New player sees growth in Queensland mining sector

East coast push: Centurion CEO Justin Cardaci at the company’s new Brisbane base.

Recent Queensland transport and logistics entrant Centurion says it expects activity in Queensland’s multi-billion-dollar mining, resources and infrastructure sector to further pick up in the next 18 months.

The long-established, Perth-headquartered supply chain specialist, which has already made its mark in the Sunshine state, moved to the eastern seaboard earlier this year.

Its chief executive officer, Justin Cardaci, said the decision was already paying dividends as the company deployed its expertise, servicing a growing number of clients in industries contributing well over $23 billion a year to the Queensland economy.

Heavy lift: Centurion’s 200T crane lifts one of more than 50 bridge beams into place on a mine access road upgrade in the Bowen Basin.

“For five decades, across the harshest, most remote environments, Centurion has been helping resource companies, explorers, suppliers, contractors and EPCs with tailored distribution, special projects and supply base solutions,” Mr Cardaci explained.

“Across Australia, our vehicles now travel well over 40 million kilometres each year to ensure our services deliver on time, every time, and on budget.

“Our aim has been to take our successful model of servicing the mining, energy and construction industries in the West and replicate that in new and similar markets in the East while utilising local experience and expertise.

Mr Cardaci said the company was expecting a significant flow-on from the pick-up in the mining sector over this coming financial year.

“We’re seeing previously suspended expansion plans and maintenance programs now go ahead with a slew of new projects due to roll out in 2017-18.”

With port expansions, rail and road upgrades and other infrastructure projects under way across regional Queensland, Centurion is not just winning work from the mines either.

“The Queensland Government has also earmarked significant sums to spend on regional development and support and we’re already seeing more demand for our heavy haulage and cranes to meet that need.

Mr Cardaci said his company had consciously sought to employ locals at its three new Queensland bases, with their managers trained in Centurion’s established, successful culture.

He said those bases – strategically located in Brisbane, Mackay and Emerald – were already providing cranage, relocation of heavy equipment and general transport services for two Bowen Basin mines.

With its growing fleet of specialist heavy haulage equipment and team of multi-skilled drivers, the company also provides long-distance haulage to a variety of sites for regional infrastructure projects improving road and rail access to Central Queensland and its mines.

“On one of these projects, we’ve collected more than 50 large concrete bridge beams in Rockhampton and trucked them around 300km, then provided on-site lift-and-shift services to position them in place,” Mr Cardaci explained.

“Previously we’d provide the heavy haulage and work with other companies for the cranage component of a project. Now, with having the first heavy lift-and-shift service of our own, Queensland is already breaking new ground for Centurion.”

Over the coming quarter, Mr Cardaci said, Centurion would be adding even more equipment to allow its Queensland business to continue expanding.

“We already had a large, modular trailing fleet that could handle a wide range of environments, load specifications and local conditions,” he said.

He said the recent turnaround in activity in Queensland’s mining and resources sector meant Centurion had a strong chance of cementing a wider range of new clients in that state.

“There’s certainly a change for the better in the Queensland economy overall, and we’ve seen it in the heavy haulage space in particular. The volume of work has picked up quickly over the past few months,” Mr Cardaci noted.

“And, in talking to different miners, the mood in the market has definitely changed as well.”