Welcome to the Business Pages of Murchison Grade Control Pty Ltd & Underground Installations Pty Ltd.


Serving Outback Western Australia since 1988

including operations in Northern Territory, South Australia & West Africa


Profile -A Specialised Mining & Civil Trenching Contractor

MURCHISON GRADE CONTROL PTY. LTD. (MGC) commenced operations in June 1988 at Peak Hill Gold Mine in Western Australia as a Specialist Trenching Contractor for the Grade Control Sampling of Open Pit Gold Mines. Another operation commenced in Mt. Magnet to provide services to Western Mining Corporation Ltd at Hill 50 Gold Mine and other mines in the surrounding area. MGC has now provided services to over 100 operating Gold & lateritic Nickel Mines in Australia and in Ghana West Africa.

MGC maintains a fleet of modern Ditch Witch Heavy Duty Earth Saws, Rock Chain Trenchers and associated equipment providing specialist trenching services. Plant equipment is supported by fixed base and containerised workshops, 4WD field vehicles and Trucks for mobilisation and Aircraft for spares backup.

The Company's experience with Trenching equipment enabled it to provide services for the installation of underground services, pipe line construction, Airport lighting and communications. The Company is particularly experienced in remote area operation.

Latest model machines together with sound operator and maintenance practices have provided customers with excellent availability. Operators are independently certified by the Civil Contractors Federation and are given full training in the operation and maintenance of equipment. Safety Plans and Job Safety Analysis (JSA's) are available for all work.

Murchison Grade Control Pty Ltd can quote on large and small projects, supply dedicated site services for Clients requiring continuous availability or provide prompt mobilisation as required to meet the Clients requirements. If you would like further information on these services please use our contact page on this page.

Grade Control Trenching

Ditch Witch® Trenching Equipment for Open Pit Grade Control was pioneered by the Company's Director Warwick Archer and Geologist Adrian Griffin at Marvel Loch Gold Mine Western Australia in 1984.The success of this technique led to widespread use in the Goldfields of Western Australia and Northern Territory. Murchison Grade Control Pty Ltd was founded in 1988 to provide these services as a dedicated Contractor.

The Ditch Witch® sample provides an excellent high density continuous sample across strike enhancing visual control and sub-surface exposure for mapping. Collection of the finely ground, well mixed sample is simple, fast and labour efficient and requires little additional laboratory preparation.

Trenching equipment uses the Chain or Boom with a continuous cutting chain, or the Earth Saw, a rotating wheel with tungsten carbide teeth. Chain trenching is suitable for soft (free dig) oxide ores where greater depth is required. Earth Saws are capable of digging in tougher ground conditions than the chain without varying trench depth.

MGC has provided these services to over 100 operating Gold Mines in Western Australia and the Northern Territory. In 1998 the technique was adopted for grade control at Bulong Nickel's new lateritic Nickel deposit in the Kalgoorlie region of Western Australia. In 1999 MGC commissioned a Ditch Witch Earth Saw for grade control at Bogoso Gold Mine in Ghana West Africa. This is the first occasion this equipment has been used for grade control on the African continent.

Consulting Services for Grade Control Trenching & Earth Sawing.

Murchison Grade Control Pty Ltds two decades experience in the Grade Control application of trenching machines has enabled it to provide valuable knowledge to Mining Companies on all aspects of this technique. We can advise on choice of services, (contract, lease or capital purchase), machine selection and options, machine preparation, operator and maintenance crew training, maintenance and repair procedures, transport & handling, operation in the grade control application and sampling techniques, spare parts inventories & acquisition, record keeping.

MGC recently provided these services to Equigold Ltd new mine at Bonikro in Cote D'Ivoire (Ivory Coast) West Africa. This is an important project both for Equigold and Cote D'Ivoire being the first major large scale gold operation in the country. Due to be commissioned in April 2008, the 1.5 MPTA CIL plant is providing dozens of jobs for local Ivorians from plant operation, repairs and maintenance trades to mining professionals. Equigold are using a Ditch Witch Model RT115 Earth Saw for grade control in the laterites and oxides. MGC provided on-site instruction in Operator and maintenance training, spare parts contingencies, manuals and sampling techniques. If you require further information on these services please contact Warwick Archer on +618 9319 1113, mobile phone 0418 977 841 or email at archerw@bigpond.com.

Service Trenching

Murchison Grade Control Pty Ltd's extensive trenching experience enabled the undertaking of a wide variety of Underground Service installations and associated work. The Company has successfully provided these services to small and large civil construction, infrastructure and defence Projects.

Additional construction equipment has been added to the Company's fleet to provide a complete range of services from pipe & cable location, excavation by trenching and boring, installation of cables and pits, warning tapes and markers, backfill, compaction and reinstatement. A specially designed powered cable reel carrier of up to 5 tonnes capacity was built to feed Optic Fibre cable while not exceeding allowable strain limits. Additional to Trenchers and Saws the MGC has Backhoes, Front-end Loaders, Skid Steer Loaders and a range of Trucks and 4WD field vehicles to support operations. Premises and workshops are located in Mount Magnet and Kalgoorlie with five additional containerised Workshops.

All staff are MARCSTA inducted and are independently assessed by the Civil Contractors Federation in the operation of their equipment. Additionally staff have qualifications in Crane operation, Telstra Plant and Cable Location, Senior First Aid and mechanical and hydraulic trade skills. Murchison Grade Control Pty Ltd is a preferred Telstra Contractor.

Murchison Grade Control Pty Ltd has formal Safety and Operation Manuals and can provide Job Safety Analysis (JSA's) as required.


Airport Lighting

Murchison Grade Control Pty Ltd (W.A.) and Underground Installations Pty Ltd (S.A.) specialise in the installation of underground services in regional and remote areas. For the aviation industry we provide specilised trenching and rock sawing services for the installation of Airport Lighting and Drainage Systems. These services have been provided at Mount Magnet Shire Airport, Golden Grove, Wiluna Shire Airport, Leinster Township, Jundee Gold Mine, Mt. Keith Nickel Mine, Bronzewing and Plutonic Gold Mines, Leonora Shire Airport, Yandi Iron Ore Airport Project, Murrin Murrin Nickel Mine. Additional work has been done for Air Services Australia in relocating Aerial Navaids at Meekatharra, Forrest and Paraburdoo Airports. Large scale projects included trenching and cable installation for the Jindalee Over Horizon Radar Project at Laverton W.A. and 58km of airport lighting, power and communication cables at RAAF Base Learmonth $69M upgrade in 1998-99. Our Ditch Witch Earth Saws and Trenchers cut a well defined clean trench with minimum surface disruption and the finely ground spoil is ideal for backfill with damaging the buried service. In addition we can provide cable and conduit laying, cable hauling and pit installations.

Please contact myself, Warwick Archer on 08 9319 1113, Mobile 0417 977 841 or by email at archerw@bigpond.com

Underground Installations Pty Ltd (UGI), a South Australia based partner company, specialises in similiar work as well as the installation of telecommunications infrastructure and underground utilities in metropolitan and regional South Australia and Northern Territory. The company has a wide range of specialist plant for trenching, rocksawing, mini-excavation and cable hauling.

South Australian Manager Tony Gold can be contacted on 08 8296 4664, Mobile 411 082 735 & by email awgold@iprimus.com.au

Airport Lighting Equipment Suppliers:


PO Box 94, Rosanna, VIC 3084, Australia

Ph: (03) 9432 0511 Fax: (03) 9432 1952

Manufacturers of airport lighting gear for 15 years and supply just about anything involving airport lighting.

Visit website at www.airportlighting.com.au


Murchison Grade Control Pty Ltd has successfully provided services to small and large civil construction, infrastructure and Defence and major Mining Projects.


Wattle Point Wind Farm Project.

Located at the southern end of Yorke Peninsula, this important regional project will deliver 98 MW into the local grid and is the largest windfarm project so far completed in South Australia. Underground Installations Pty Ltd completed extensive trenching works for the electrical contractor United KG for installation of 22kv underground cables. Local ground conditions ranged from sand to broken boulders and sheet limestone over the full depth of the trench. UGI used Ditch Witch Model 8020 Turbo Heavy Duty Rock Saws cutting 150 mm wide by 1000mm deep and achieved production rates of up to 260 metres per day in the hardest conditions.

Owned by Meridian Energy, the Wattle Point Wind Farm is due to come on line in June 2005.


Nullarbor Signal Upgrade Project.

As part of a $16M upgrade of the rail line between Kalgoorlie and Adelaide. Murchison Grade Control Pty Ltd was awarded the contract by Rail Services Australia to install signal cables from Kalgoorlie (Parkeston Siding) to Cook. Following successful completion MGC tendered for and was awarded Stage 2 Fisher to Hesso Sidings finishing near Port Augusta in South Australia. Conducted across 2000km of very remote country, work included 41 Sidings, 27 under track bores and 14,000 metres of trenching. Terrain varied from rough unmade limestone tracks to sandhill country where progress was often limited to 10km per hour or less. The extreme remoteness meant all supplies had to be carried including fuel, tyres, food, water and repair facilities and spares.

Travel to and from work sites involved up to 240km daily before commencing work. The MGC team and Rail Services Australia staff worked together as a team to complete the Project in October 1999, almost a month ahead of schedule, without disruption to rail traffic and nil incident record. Equipment used included two International 8 X 4 Trucks, Toyota Landcruiser field vehicle, light Aircraft, heavy duty tandem trailers, a Ditch Witch Model 7610 Earth Saw with Backhoe attachment, a John Deere Backhoe/F.E.L., McLaughlin Horizontal Borer and Ditch Witch Subsite electronic cable locator.



Geraldton to Windamurra Gas Pipeline

Work commenced early in 1999 on the 350km HP Gas Pipeline to Vanadium Australia Ltd's new mine at Windamurra near of Mount Magnet in Western Australia's Murchison Region. Murchison Grade Control Pty Ltd used a Vermeer T850 Rock Saw to cut significant sections of the hard cemented cap rock prevalent in that area. The project was managed by Clough Lucas Joint Venture and MGC is proud to have contributed to this important regional project.




Bulong Nickel Project

The Bulong Nickel Project has a Nickel (Ni) resource that is contained within the profile of weathered ultramafic (greenstone) rocks called laterites. These laterites are relatively flat laying and each profile bears its own unique physical and chemical characteristics. Bulong Nickel approached Murchison Grade Control Pty Ltd to provide a suitable Trenching Machine to cut 2 metres deep to sample the full bench height. MGC supplied a new Ditch Witch Model 8020 Turbo fully hydraulic Trencher with a 2m Chain Attachment and equipped with enclosed air conditioned cab, high flotation foam filled tyres, skilled Operator , on-site field vehicle and workshop.

Other current and recent Mining Projects include:

South Australia Operations

Underground Installations Pty Ltd (UGI) is an associated Company based in South Australia with extensive trenching experience enabling the undertaking of a wide variety of underground service installations and associated work. Cross utilisation of plant between both companies provides a complete range of services from pipe & cable location, excavation by trenching, rock sawing and boring, installation of cables and pits, airport lighting cables, warning tapes and markers, backfill, compaction and reinstatement.

UGI is actively involved in telecommunications Pit, Pipe & Cable work in South Australia and is fully equipped to undertake work including Trenching and Earth Sawing equipment to cut limestone prevalent in S.A. country areas.  UGI and its employees are fully accredited for the installation of Pit, Pipe and Cables. The Company though small has been commended by its Clients for the quality and timeliness of its work.  Client base include ABB Australia Pty Ltd, Siemens Thiess JV, Downer Group, Skilled Communications, Telstra NNS and NDC. UGI is a Telstra Preferred Contractor.

Recently acquired Workshop and Office facility in Port Augusta has enabled the Company to expand its country operations to the rapidly growing mid and far north and Eyre Peninsula regions of South Australia.

For more information contact S.A. Manager Tony Gold on Tel. 08 8296 4664 or Mobile: 0411 082 735, Fax 08 8298 1201, P.O. Box 202 Brighton S.A. 5048, Email awgold@iprimus.com.au

Africa Operations

Murchison Grade Control Pty Ltd commenced operations in West Africa in December 1999 providing a Ditch Witch 8020 Turbo Earth Saw for Open Pit Grade Control at Bogoso Gold Ltd's Gold Mine in Ghana. The use of the Earth Saw has proved highly successful over existing dozer rip line sampling.

It is significant that this is the first time this technique has been used on the African Continent.

MGC is committed to a program to expand its operations in African and to provide local employment opportunities. Mining opportunities are currently being followed up in Ghana, Cote'dIvoire, Burkino Faso, Mali, Niger and Tanzania.

MGC represented its services at the West African Mining Expo WAM 2000 at Accra, Ghana June 2000 .

Additonally MGC provides consulting services to Mining Companies in West Africa on trenching for Open Pit grade control sampling. In 2008 MGC has provided these services to Equigold Ltd Bonikro Project in Cote d'Ivoire and Newmont Ghana Ltds' Brong Ahafo Project in Ghana.

Equipment Inventory

Believing that Customer service is our number one priority, MGC's has an extensive equipment inventory to undertake a wide variety of tasks associated with Underground Installations. In the case of Mining Grade Control back up Trenching Equipment is on hand to provide the high standard of availability required. To achieve our goal of continual improvement and enable the undertaking of an increasing variety and complexity of tasks MGC's plant equipment policy is one of addition and upgrade. MGC has a policy of purchasing new equipment based on of performance, efficiency and meeting the highest standards of Occupational Health and Safety. Plant Equipment Inventory includes:

One Ditch Witch Model 7610HD Trencher with A641 Earth Saw,

One Ditch Witch Model 7610HD Trencher with M710 Digging Attachment with 1.1 metre & 1.5 Metre Booms, and Plow Attachment.

One Ditch Witch Model A420 Backhoe Attachment,

Three Ditch Witch Model 8020 Turbo fully hydraulic Trenchers with Model H840 1 metre Earth Saw Attachment,

One Ditch Witch Model 8020 Turbo fully hydraulic Trencher with Model H710 1.3 metre Boom Attachment,

One Ditch Witch Model 4500 Trencher with Backhoe Attachment,

One Ditch Witch Model 1230 Trencher,

One McLaughlin Horizontal and Case Borer,

Additional Plant includes Skid Steer Loader, Backhoe F.E.L. 1.5t Mini Excavaor, Compaction Plates and Rammers, Cable Loacators,

Transport equipment include three 6 X 4 Tray Tops, HIAB Crane, Service Truck, Semi-Trailer, Tippers, Tilt Tray Trailers, General Purpose Trailers, 5 tonne Cable Reel Trailer (powered), Cable Hauling equipment,

Light vehicles include eight 4WD Field Service units,

Support facilities includes two fully equipped fixed base Workshops and five containerised Workshops


Contact Details: Murchison Grade Control Pty Ltd (Western Australia)

Warwick Archer

Telephone/Facsimile: +61 8 9319 1113

Mobile: 0417 977 841

P.O. Box 4500, Myaree Business Centre Western Australia, 6960

Email: archerw@bigpond.com

Contact Details: Underground Installations Pty Ltd (South Australia)

Tony Gold

Telephone: +61 8 8296 4664

Facsimile: +61 8 8298 1201

Mobile: 0411 082 735

P.O. Box 202, Brighton South Australia, 5048

Email: awgold@iprimus.com.au