More growth on Byrnecut menu

Byrnecut, the major Australia-based privately-owned mining services group, is reaping important benefits from years of investment in apprentice and indigenous training programs, R&D and business diversification, as it again faces rising cost pressures during a period of record growth.

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Bravo: Byrnecut is building off a diverse service base

Staff reporter

Not for the first time in its 30-year-plus history, the former Kalgoorlie mining contractor is seeing wage and other input cost pressures rising as miners look to expand production across a wide range of commodity sectors, 205 attendees at the group's annual stakeholders' dinner in Perth heard.

The gathering of clients, suppliers and staff heard Byrnecut was on track to report revenues of A$1.5 billion in 2018, up about 30% year-on-year for the second year in a row, with strong contributions from Murray Engineering, Quattro Project Engineering, Mining Plus, Jetcrete, Raising Australia, and the core Australia and Offshore contracting businesses.

That diverse collection of enterprises delivers contract mining, drilling, shotcreting, engineering, maintenance and consulting services to mainly mining and construction clients worldwide, with Murray's acquisition of SRO Group opening up exposure to the renewable energy market.

Executive chairman and co-founder Steve Coughlan said Byrnecut had about 3,500 employees working "in a huge range of jurisdictions across Australia and around the world".

"It's a big business now by private company standards," he said.

"We remain focused across the group on zero harm outcomes across that diverse range of businesses and jurisdictions, and that really does require incredible discipline and controls not only on our part but from you [clients and suppliers] with whom we work closely to achieve these outcomes."

Sustained investment in recruitment and training through mining's peaks and troughs to address recurrent skills shortages and labour cost pressures - a worldwide challenge for the industry - is something mining industry leaders often talk about.

Byrnecut continues to walk the talk.

The group has maintained a large apprentice training program for years and currently has 91 apprentices on its books.

"It's a big number - it's about as many as we can take and manage," Coughlan said.

"We always try to maximise the number of apprentices in the business. It's incredibly important."

Byrnecut's BOAB (Building Opportunities for Aboriginal Business) training unit also recently achieved a key milestone when it passed 100 indigenous full-time employees in the group.

"That's a significant increase on where we have been in the past and we're very happy that we can report that," Coughlan said.

Continuous regeneration of its skilled workforce drives better productivity outcomes for Byrnecut; it also contributes to the maintenance of its unique safety culture, and results.

As does ongoing heavy internal and external investment in research and development, and innovation, targeting products, technologies, equipment and systems.

Byrnecut Australia managing director Pat Boniwell said "we're very much back into the boom side of the mining cycle" with the resultant rising pressures to "keep costs under control, improve productivity, and generally increase the performance of operations for our clients".

"We are a service provider and that can be a tough gig whether you're in a downturn or an upturn - you never seem to hit that sweet point.

"Based on the group's work in hand, and strong pipeline, the next couple of years are looking fairly robust.

"Like all these cycles it will end, but we'll enjoy it for the next couple of years."

Coughlan paid tribute to long-time Byrnecut finance director Bob Evers, who lost his battle with stomach cancer earlier this year.

"Bob was a quirky genius," he said.

"He was much responsible for what you see here at Byrnecut today."

 

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Byrnecut Australia is the leading mechanised underground mining contractor in Australia offering a professional, reliable service optimising the development and production of mineral resource projects.

CORPORATE OFFICE:

  • Address: Level 1 Bravo Building, 1 George Wiencke Drive, Perth Airport WA 6105
  • Tel: 08 9270 1000
  • Fax: 08 9270 1001
  • Web: www.byrnecut.com.au/

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Byrnecut Australia is the leading mechanised underground mining contractor in Australia offering a professional, reliable service optimising the development and production of mineral resource projects.

CORPORATE OFFICE:

  • Address: Level 1 Bravo Building, 1 George Wiencke Drive, Perth Airport WA 6105
  • Tel: 08 9270 1000
  • Fax: 08 9270 1001
  • Web: www.byrnecut.com.au/