Thiess celebrates 15 years of mining in Mongolia
2022 marks 15 years since Thiess began providing mining services and working with clients to deliver excellence in Mongolia. The Thiess team has made its mark in the Mongolian mining industry by introducing new standards and technologies, developing and strengthening the national workforce and creating a strong safety culture.
As a leading global service provider, Thiess brings to its customers over 85 years of proven engineering and mining expertise with experience in commodities including metallurgical and thermal coal, iron ore, copper, nickel, gold and diamonds.
Thiess offers a full range of services to the mining industry, from surface mining to complex underground mining and rehabilitation services.
The story of Thiess in Mongolia
Thiess’ history in Mongolia began in 2007, when it operated as Leighton Asia, delivering major civil and special-purpose construction projects.
Since then, Thiess has successfully completed a number of projects in Mongolia, including Ulaan-Ovoo Mine and Khushuut Mine, as well as a renewable energy project, Salkhit Wind Farm.
Today, Thiess provides mining services to Ukhaa Khudag and is responsible for the Oyu Tolgoi (OT) expansion project. To date, Thiess has successfully produced up to 10 million tpa of high quality metallurgical coal in accordance with international standards.
Thiess currently has a relationship contract with Energy Resources to provide mining operations at the Ukhaa Khudag coal mine in the southern Gobi Desert of Mongolia.
Starting as a new project in 2008, the mine is now fully established and producing high quality metallurgical coal used for steelmaking. Thiess was able to train hundreds of local employees, creating and building the capacity of the national workforce.
Thiess has also demonstrated its underground mining capabilities, in joint venture with local contractor Khishig Arvin Industrial, by delivering the first underground decline project at the OT Copper and Gold Project in Mongolia’s South Gobi Desert.
On August 16, 2021, the team achieved an exceptional milestone in the box cutting and decline project, achieving the final breakthrough in the conveyor decline tunnel, connecting the C2S conveyor to the surface tunnel at the underground mine. existing WO. The commitment of the 240 project employees also led to a remarkable safety achievement of 3 million LTI-free working hours.
The construction of the boxcut and the development of the surface conveyor project is the first in the history of Mongolia, with a descent consisting of twin tunnels spanning 14.6 km at an 18% gradient to a depth of 1300 m. One of the twin ramps provides a safe entrance to the underground mine for mobile equipment, mine workers and allows for servicing and maintenance, while the other facilitates the conveyor system for transporting mined ore from underground to surface.
Andrew Van Der Marwe, project manager at the OT site, underlined the importance of this step.
“When the two ends met, it was within 100mm of the intended position. The achievement of remarkable breakthrough accuracy was the result of diligent maintenance of the tunnel profiles and the making of on-going monitoring investigations by our excellent team of investigators.
“The OT investigation team did an excellent job; from providing the control points to begin with, to achieving the precision required to ensure a close tolerance breakthrough – it was a huge success and a very accurate result,” said Andrew.
The team was challenged by border closures caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, which restricted the movement of employees, including expatriate employees from entering Mongolia. Thiess’ national team of highly skilled engineers, technical personnel and mining and construction professionals were mobilized to complete the work.
Create sustainable value
Thiess’ goal is to create lasting value, and this is reflected in its strong commitment to the communities where the team lives and works.
Over the past 15 years, Thiess has invested over MNT 2 billion as part of its strong commitment to local community development in and around Ulaanbaatar city, Ukhaa Khudag project sites and Oyu Tolgoi.
- In 2021, Thiess Khishig Arvin JV completed and handed over a functional, year-round heated greenhouse equipped with a drip irrigation system and well housing to ‘Uurtiin nogoon khoshuu’, an agricultural cooperative in Khanbogd sum.
- The Thiess team also brought joy to those in need, delivering gifts to 200 children in the Tavan Tolgoi mining territory during the Christmas period. Books, stationery and educational games were among the gifts shared with children isolated from schools and libraries due to financial hardship and lack of infrastructure in their villages.
- Thiess has also worked with the Association of Sign Language Interpreters in Mongolia, to better support its people living and working with hearing loss and ensure an inclusive workplace. Interpreters work with the team throughout the recruitment and onboarding process, making a positive difference and empowering employees every day.
The government of Mongolia, the Mongolian Chamber of Commerce and Commerce and government authorities have recognized the Thiess team in Mongolia for its contribution to the state budget, the number of jobs created, its scholarship programs and the knowledge and skills transferred/shared with local staff. The team has also received a number of performance awards, including recognition in the Top Entrepreneur and Top National Employer categories, as well as recognition as TOP 100 Taxpayers and Top Social Insurance Contributor.
Read the article online at: https://www.worldcoal.com/mining/03052022/thiess-celebrates-15-years-mining-in-mongolia/