Tag Archives: Formosa Steel IB Pty Ltd

Iron Bridge Magnetite project progresses with first ore feed milestone

Fortescue Metals Group has reached a new milestone on its majority-owned Iron Bridge Magnetite project in the Pilbara of Western Australia, with first ore fed into the processing plant.

With first production anticipated in the March 2023 quarter, Iron Bridge will see the world’s fourth largest iron ore miner deliver an enhanced product range and create 900 new jobs, it said.

Significantly, it could become one of Fortescue’s first fossil fuel free sites, enabled by the recently announced $6.2 billion decarbonisation investment to reach “real zero” Scope 1 and 2 emissions by 2030.

At a milestone event held at Iron Bridge today, Fortescue’s Executive Chairman, Andrew Forrest, was joined by Chief Operating Officer Iron Ore, Dino Otranto, Fortescue Board members, Elizabeth Gaines and Penny Bingham-Hall, representatives from joint venture partner Formosa, Western Australian Deputy Premier and Minister for State Development, Roger Cook, along with company executives, valued partners and suppliers.

Traditional Custodians also attended the milestone event to welcome over 100 guests to Nyamal country.

Iron Bridge, 145 km south of Port Hedland, will deliver 22 Mt/y of high grade 67% Fe magnetite concentrate. This product enables Fortescue to enter the high iron ore grade market segment, providing an enhanced product range while also increasing annual production and shipping capacity, it said.

Since the investment decision in April 2019, more than 12.8 million workhours have culminated in the design and construction of the mine, pipelines, village and infrastructure at Iron Bridge. There are currently 3,470 people working across the Ore Processing Facility and pipelines scope of work.

Forrest said: “At Fortescue, we take pride in the fact that we consistently deliver what we say we will, and Iron Bridge is no different. Building on our track record of safely and successfully developing and operating iron ore projects in the Pilbara, Iron Bridge will lead the way for magnetite operations in Western Australia.

“This project demonstrates Fortescue’s commitment to our strategic pillars of investing in the long-term sustainability of our iron ore business, investing in growth, maintaining balance sheet strength, as well as delivering strong returns to our shareholders.

“As we transition to a global green energy, technology and resources company, Iron Bridge is an obvious choice to be considered as one of our first decarbonised, fossil fuel free sites, as we deliver on our target to achieve real zero Scope 1 and 2 emissions by 2030.”

Otranto said: “The Iron Bridge high grade magnetite product is a significant differentiator for Fortescue, and led by the highly experienced project team, I am incredibly pleased with the significant progress made to achieve first ore feed into the processing plant.

“This is a project that has been delivered during a challenging environment, and despite a global pandemic, rising inflationary pressures and a tight labour market, the Fortescue Values have risen to the forefront and demonstrated our ability to continue delivering this ground-breaking project.”

The nature of the Iron Bridge orebodies and Fortescue’s use of a dry crushing and grinding circuit together contribute to the project’s operational efficiency across energy, water use and cost.

Low cost power will be delivered to Iron Bridge through Fortescue’s investment in the Pilbara Energy Connect project, which includes energy transmission line infrastructure, solar gas hybrid generation and associated battery storage solution.

The Iron Bridge Magnetite project is an unincorporated joint venture between FMG Magnetite Pty Ltd (69%), and Formosa Steel IB Pty Ltd (31%). The joint venture partners are each responsible for their equity share of the total capital expenditure.

Veris gets to work on Iron Bridge Magnetite Project pipeline contract

Veris Australia, a provider of spatial data services, has been selected to provide surveying, pipeline design, data and GIS support services for a concentrate and return water pipeline associated with the Iron Bridge Magnetite Project in Western Australia.

The works, to be executed under subcontract with MPC Kinetic, are expected to generate A$2 million ($1.5 million) in revenue for Veris Australia. Works have already commenced and have an expected duration of 12 months.

The specific scope of works includes boundary staking, centreline set-out, feature and design surveys, level monitoring and as-built surveys for the pipeline route.

The Iron Bridge Magnetite Project, a joint venture between Fortescue Metals Group subsidiary FMG Magnetite Pty Ltd and Formosa Steel IB Pty Ltd, is set to deliver 22 Mt/y of high-grade magnetite concentrate product. The project, set to start up by the end of next year, is 145 km south of Port Hedland in Western Australia.

The contract award leverages Veris Australia’s position as the leading pipeline survey and spatial data service provider nationally and adds to the extensive portfolio of pipeline surveys previously delivered, the company said.

Michael Shirley, Chief Executive Officer, Veris Australia, said: “It’s pleasing to see our significant expertise in pipeline surveys once again recognised with the award of this contract, which follows other recent project wins in pipelines and linear infrastructure across Australia.

“MPC Kinetic is a key client of Veris and we have a well-established relationship, having worked together on numerous pipeline projects previously, and I look forward to our team once again delivering for MPC Kinetic on this key piece of infrastructure underpinning the development of the Iron Bridge project.

“We continue to take big strides forward as a business, with our recent and continued investment in leading-edge data capture technologies and visualisation platforms, which are well complemented by significant contract awards such as this.

“There continues to be a number of pipeline developments under consideration across Australia, and I am confident we are well positioned to take advantage of these opportunities and continue to provide innovative solutions through our technology.”

Swiss Tower Mills Minerals backs Coalition for Eco-Efficient Comminution

Swiss Tower Mills Minerals AG (STM) has become the latest sponsor to support the work of the not-for-profit Coalition for Eco-Efficient Comminution (CEEC).

An innovative company that has successfully translated the vertical stirred milling technology of industrial minerals to hard-rock minerals processing, STM’s support of CEEC’s work was a natural fit for the company, according to Managing Director, Ralf Hesemann.

“The uptake of new technology in the mining industry is traditionally a slow process,” Hesemann said. “Tapping into a trusted independent body that communicates the latest technical findings on efficient comminution practices is a win-win for both of us.

“I look forward to our collaboration.”

Swiss-based STM developed the Vertical Regrind Mill (VRM) and released it to the minerals market in 2012. More than 60 of the stirred media grinding mills have been sold to mines across the Americas, Europe, Africa, Asia and Australia. For fine and ultra-fine grinding applications, it is marketed under the name HIGmill, through the exclusive partner Metso:Outotec. For coarse regrind applications, STM offers the VRM mill directly to customers in the minerals market.

Since the grinding principle of multi-compartment grinding offers substantial energy savings, a new stirred mill has been developed for coarse grinding applications up to 6 mm feed size, the Vertical Power Mill™ (VPM). Mill sizes range from 700 kW to 12,500 kW with high flow rates, and potential energy savings of up to 40%. Due to its small footprint, STM is marketing the VPM as a viable ball mill replacement in HPGR circuits or for capacity increase in existing plants.

The energy savings are achieved through uniquely designed rotors and stator rings in a vertical arrangement that enable high power intensities, even with relatively low tip speeds, STM says. This results in higher energy efficiency, a smaller footprint and the potential for increased recoveries. Power intensities of 200-300 kW/cu.m are typical, and operational tip speeds range between 6-12 m/s, depending on application and mill size.

CEEC Director, Chris Rule, said it was encouraging to see energy efficient, stirred media mills being installed by industry as a step towards more sustainable mining practices, in line with ESG considerations and net zero emissions commitments.

One of the first HIGmills be commissioned, in 2015, was a 700 kW mill for a copper concentrate regrind application at the Kevitsa mine in Finland. Several papers have been published on the energy efficiency and metallurgical performance of this mill, including an Outotec paper presented at Comminution Capetown 2016, and ‘A Review of Published Full-Scale Stirred Mill Results’ by Michael Larson, Molycop, USA, presented at the SAG 2019 Conference.

The technology will also be installed at the Iron Bridge Magnetite Project in Western Australia. The joint venture between Fortescue Metals Group and Formosa Steel IB Pty Ltd is the world’s first large-scale plant without horizontal milling. The flowsheet consists of a two-stage HPGR circuit feeding in total 10 advanced HIGmill grinding mills.

Rule said stirred mill grinding technology had been well proven for decades in industrial mineral applications such as in the opacifiers, fillers, ceramics, paint and pharmaceutical industries.

“We commend STM for translating this technology to mineral processing, offering miners an energy-efficient, low footprint alternative to high-intensity ball milling,” Rule said.

“Having STM on board as a CEEC sponsor means greater opportunities for us to learn about and share alternative comminution approaches. This support from our valued sponsors over the past 10 years is what enables CEEC to help keep industry aware of demonstrated advances that help mining leaders tackle the challenges of reducing the energy consumption, emissions and overall footprint of their operations.”

Hesemann said declining ore quality meant energy efficient comminution was becoming a more critical stage for realising profit.

“We’re proud of the part our technology plays in lowering the footprint of mineral processing, while at the same time decreasing capital expenditure and operating expenditure and improving the bottom line.

“Being a CEEC sponsor will enable us to more widely share any advances in this field, as well as learning from the global network of industry experts that CEEC brings together through its events and online resources.”

Pictured is the factory acceptance test success for a new 50,000 litre Vertical Regrind Mill (VRM50000)

SIMPEC to construct wet process plant at Iron Bridge magnetite project

SIMPEC has been awarded a A$145 million ($107 million) contract for the construction of a wet process plant for the Iron Bridge magnetite project in the Pilbara of Western Australia.

The WestStar Industrial subsidiary has been contracted by Iron Bridge Operations Pty Ltd, a company representing the joint venture between Fortescue Metals Group subsidiary FMG Magnetite Pty Ltd and Formosa Steel IB Pty Ltd.

The wet processing plant is a significant part of the new magnetite mine at Iron Bridge, which will be central to the production of 22 Mt/y (wet) of 67% Fe magnetite concentrate product.

SIMPEC is to supply vertical construction services for the contract, with an anticipated workforce of more than 500 personnel. The contract is expected to commence immediately with works due to be completed by the middle of 2022.

SIMPEC’s part of the project consists of major module installation, tank installation, major mechanical installation, large bore piping and a significant portion of supply and installation of electrical and instrumentation works.

Fortescue, in its June quarter results, released today, said the Iron Bridge project was expecting first production by December 2022 and a ramp-up period of 12-18 months before reaching capacity.