A lasting legacy

With Hastings Deering recently celebrating 75 years of operation in Papua New Guinea, the equipment supplier sat down with PNG Mining to discuss its accomplishments.

Legacies are built on persistence, trust and endurance, something Hastings Deering knows well.

Having worked in Papua New Guinea (PNG) since 1949, the Cat equipment supplier remains dedicated to the country’s future through its community work and mine site services.

Hastings Deering PNG continuous improvement manager Phil Beinke has worked with the company since 2007 and, in that time, he has seen the company go from strength to strength.

“Certainly one of the biggest accomplishments for me was the delivery of the single largest fleet of Cat 793F dump trucks at the time,” Beinke told PNG Mining.

“We commissioned, assembled and delivered those to a remote mine site in the Western Province of Papua New Guinea. We had to create the capability needed to deliver them and train our team in servicing the equipment in order to provide the product support required by our customer.

“As you can imagine, it was a massive challenge but one that I’m very proud to say we accomplished.”

Giving back to the community is one of Hastings Deering’s core values.
Image: Hastings Deering

The company operates across five PNG sites: Kimbe, capital of West New Britain province; Lae, capital of Morobe Province; Lihir Island, the largest island in the Lihir group of islands; Tabubil, in the Star Mountains area of the North Fly District of Western Province; and the national capital of Port Moresby.

Hastings Deering employs 300 people across these five PNG operations, and the company is always looking for ways it can help its employees grow.

“Every year, we send our top apprentice to Australia for our Apprentice of the Year Competition, and we’ve had a number of our Papua New Guinean team crack the top 10,” Beinke said.

“One employee in particular was my former apprentice, and he is now the services manager for the Lae component rebuild centre, and we still work closely together.”

It’s this commitment to its team that has allowed Hastings Deering to build a successful business with so many moving parts; not only does Hastings Deering supply Cat equipment and parts to the PNG mining sector, it also services and rebuilds machinery.

By partnering with its customers to deliver tailored rebuilds, Hastings Deering allows customers to maximise asset life and performance in accordance with what they need from each machine.

And with Hastings Deering’s flexible servicing options, booking a service for a machine online is as easy as a few clicks.

But it’s not just its customers that Hastings Deering looks out for. The company also has its focus set on giving back to the communities in which it operates.

“We’re involved in several charities that help to rebuild or renovate classrooms at rural schools, and a lot of our team will go down and help on their days off,” Beinke said.

“And, more recently, we’ve donated classrooms to a local village in Western Province.”

Knowing a classroom is often only as good as the materials inside it, Hastings Deering has also partnered with Buk bilong Pikinini, a not-for-profit organisation helping to increase literacy rates in PNG through children’s libraries and high-quality education programs and books.

“The foundation has a series of books called When I grow up, I want to be … and they’re about growing up to be a police officer or a firefighter, but there’s now one that’s called When I grow up, I want to be a Heavy Equipment Operator,” Beinke said.

“We often run open days at our facility in Port Moresby where we’ll bring school kids in to check out the equipment and show them some future job opportunities.”

With such a strong 75 years of work in PNG behind Hastings Deering, what’s next for this iconic company?

“Technology is helping us do things faster and more efficiently, and we know the world is going digital but there’s no substitute for good old-fashioned service,” Beinke said. “So, as always, we’ll be growing our presence in the country and continuing to support our customers, employees and communities the best way we know how.” 

This feature appeared in the June–July 2024 issue of Australian Mining.

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