IBA Media Release: Ceremony for new technology to Australia

IBA Media Release: Ceremony for new technology to Australia

Posted 03 August 2022

The SX5 Group will host a special ceremony on Thursday 4 August to welcome a new dozer machine to the country – a first of its kind to be used in Australia. The Cat D10T2 Dozer will be used to rehabilitate mine sites on Aboriginal land.

The ceremony includes important cultural and spiritual significance. Elders from Noongar and Yinhawangka country will welcome all onto their land with a Welcome to Country, smoking ceremony and blessing of the machine.

SX5 is an Aboriginal owned contracting company in Eastern Guruma country in the Pilbara of Western Australia. They provide services to companies in the area such as mine site building, manufacture and installation, mobile concrete batch plant operations and site rehabilitation.

Company directors, Ralph and Cherie Keller of SX5 Group, and Kenzie Smith, of the Eastern Gurama group have earned trust with the local Traditional Owners of the Pilbara region of which Kenzie is a respected senior elder.

The new dozer arrived from the USA and had to be factory fitted to take remote and semi-autonomous dozing systems. This will allow SX5 to fulfill their aspirations, allowing them to enter into the semi-autonomous operations by removing the operator from the machine – reducing the risks of this high-risk mining waste dump re-construction.

This factory fitted equipment to this D10T-2 is the first step followed by the equipment and training in remote dozing operations. SX5 hopes to be in remote operations by the first quarter of 2023.

Mine site rehabilitation is a critical aspect of the business for SX5. Ralph Keller explains the importance of from an Aboriginal perspective.

“We’re making things green again, making Country good again. We’re making Country feel better,” said Ralph.

“We’ve always been a great believer in technology,” he says. “What makes us different is SX5 continues to reinvent itself every day. It’s all about technology. That’s how you achieve excellence and how you mitigate risk – and our journey into the autonomous operation world is one example.”

For businesses to work on large scale contracting projects, they need to have the cashflow and performance bond guarantees. IBA’s Chief Executive Officer Kirsty Moore notes the importance of supporting First Nations businesses with opportunities so they can be part of these large projects.

“Putting the regeneration of Country back in the hands of First Nations companies like SX5 is smart business and we’re so glad to support their efforts,” says Kirsty Moore.

“IBA provides leasing opportunities to First Nations businesses so they can acquire critical capital equipment without tying up large amounts of cash that is needed to cover the operating costs of the business.”

“The new equipment has stepped up the production and quality of work that the business has been able to achieve, by using equipment that is purpose built for the task.”

“SX5 is a great example of a First Nations business transforming their opportunities to work with big business – all while restoring Country and being trained in new technology.”

Background info: iba.gov.au/2021/12/rehabilitating-country

Media contact: Tara Toohill 02 9207 6362 or tara.toohill@iba.gov.au

About IBA
IBA is a commercially focused organisation. Economic independence for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples is at the heart of what we do. Our programs assist Indigenous Australians to buy their own homes, be successful in business, and invest in commercial ventures that provide strong financial returns. IBA is established under the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Act 2005 (ATSI Act) and is a corporate Commonwealth entity for the purposes of the Public Governance, Performance and Accountability Act 2013 (PGPA Act). IBA resides in the portfolio of the Prime Minister and Cabinet and is accountable to the Australian Parliament through the Minister for Indigenous Australians, the Hon Linda Burney MP.

About SX5
The SX5 Group is based in Western Australia and provide a vast range of services to the resource industries throughout the Pilbara. The group of companies is 51% Aboriginal owned and has AS/NZS ISO 9001, AS/NZS 4801 and AS/NZS ISO 14001 Certification. With a corporate office in Perth and the Pilbara office/yard/workshop situated in Karratha, the group is well situated to provide exemplary service to the Pilbara region as well as service our clients in Western Australia. The SX5 name comes from the brand applied to the stray cattle that were mustered by Director Kenzie Smith’s family and allowed to sell themselves – which set them up on an entrepreneurial path.