Contractor of the year finalists announced

THE finalists for the Mining Contractor of the Year Award have been announced with Barminco, SMS Mining Services, Mader Group, Cougar Drilling and Coal Augering Services making the cut.
Contractor of the year finalists announced Contractor of the year finalists announced Contractor of the year finalists announced Contractor of the year finalists announced Contractor of the year finalists announced

One of Coal Augering Services' highwall mining efforts.

Barminco's winning of several contracts both in its own right and through its African Underground Mining Services joint venture with parent Ausdrill put it into the mix.

Through the qualifying period those wins included a contract win at Anglogold Ashanti's Obuasi project, a four-year contract extension at Agnew, a five-year contract extension at Sunrise Dam and a long-term contract win at Mt Colin.

During the qualifying period SMS Mining won seven contracts with a combined value of $991 million.

That included with Tawana Resources' Bald Hill lithium and tantalum mine, Norton Gold Fields' Matts Dam South and Coolgardie Minerals Geko gold project.

That has led SMS to increase its workforce from 250 to 700 and grow its fleet to 150 pieces of heavy earthmoving equipment.

During the period it also merged with the Rivet Group.

Mader Group has grown from its founder Luke Mader working on his own in 2005 to a staff of 1015 working across Australia, Asia, Africa and America.

A major uptick in work won during the qualifying period led the company to grow from 550 staff to 1015.

In August it opened an office in Colarado, US.

Cougar Drilling has a similar story. It started off with three employees and a 20 year old drill rig in 2016.

It has grown from its New South Wales base to expand into Queensland.

Coal Augering Services is a player in the niche area of highwall mining.

This allows clients to target hitherto inaccessible coal reserves.

CAS had two contracts in 2018 - with Peabody Energy's coal mine in Moranbah, Queensland and Batchfire Resources' Callide mine in Biloeala, Queensland.