At Prominent Hill, Thiess significantly expanded its operations, team and fleet to ramp up production to 32 million BCM per annum in just six months. Forecasts indicate about 267 million BCM will be mined over the life of the mine.
Thiess began feasibility work at Prominent Hill with original mine owner Oxiana in 2005, and was awarded a six-year infrastructure development and mining contract in 2006. In January 2012, new mine owner OZ Minerals awarded Thiess a contract extension. A subsequent contract change saw our team take management control of all operations pertinent to the Malu Open Pit Mine including blasting design, drilling, survey, mine planning, geotechnical, geology and systems.
The new contract required an increase in production to 32 million BCM per annum within six months. To meet this new goal, our project team recruited 245 new employees, expanded its excavation fleet and almost doubled the number of trucks from 27 to 53. Today, our diverse project workforce comprises 685 fly-in, fly-out personnel on site, of which 87 per cent are South Australian, 16.1 per cent Indigenous and 15.77 per cent female.
Our production and maintenance teams are supported by first-class training and development specialists. Key initiatives include an on-site $880,000 truck and excavator simulator to further develop plant operator skills.