Small business SoilCyclers has been named the Queensland Mining Contractor/Supplier of the Year for 2022, at a sold-out black-tie gala held in Mackay as part of the Queensland Mining and Engineering Exhibition.
The 2022 Awards recognised Queensland’s best and brightest resources contractors, suppliers and producers, with peer-judged awards presented over eight hotly contested categories.
SoilCyclers grabbed the attention of the judges with their rehabilitation-based project at the Bowen Basin’s Ensham mine, which addressed a critical topsoil deficit and turned the mine’s waste overburden and saline water into lush green pastures in just six weeks.
In collaboration with partners Innovate Enviro and Cammel Consulting, SoilCyclers have provided a solution to a problem faced by many mines in coming years, as more sites enter the rehabilitation phase of mining. Judges loved that this innovation came from small Queensland businesses, working to deliver a best-in-class solution that uses existing waste material and saves both cost and carbon emissions by not having to truck in new topsoil.
As well as shining the spotlight on eight category winners and finalists, the audience heard an industry address from Ian Macfarlane, Chief Executive of the Queensland Resources Council, and a stirring keynote address from Jason Economidis, Chief Operating Officer of South32.
As a member of the peer judging panel, Mr Economidis spoke highly of the calibre of entries received from across the sector this year.
“I was particularly pleased to see representation right from multi-national companies down to small businesses like SoilCyclers, and good ideas being seen through to execution no matter where they come from. For example, Thiess’s winning Nylon Rim Cleat project in the Innovation (METS) category came from an idea had by two tyre fitters in the workshop, to make their working environment safer. This has now developed into an industry-leading product that’s making sure our people come home from work safely, and has the potential to roll out across Australia and the world. It is certainly an exciting time to part of the Queensland mining sector.”
Judge Dr Sharna Glover of technology ecosystem consultancy Imvelo says this year’s crop of finalists and winners showcases the technology and innovation that makes Queensland resources world-class.
“Every single category winner from the Queensland Mining Awards deserves a spot on the global stage – for developing clever solutions in response to industry need and market pressures. It’s always such a pleasure to judge the Awards and raise the profile of the innovation that we develop right here at home.”
Other category winners include:
METS Ignited Collaboration Award – Anglo American
iCutter Industries Environment Award – SoilCyclers
Austmine Innovation (METS) Award – Thiess
AusIndustry Innovation (Miner) Award – BHP BMA
Glencore Productivity Award – Polymathian
SMW Group Community Initiative Award – BHP BMA
QME Best New Product Award – GreaseBoss
Hastings Deering Safety Initiative – Soft Rigging Solutions