We speak to Kane Salisbury, CEO of Hallett Group, about the flourishing mining industry in Australia and the company’s respectable efforts in sustainability.
MOVING MINING FORWARD
The mining industry has always been a prosperous asset to Australia, and the industry is booming now more than ever. At the forefront of such sector-wide success is Hallett Group (Hallett), which stands as the largest business of its type in South Australia (SA), with 24 operational sites.
Hallett currently employs over 500 people who work to supply everything from cement, quarry products and concrete to timber, steel, and building supplies. With such a variety of products, Hallett’s customer base ranges across sectors, including mining, heavy infrastructure, renewables, defence, and civil and residential construction.
Hallett is positioning itself to meet the demands of the evolving industry. Although Australia has traditionally been a global powerhouse in iron ore, coal and gas, it also has a huge potential to grow its capacity in the materials of the future, such as copper, lithium and rare earth metals.
“With some of the best renewable energy sources anywhere in the world, and the scale and stability of our industry, Australian mining is well positioned to provide key resources to the world with the lowest carbon footprint,” introduces Kane Salisbury, CEO of Hallett.
Salisbury has had a varied career path prior to his position as CEO at Hallett, taking his initial steps in the manufacturing space. Here, he was a manager in charge of overseeing the manufacturing of paper bags, beer and biscuits, through to pipe fittings and car parts.
“As I worked in manufacturing, I had a really strong interest in driving continuous improvement and was lucky enough to gain some great training and mentoring in LEAN manufacturing methodology, which I was able to successfully implement in a number of workplaces,” he explains.
“That was 14 years ago, and I have absolutely loved my time in the industry ever since. No two days are the same, there is always a new project or challenge just around the corner and I have greatly enjoyed being able to shape our strategy and achieve some great results.”
GOING THE DISTANCE
As a privately owned company, Hallett possesses a distinct drive to succeed. The company’s leadership has a strong and intimate involvement in the business to ensure its growth.
“We are clearly aiming to be the very best in our industry and if you are the best at what you do, growth will follow. A lot of companies have agility as a value, but then have a whole range of hierarchies and systems that slow down agility.
“Hallett’s flat structure, clear strategy and purpose, plus the connectivity of its leadership team, allow us to act with speed and agility in our market like no other,” highlights Salisbury.
Hallett is further set apart from competitors by its trajectory of growth. Having tripled in size over the past decade, the company is making its biggest ever investments to support a further doubling of the business in the next three to four years.
Through key investments, the company is establishing a green cement manufacturing and distribution business to supply SA and surrounding regions. This is a real catalyst for Hallett, as it expands its footprint in the mining supply sector whilst giving itself and its partner customers access to the lowest carbon cementitious products in
Furthermore, the company has been a significant component of many crucial and remarkable across SA, as it continues to supply many major infrastructure projects and key building projects including hospitals, schools, bridges and roads.
More specifically, Hallett has proudly supplied the Osbourne Tech Port Shipyard project, which is becoming the centre of naval ship construction in Australia. This has become more pertinent with the commitment to build future submarines at Osbourne, which is one of the most exciting investments in SA’s history.
Whilst Hallett is proud of its achievements in major projects, it does not lose sight of its base foundation customers which consist of residential, civil and commercial builders throughout Adelaide and SA, as well as the families that are building homes.
“These are the people and businesses that have supported Hallett through thick and thin over the past 40 years and helped us to get to where we are today,” Salisbury acknowledges.
SA is the global leader in the uptake of renewable energy with over 70 percent of its electricity usage coming from renewable sources. As such, Hallett has become an expert in incorporating environmentally conscious projects into its agenda, as it has been proud to supply most of the recent and current wind farm developments right across the state.
A noteworthy case is the green cement transformation project, which is the most significant carbon reduction innovation project ever undertaken in the Australian cement and concrete industry.
The transformative project will witness Hallett construct a sovereign manufacturing capability to process and distribute two streams of Australian-generated industrial waste by-products into low-carbon green cement products, utilising established renewable energy resources.
The project will have an employment creation investment of AUD$125 million, split across the regional city of Port Augusta, along with new infrastructure in Port Adelaide. In total, the project will reduce Australian CO2 emissions by 300,000 tonnes per annum immediately, growing to approximately one million tonnes per annum in years to come. This amounts to approximately one percent of the entire Australian 2030 CO2 reduction target.
Sustainability permeates other areas of the company, seen in the use of waste materials, water harvesting as well as planting trees and native vegetation.
“We are really pushing the boundaries on cement substitution in concrete, and we take pride in offering closed loop systems where every waste stream we generate is beneficiated into products that are consumed again,” Salisbury tells us.
As SA enters a key decade with generational investment, Hallett means to continue on its course for greater success, through a flurry of ambitious projects that tap into opportunities across renewables, defence and mining.
Hallett perceives great growth potential in the circular economy and plans to continue investing in the enhancement of its offerings, well beyond what it is already doing in construction materials.
“Hallett is focused on positioning itself to maximise its share of these opportunities and importantly provide the construction material capability to ensure they are delivered,” concludes Salisbury.