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GROWING Down under

Murray & Roberts is strengthening its position in the Australian underground mining market

Murray & Roberts plans to strengthen its underground mining capacity in Australia, using its raise drilling operation as a base to expand into decline shaft sinking and mine development.

The Australian underground market continues to benefit from strong global demand for metals and minerals and is forecast to grow by 10% in 2007.

Murray & Roberts subsidiary, RUC Mining Contractors, is the premier raise drilling company in Western Australia, accounting for approximately 40% of the niche A$100 million market. Expansion into the A$650 million decline and mine development market would strengthen the companyís base in Australia as a springboard into Southeast Asia.

Project PhotographThe Australian underground market continues to benefit from strong global demand for metals and minerals and is forecast to grow by 10% in 2007. Currently estimated to be worth A$3 billion, the market offers significant potential for mining contractors, which account for approximately 50% of the market.

RUC Mining Contractors currently has 10 raise and drilling rigs operating in Australia and has already secured 70% of its order book for the financial year to 30 June 2007.

The company is involved in major deep hole, large diameter raise boring projects on the Telfer mine in Western Australia and Eloise mine in Queensland and recently completed a project for Ridgeway mine in New South Wales, the deepest large diameter raise bore shaft in the country.


Deputy Chairman


John Cooper (56) a respected Australian business and construction executive has been employed by Murray & Roberts to lead its growing involvement in the country. He has been nominated to the board of Clough where he has been appointed deputy chairman.

John will act as a consultant to the Clough board and will work with the Clough chief executive to improve the operational capacity and value proposition of the company.

He has spent the past few years as a major projects consultant to a number of development and infrastructure organisations, most recently with Auscorp and Macquarie Bank. He was previously chief executive of engineering consultancy and project management company CMPS&F, which became Aegis Consultants when bought by the French infrastructure company, Scetauroute. One of Johnís responsibilities at CMPS&F was contingency planning and operational readiness for the 2000 Sydney Olympics.

John spent the bulk of his early career in the construction industry, mostly with Concrete Constructions, where he was general manager in Australia before the company was acquired by a German multinational.

With his extensive experience in engineering consulting and contracting, John is ideally placed for his new role in Murray & Roberts and at Clough.