations.

The company’s Autonomous Haulage Systems saw it also take out the Innovative Mining Solution category at this year’s Prospect Awards, bestowed for Roy Hill’s initiative in setting out to achieve its mission for a fully driverless fleet.

Congratulations to all nominees, finalists and winners of the 2023 Australian Mining Prospect Awards.

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