Fortescue Metals Group has officially opened the Fortescue Hive, the company’s newly expanded Integrated Operations Centre (IOC) which, FMG says, uses the latest technology and brings together the company’s fully owned and integrated supply chain.
Fortescue Founder and Chairman, Dr Andrew Forrest, and Chief Executive Officer, Elizabeth Gaines, celebrated the official opening in Perth with various politicians and members of the iron ore miner’s Board of Directors and core leadership team.
The purpose-built facility includes Fortescue’s planning, operations and mine control teams, together with port, rail, shipping and marketing teams. It allows 330 team members across Fortescue’s complete supply chain to work together, 24 hours a day, seven days a week, to deliver improved safety, reliability, efficiency and commercial outcomes, the company said.
Dr Forrest said: “Mining is one of the most innovative industries in the world. Fortescue has long been a technology leader in the industry and was the first mining operation in Western Australia to control a railway from a remote location when we unveiled our Train Control Centre in Perth in 2009.
“Since then, Fortescue has continued to lead the pack and today we officially launch the Fortescue Hive, our reimagined IOC, which sits at the heart of our integrated supply chain to deliver critical ores to develop the great cities of our region and beyond.”
Earlier this month, Fortescue celebrated an important milestone in the rollout of autonomous haulage technology at its Chichester Hub operations, in the Pilbara of Western Australia, with the conversion of its 100th autonomous truck.
Chief Executive Officer, Elizabeth Gaines, said: “Fortescue has developed the world’s most advanced vertically integrated bulk operations infrastructure. We are very proud to open our enhanced IOC, the Fortescue Hive, which enables us to operate our globally significant mines from the centre of Perth.
“The Fortescue Hive seamlessly links our core exploration, metallurgical, mining and marketing expertise to deliver value to our customers, shareholders and the broader community. Importantly, the Fortescue Hive will underpin our future use of technology, including artificial intelligence and robotics, and will expand to include the generation and integrated distribution network for the Pilbara Energy Connect, our hybrid solar-gas power solution.”
Chief Operating Officer, Greg Lilleyman, said Fortescue’s integrated management of the mine to market supply chain was “unique” in the industry and co-locating its planning, operations, shipping and marketing business functions would further leverage its “exclusive advantage”.
He added: “By ensuring our teams are truly integrated, we can capitalise on market dynamics and respond to the needs of our customers.”
The Fortescue Hive covers an area of 2,500 sq.m and, over 15 weeks, 6.5 t of concrete was removed from the building, while 2.1 tonnes of steel was installed. The fit-out of the facility included 162 workstations and 996 computer monitors, connected by 64 km of underfloor cables.