DRA awarded engineering & design for BHP’s Mt Keith nickel operations debottlenecking project

DRA has been awarded the engineering and design of the Mt Keith Debottlenecking project by BHP Nickel West. The contract is for the provision of detailed engineering and design services to support the expansion of the crushing and grinding circuit at the Mt Keith Operation, including new stockpile feed conveyors, coarse ore stockpile, reclaim conveyor, 16 MW SAG mill grinding circuit and an 11 kV substation.

“DRA is excited to continue  working with BHP across a number of their assets and the award of this project is testament  to DRA’s capability in supporting the Mt Keith operations and the unique requirements of the project. DRA is committed to working with customers to understand and deliver on their project needs. The team has strong knowledge and experience of the technical requirements of the projects, and we look forward to leveraging this to deliver a successful project outcome,” said Andrew Naude, Chief Executive Officer, DRA Global.

Expanding the milling capacity will improve processing of harder ores, reduce grind size and provide a recovery benefit. This will increase equity production and support BHP’s plans to fill the smelter. BHP has also previously said it wants to leverage significant spare capacity in the flotation circuit of the concentrator, increasing feed from 10.5 Mt/y to 12 Mt/y. The company has said that progressive and incremental investment in new flotation technology could further expand capacity to 15 Mt/y over time.

In mining terms, the Mt Keith satellite mine (Yakabindie) is now complete and is now the main source of feed to the Mt Keith concentrator.