Australia’s right-hand man in the mining sector

Australia’s right-hand man in the mining sector

For more than 50 years, Redpath have been providing valuable services to the mining sectors across the world. 


Founded in 1962, Redpath Mining provides an array of solutions to the underground coal, metalliferous, and raiseboring industries in Africa, Asia, Australia, Europe, and North and South America. With their technical and operational expertise, the company has built a solid reputation for applying innovative solutions with modern technology to deliver on their clients’ needs.


“It is important to us that we can deliver on our clients’ expectations, no matter the project,” said Gavin Ramage, General Manager of Redpath Australia’scoal division.  “From providing world-class, innovative coal mine development solutions for our clients, to supplying high-value, reliable plant, equipment, and resources for projects, we really do it all for our clients.”


Competitive advantage


Redpath Australia has built a solid reputation for themselves by completing tough projects while adapting to a variety of environments. A key component in Redpath’s competitive advantage is their experience.


“Our longstanding global history in  mine development and other underground services enables us to bring cutting edge technology to Australia. We have a great reputation for delivering more with less, and providing innovative solutions to problems which provide long-term cost efficiencies,” said Ramage. “To put it simply, if you come to us with a project request, we can fulfill it. Consider it done.”


To drive efficiency and achieve objectives for clients, Redpath strives to ensure its knowledge and experience is harnessed and applied with great effect across all projects the company takes on. It also works to continuously improve in all aspects.

“As part of our success, we approach each new project with fresh eyes, and build on lessons learned from previous projects. This process of continuous improvement is something that is done at all levels throughout the organization. Staff are actively encouraged to provide solutions that are safer, faster and more cost effective across everything we do, from plant equipment procurement and usage, the type of materials used to reinforce underground tunnels, through to resource, and task allocation.


“I think we have shown our clients that we are very adaptable in our product delivery, and that we have the capabilities to deliver this well into the future.”


Another important aspect to the company is its employees, as they are the heart of Redpath’s success. And while Redpath employs staff from a number of different sectors and backgrounds, which also helps to drive innovation, the company acquires most of its employees through direct recruitment. The company is keen on hiring locally.


“Recruiting locally has a number of benefits, including staff having a familiarity with the area and project, and also experience from working on similar projects within Australia,” said Ramage.


New staff are put through a rigorous training program that incorporates Redpath’s ideology and processes in an on-site classroom setting.


“From the very beginning we educate employees about problem-solving on-the-job challenges as they arise, and developing solutions that are safer, faster and more cost effective for our clients. The program itself focuses on not just inducting staff onto the project, and educating them on our safety standards and compliance, but also about the Redpath way,” said Ramage.


“Sharing knowledge and educating staff about a new way of doing things, or reinforcing our high safety standards happens on-site regularly. This commitment to best practice and continual reinforcement has been of great value to our staff but also to our project supervisors in keeping Redpath’s priorities top of mind to all employees and contractors.”


Safety is another principle that Redpath prides itself on. According to Ramage, their motto – ‘Safety – First, Last and Always’ – represents the company’s culture and their commitment to well-being with everything they do.


“Our safety program serves to reinforce our commitment to providing a safe environment for everyone. We adhere to our safety rules and guidelines to ensure a consistent interpretation and implementation of our HSEC policies and procedures.”


Ramage added, “For most of our coal mine specific services, our engineering specialists have adapted existing technologies from the civil and metalliferous sectors so the product offering for us is quite unique compared to other competitors in the market.”


Redpath’s technological advancements have been the backbone to delivering operational efficiencies in outputs for clients. The company isn’t afraid to adopt knowledge from the civil and metalliferous sectors and apply them to the coal industry.


“For example, our sliding floor technology for Drift Excavation provides better access to mines by using hydraulic rams to move the floor in a caterpillar-like sequence to allow it to act as a base for the bridge conveyor and ventilation duct installation and extension systems,” Ramage said


Previous experience


Client satisfaction is a priority for this mining contractor, and this is demonstrated through their constant striving to identify and apply innovative solutions for the benefit of their client. Redpath’s services include mine development, underground construction, shaft sinking, raiseboring, raise mining, engineering and technical services, including a mixture of specialty services.


According to General Manager Ramage, the company is best known for its specialist experience in underground excavation, specifically in the coal industry.


“From greenfield start-ups to expansions of existing mines, we offer expertise in the full range of mining services. We pride ourselves in providing the coal mining industry with a level of delivery that exceeds normally acceptable standards. A quality product from concept to completion is the result of our commitment and one that realises efficiencies in both costs and human resources throughout the lifespan of coal projects.”


In partnership with BMA at the Gregory Crinum Mine, Redpath improved the productivity outputs for the project by 30 percent. The company was engaged to deliver more than 25 kilometers of Mains and Maingate driveage, as well as all supporting ancillary duties to support production.


“We increased productivity through process discipline and a dedicated Project team, and that led to cost efficiencies across the client’s business,” said Ramage.


Over the past few years, innovation has been a driving force for Redpath, while at the same time, ensuring that key services and projects are executed for their clients.Some recent projects have included a $120 million extension project, and a $250 million  mine development project, both successfully executed within the Bowen Basin.


“The objective of the mine extension project was to replace the existing mine by replicating the required mine infrastructure on a new part of the mining lease. Over a period of two years we were engaged in the development of two mine access drifts, and the associated in-seam coal development to allow the commencement of longwall mining activities,” said Ramage.


“In addition, we were responsible for the installation of a life of mine precast concrete roadway in both drifts. This job was as challenging as it sounds, but we were able to transform delivery through the introduction of key technological advances involving roadheaders and sliding floors. “


“Redpath can deliver project solutions on a global basis with local support and knowledge to provide surety of project delivery. Through our international offices across Asia, Europe, North America and South America, Redpath can offer specialist knowledge in all areas of coal mine development and construction.”


Next chapter in coal


While the coal sector continues to experience a downturn, Redpath has a vision for its future.


“From our assessment of the Australian coal industry over the next 12 months, and then further afield to the next five to 10 years, we anticipate increased demand on our business to deliver more flexibility for our clients’ within their own workforce requirements.”


Redpath sees its value in its resources and the skills they offer, despite the rough road the coal market is facing.


“Ultimately my vision for Redpath is that we are regarded as a trusted, professional contractor-of-choice for the coal mining development sector, delivering high-standard engineering, and construction personnel and services,” said Ramage. “Our success in this industry will depend on how we can continuously improve ourselves in response to market demand. I’m confident Redpath is up for the challenge.”

Rob Nichols