In 2021, South32 Worsley Alumina, one of the world’s largest bauxite mining and alumina refinery operations located near Boddington in WA, reached nameplate capacity of 4.6 million tonnes per annum at its alumina refinery.
The milestone was the result of a combined effort of everyone involved in the project, including the mine’s long-standing production drilling partner, JSW Drilling.
JSW has been onsite for 10 years this March, drilling more than 5.1 million metres; a significant achievement.
While JSW’s consistent drilling performance and collaborative approach has been the lynchpin of the long relationship, the company’s determination to improve safety and sustainability have also played a role in delivering a value-adding partnership experience for the client.
Our two crews enjoyed BBQs and were gifted a gold coin, commissioned by JSW and crafted at the Perth Mint, to commemorate the occasion.
JSW’s performance at Boddington has benefited from the insight and experience of a consistent project management team – a theme that extends throughout the company.
The project is overseen by JSW’s long standing project managers Luke Clarke, who has been onsite since JSW’s work at Boddington commenced in 2013, Simon Jenkins, who has been onsite for two years and former project manager Ryan Mosedale, who played an instrumental role in creating the positive culture and strong client relationship.
The close working relationships developed over this time have facilitated flexible contract arrangements to meet South32 Worsley Alumina’s changing needs. This flexibility has extended to equipment and personnel which have scaled up and down, varying between two and five drills and 10 to 17 people, adapting to the mine’s production schedule as needed.
As part of its commitment to providing best-for-project solutions, JSW has also worked with South32 Worsley Alumina to improve drilling technology, installing Leica GPS systems on all rigs to eliminate manual markup drill patterns. The Leica GPS system shows where to drill a hole, logs drill metres, and logs breakdown or standby hours.
The quality of JSW’s management systems is affirmed by its ISO certifications for health and safety, environment, and quality.
These certifications, underpinned by its core values of passion, determination, collaboration and of course safety, continue to inspire the company’s proactive approach towards enhancing its performance in these areas.
One key JSW safety initiative at Boddington has successfully mitigated the risk of rollovers and uncontrolled movement of rigs and support equipment, which was previously experienced on the sloping terrain, which covers a huge 2,700km2 area. Adopting the digital inclinometer technology used on the drill mast, JSW fitted it to the carriers’ chassis. Following a trial period, JSW was able to determine the maximum angles the carrier could manage without risking rollovers and uncontrolled movement. This was the first time such technology had been used for terrain control of drill rigs and is now compulsory on all drilling equipment working at the mine.
This passion for problem-solving has been of the drivers behind the company reaching a safety milestone in October 2022 of 750 days lost time injury free.
Boddington is also a great example and testament to JSW’s training and development program. Project manager Luke Clarke commenced onsite as a driller in 2013 and, with support and training by JSW which is a registered training organisation, moved up through the ranks to his current role.
With an office, workshop, and residential property in the Boddington township, JSW has supported the local economy wherever it can – from using local suppliers to sponsoring the local football team and working collaboratively with local landholders and the community to ensure the benefits of the mine are felt by all those that live in the area.
This highly productive partnership between contractor and asset owner has cemented Boddington as a stalwart of JSW’s project portfolio.