Tag Archives: EPCM

BHP’s South Flank on course for 2021 first iron ore deadline

Fluor says BHP’s $3.6 billion South Flank iron ore project, in the Pilbara of Western Australia, is on track for first ore in 2021, with the engineering firm having erected the first 1,500 t of modules in the ore handling plant.

This construction milestone is in the critical sequence to first ore and comes after achieving 50% project completion, announced by BHP in October 2019, Fluor said.

Fluor is providing engineering, procurement and construction management services on South Flank.

In December, Mammoet said it had started transporting the first heavy components for the under-construction mine, with around 1,900 items including prefabricated and modular mine processing plant units of various sizes set to be moved from Port Hedland to the new mine site.

When operational, South Flank will be one of the largest iron ore processing hubs in the world. The project will include an 80 Mt/y crushing and screening plant, an overland conveyor system and rail-loading facilities. The mine will replace production from BHP’s Yandi mine, which is nearing the end of its life.

South Flank engineering and procurement work is being performed from BHP’s office in Perth, with Fluor working together with BHP as an integrated project team, it said.

Tony Morgan, President of Fluor’s Mining and Metals business, said: “We are extremely proud of what we have been able to accomplish with BHP on this project including our commitment to achieve diversity through the hiring of indigenous and local team members.

“The pioneering integrated team approach on this project is truly a collaborative effort. We look forward to continuing our long and successful relationship with BHP on this project and beyond.”

Richard Gerspacher, Project Director, said: “Based on the project routines and culture we’ve created, I am confident that the project will continue to proceed in a positive manner as we work towards first ore.”

Fluor previously performed the feasibility study for the project before it was awarded the follow-on construction and project management scope. Over the life of the project, it is expected that more than 9,000 people will be engaged in the South Flank work force.

Construction began in July 2018 and first production of iron ore is anticipated in 2021.

Primero Group to take on EPC contract at Rio’s Koodaideri iron ore mine

Primero Group has secured a A$115 million ($79 million) contract with Rio Tinto’s iron ore division that will see it design, fabricate, supply, deliver, construct, install, test and commission the Mine Infrastructure Area and associated facilities at the Koodaideri iron ore project in the Pilbara of Western Australia.

The scope includes the complete engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) contract of the facilities for this project, which will commence immediately and is scheduled to be completed in mid-2021.

Primero says it expects to employ a workforce of over 150 personnel at its peak.

Koodaideri, billed by Rio as an “intelligent mine”, will deliver a new production hub for Rio’s iron ore business in the Pilbara, incorporating a processing plant and infrastructure including a 166 km rail line connecting the mine to the existing network.

Construction on Koodaideri Phase 1 started this year with first production expected in late 2021. Once complete, the mine will have an annual capacity of 43 Mt, underpinning production of the company’s flagship iron ore product, Pilbara Blend.

In addition to mine infrastructure and the accommodation camp, an airport and mine support facilities will be built. Throughout the construction period, Rio expects to employ over 2,000 people with 600 permanent roles created once the mine is operational.

In addition to the Koodaideri work, Primero said it had been awarded Phase 2 of the proposed processing upgrade, on an engineering, procurement and construction management (EPCM) basis, for Northern Star Resources’ Pogo gold mine, in Alaska, USA.

The works will be conducted predominantly from Primero’s Americas Montreal (Canada) office with works progressively executed this winter to ensure construction windows are met in the summer period, it said.

The upgrade works will increase throughput of the current processing facility from 1 Mt/y to 1.3 Mt/y by January 2021, with the potential to move to a Phase 3 (1.5 Mt/y) over the coming years.

Primero said: “Works are set to progress over the next 12 months including detailed design and equipment procurement with the planning for on-site works commencing over the winter period to be executed in the warmer months, post winter.”

The award of the project is the first major contract with Northern Star Resources, Primero added.

Northern Star acquired Pogo, the company’s first mine outside of Australia, from Sumitomo Metal Mining late last year for $260 million.

ÅF and Pöyry to move forward as AFRY

Following a merger, completed on February 22, ÅF and Pöyry have decided to rebrand the joint company as AFRY.

AFRY is a leading company within engineering, design and advisory services, with its clients mainly within the infrastructure, industry and energy sectors.

ÅF was founded in 1895 and Pöyry in 1958 and, since the merger, the merged entity has become the biggest company in its sector in the Nordic region, and a global actor with almost 17,000 employees in offices in 50 countries and projects in 100 countries. This comes with an annual revenue of about SEK20 billion ($2.08 billion).

Jonas Gustavsson, President and CEO at AFRY, said: “Our focus on sustainability is strengthened and our position as a global company consolidated with the launch of AFRY. Given the exponential technological development we are facing, our services and solutions are more relevant than ever.”

Gustavsson added that in the last couple of years, the companies have experienced significant growth, with revenue doubling since 2015.

The company said: “The need for sustainable solutions is greater than ever in times of increased globalisation, urbanisation, digitalisation and climate change. At AFRY we drive the transformation, and, together with our clients, we are able to influence many parts of society through solutions that reduce our impact on the climate.”

With a new common brand and offer, the company says it has strengthened its position in its core markets of Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Finland and Switzerland, and grown internationally within, for example, the energy and process industries.

Monadelphous after Chile mining exposure with Buildtek, Maqrent deal

Engineering company Monadelphous Group is expanding its South America presence through the acquisition of 75% stakes in Chile-based construction and maintenance services contractor, Buildtek SpA, and plant and equipment hire company, Maqrent SpA.

Buildtek provides multidisciplinary construction and maintenance services to the mining sector in Chile, having facilities in Antofagasta, Rancagua and Calama, and a head office in Santiago. Maqrent provides a range of plant, machinery and equipment for hire to Buildtek and external customers in the mining and construction sectors. Customers include major resources and energy companies such as Codelco, BHP, Albemarle, Anglo American and GNL Quintero. The business achieved an annual turnover in excess of CLP20 billion (A$24.7 million) in the last financial year.

Monadelphous Managing Director, Rob Velletri, said the acquisition formed part of the company’s markets and growth strategy, through the expansion of its existing services into new geographical regions. The announcement was the result of “significant efforts” over a number of years to understand the South American market, he added.

“The acquisition enables our entry into the growing Chilean resources market through an established and well-recognised operator. We will support Buildtek and Maqrent as they continue to grow and expand in the South American market,” he said.

Monadelphous is paying CLP5 billion in cash to acquire 75% of the companies, with an option to purchase the remaining 25% in three years’ time. The companies were founded in 2007 by Victor Valech and employ around 700 people. Valech will continue to manage and run the operations in Chile, with support from Monadelphous.

M3 Engineering wins Camino Rojo oxide gold project EPCM

Orla Mining says it has awarded the engineering, procurement and construction management (EPCM) contract for the Camino Rojo oxide gold project in Zacatecas State, Mexico, to M3 Engineering & Technology Corp.

M3, a full service EPCM firm headquartered in Tucson, Arizona, has provided services to over 10,000 projects for some 1,000 clients in its 33-year history, Orla says.

Work on the Camino Rojo project will be undertaken out of the M3 office in Hermosillo, Mexico, with senior review and support from the Tucson, Arizona office. The company will be responsible for detailed engineering, construction planning and execution, contractor management and cost control for the project under the auspices of Orla management.

Orla expects to begin engineering work by mid-September, yet the selection of M3 and commencement of any EPCM work is subject to entering into a definitive agreement.

Jason Simpson, President and Chief Executive Officer of Orla, said: “M3 has a wealth of engineering knowledge and with its extensive experience in Mexico, it is well suited to design and build the Camino Rojo project on time and on budget.

“We look forward to commencing detailed engineering work by mid-September as we work with M3 to build a high-quality project that begins to produce gold in mid-2021.”

The Camino Rojo oxide project consists of an 18,000 t/d heap-leach open pit operation. An estimated 44 Mt grading 0.73 g/t Au and 14.2 g/t Ag is expected to be processed during an almost seven-year mine life. Gold production is expected to average 97,000 oz/y at an estimated all-in sustaining cost of $576/oz of gold.

Orla has submitted the permit applications to SEMARNAT for the Manifesto de Impacto Ambiental (MIA) and the Change of Land Use (ETJ) permits at the end of August. The legislated timelines for the review of properly prepared MIA and ETJ applications and mine operating permits for a project that does not affect federally protected biospheres or ecological reserves are 120 working days and 105 working days, respectively, which can be completed concurrently, according to Orla.

DRA Global to carry out feasibility study work on Managem’s Tizert copper project

DRA Global says it has been awarded the bankable feasibility study (BFS) contract for the Managem Group-owned Tizert copper project, in the Souss-Massa province of Morocco.

The Tizert copper deposit is located on the northern edge of Igherm Precambrian buttonhole and is the largest copper deposit in the western Anti-Atlas Copper Belt, according to DRA. The underground mine, with a targeted production of 3.3 Mt/y of ore, is expected to use multiple mining methods including room and pillar and long hole stoping.

An aerial ropeway system will be used to convey the ore from the mine site to the process plant across an 800 m wide and 250 m deep canyon. The process plant will be a flotation concentrator producing oxide and sulphide copper concentrates.

DRA’s Montreal office has been awarded the full BFS scope which will include mining, backfill, ore transport, process plant and infrastructures. The BFS is expected to be completed in the June quarter of 2020.

Pierre Julien, DRA’s Executive Vice President Americas, attributes the winning of the contact to an excellent working relationship with Managem: “The DRA team has been working closely with the Managem leadership team for almost two years, and through a dedicated and collaborative approach has built a partnership which culminated with the award of this BFS contract.”

DRA to work on Syrymbet, the ‘largest undeveloped tin deposit in the world’

DRA Global says it has been awarded the process and engineering design of the definitive feasibility study (DFS) contract for the JSC Tin One Mining Syrymbet project, believed to be the largest undeveloped tin deposit in the world, located in northern Kazakhstan.

The project is focused on implementing the only tin production plant in Central Asia using the most advanced technologies through the best environmental practice, DRA says.

The DRA scope of work includes the concentrator plant design and immediate process related infrastructure and facilities. DRA will also provide all the necessary services to develop the project capital cost. The DFS is currently being produced and is expected to be completed by the end of the year.

Lawrence Rossouw, of Tin One, said: “DRA has an impressive studies track record. With several thousand studies completed across all commodities, the Tin One leadership team is confident that DRA will deliver a comprehensive technical and economic report that will allow Syrymbet to progress closer to achieving full production.”

Pierre Julien, DRA Global Executive Vice President, said: “DRA has a unique insight into developing tin projects. As the EPCM provider on the Alphamin APH (JSE) Bisie tin project (in the DRC), the team can draw on invaluable experience to provide a detailed DFS on time and within budget.”

BCI Minerals brings in GR Engineering for Mardie potash DFS

BCI Minerals says it has appointed GR Engineering Services as the lead engineer for the Mardie salt and potash project definitive feasibility study (DFS) on the northwest coast of Western Australia.

As lead DFS engineer, GR Engineering will be responsible for coordination and integration of the process and engineering design packages for the ponds and crystallisers, salt plant, sulphate of potash (SOP) plant and port facilities. It will also prepare and verify the DFS level capital and operating cost estimates and will undertake the design and supervision of pre-final investment decision site works and supporting infrastructure during 2019.

BCI said: “GR Engineering is a reputable Perth-based engineering group with significant experience in study management, engineering design and construction of resource projects in Western Australia and globally, both as engineering, procurement, construction and management and EPC contractor.

“Members of the GR Engineering team nominated for this engagement have appropriate experience in salt operation and sulphate of potash study management.”

Following completion of a prefeasibility study during the June 2018 quarter, BCI commenced the Mardie DFS. As well as improving design accuracy and further de-risking the project, BCI is aiming for the DFS to improve on the PFS development plan and business case in a number of key areas, including:

  • Increasing the production capacity to 4 Mt/y salt and 100,000 t/y SOP;
  • Establishing the tenure, approvals and designs for a fit-for-purpose export facility at the Mardie site, which will eliminate haulage costs to the Cape Preston East Port site, and;
  • Establishing test ponds and completing construction of project support infrastructure to bring forward the target date for first salt and SOP production.

The site works GR Engineering will initially carry out include a 135-ha trial pond, seawater intake pumps, circa-20 km upgrade of access roads, initial accommodation camp and power generation.

BCI’s Managing Director, Alwyn Vorster, said: “We are focused on delivering a high quality DFS that will place BCI in a strong position to reach a final investment decision by the first (March) quarter of 2020. GR Engineering’s technical ability and project management strengths will make them a valuable partner to BCI as Mardie is progressed towards full project construction.”

BCI’s areas of focus in the period to June 30, 2019, include:

  • Appointments of process design engineers (ponds, two plants and port);
  • Geotechnical drilling programme of pond, plant and port areas completed;
  • Construction of small-scale trial evaporators completed;
  • Port tenure negotiations with the Pilbara Port Authority(PPA);
  • Environmental Review Document submitted to the Environmental Protection Authority(EPA);
  • Construction of the 135-ha trial pond and supporting facilities (camp, roads, power, pumps) commenced;
  • Funding discussions with Northern Australia Infrastructure Facility and other entities progressed;
  • Product offtake potential developed, and;
  • Significant potential investor/financier briefings.

BCI said all activities until the final investment decision in Q1 2020 – estimated at A$25 million ($17.8 million) – will be funded from BCI’s existing A$36 million cash and the ongoing quarterly royalties from Iron Valley, the company said.

Jacobs to handle underground materials work for Cadia expansion study

Jacobs has been awarded a contract by Newcrest Mining to provide underground materials handling services as part of the expansion feasibility study at Cadia, one of Australia’s largest gold mining operations.

This contract award builds on Jacobs mining and minerals business’ long history of working with Newcrest across the company’s Cadia Valley operations in New South Wales, Jacobs said.

Jacobs Mining, Minerals and Technology Senior Vice President, Andrew Berryman, said: “During the previous study phase, our mining and minerals experts helped identify a low capital intensity solution as part of an integrated team. By embracing an owners’ mindset and applying our experience in underground mining, materials handling and expansion projects, our integrated approach has the potential to deliver an impressive return on capital for Newcrest.”

The prefeasibility study on an expansion at Cadia envisaged the plant and underground materials handling upgrade costing A$58 million ($41 million). This was part of a bigger A$598 million project to incrementally increase throughput from the base case of 30 Mt/y to 33 Mt/y. Newcrest said that options to further debottleneck to 35 Mt/y would be assessed during the feasibility study.

Knight Piésold and JDS Energy & Mining to work on NRG’s HMN lithium PEA

NRG Metals has selected global consulting firm Knight Piésold Consulting and engineering, project, and construction management company JDS Energy & Mining to prepare a NI 43-101-compliant preliminary economic assessment (PEA) on its flagship Hombre Muerto Norte (HMN) lithium project, in Salta Province, Argentina.

The HMN project is in the Hombre Muerto Salar, an area of active lithium production. The development strategy for HMN focuses on production of 5,000 t/y of lithium carbonate, with the potential for expansion.

A site visit was completed in December 2018 and the project evaluation and report are progressing in a timely manner, according to NRG. The report is expected to be completed during the March quarter.

NRG recently filed an updated resource estimate for HMN, which identified 571,000 t of lithium carbonate-equivalent at a grade of 0.0756% Li in the combined measured and indicated categories, with a low magnesium to lithium ratio of 2.6:1. This calculation will be used in the PEA.