Tag Archives: Fortescue Metals Group

John Holland on track at Fortescue’s Eliwana iron ore project

Infrastructure and rail company, John Holland, says it has achieved a major milestone at the Eliwana Mine and Rail project by successfully laying the final piece of 143 km of heavy haul rail track in Western Australia’s Pilbara region.

The track works are part of a A$130 million ($90 million) contract with Fortescue Metals Group, which will also see an extension to the existing signalling and train control systems and a traffic capacity upgrade to communication infrastructure.

When completed, the greenfield project will connect the new Eliwana iron ore mine to the existing Fortescue Hammersley Line.

The John Holland team will now focus on final destressing works for 130 km of the track, siding extension works, final grinding and correction. Final ballasting and tamping work for about 60 km of the track is on schedule. All remaining track works are to be completed by June 2021, the company said. The signalling and communication works are well ahead of schedule to be delivered by the end of 2021, it added.

John Holland Rail Delivery Manager, John Ma, said the team had worked hard to ensure the project progressed despite weather and access challenges throughout the course of construction.

“The safe unloading of the last long weld rail off the final rail train on the Eliwana project was a significant moment for us,” he said. “It’s a huge undertaking – more than 240,000 sleepers were laid as well as 400,000 t of ballast dropped with more than 12,000 welds joining the tracks together.

“Working in a remote and often volatile environment has its challenges, but I am proud that the team were able to demonstrate our capability to manage complex logistics and high-production welding facilities while enabling efficient project delivery.”

Remaining track work is scheduled to be completed by late June, while signalling construction will be complete by the end of August. Testing and integration of the track will be finalised in December.

Around 90 km west of Tom Price, the Eliwana mine celebrated the production of its first ore in December 2020. At full capacity, the mine will produce 30 Mt/y.

Fortescue rewards Monadelphous and Pentium Hydro with more Pilbara work

Fortescue Metals Group has handed out new work to Monadelphous Group and Pentium Hydro at its iron ore operations in the Pilbara of Western Australia.

Engineering company Monadelphous has secured a new five-year crane services contract, valued at around A$150 million ($117 million), with the miner.

The contract is for the provision of crane services supporting general repairs, maintenance and shutdown activities at Fortescue’s Solomon (pictured) and Eliwana operations.

Monadelphous has provided crane services to Fortescue’s Solomon operations since 2017 and, last year, expanded those services to Fortescue’s Eliwana operations.

Vysarn Ltd subsidiary Pentium Hydro, meanwhile, advises that it has amended, via a Deed of Amendment, the agreement for hydrogeological borefield drilling and construction services with Fortescue’s wholly owned Chichester Metals Pty Ltd and FMG Solomon Pty Ltd subsidiaries, previously announced in November 2019.

This amendment will see the term of its contract increased to 36 months, with the option of a two-year extension exercisable by Fortescue. The scope of work has also been amended to include the provision of dual tube flooded reverse drilling services, with an additional drill rig expected to be deployed by April.

At the same time, the companies have amended the revenue model for the contract.

Revenue from works in the original contract was based on key performance indicators for a number of production and monitoring bores and was subject to metres drilled and drill rates. Revenue from works will now be based on a combination of day rates and a schedule of hourly rates, Vysarn said.

SIMPEC awarded significant Cloudbreak crusher contract from Fortescue

SIMPEC’s relationship with Fortescue Metals Group continues to strengthen, with the engineering contractor set to replace two Metso Outotec Nordberg® C160 jaw crushers at the miner’s Cloudbreak iron ore operation in the Pilbara of Western Australia.

The WestStar Industrial Ltd subsidiary’s new contract for the Hopper 5 Jaw Crusher Replacement project is the first win directly from Fortescue but is far from the first time the company has stepped on site at one of its mines. SIMPEC has previously carried out work on its operations after being subcontracted by the likes of Central Systems, Energy Power Systems, ATCO and others.

The scope of the jaw crusher contract includes removal of all structural and mechanical items required to access the jaw crushers, followed by reinstatement on completion of the change out. It also includes maintenance works and modifications to the existing Hopper 5 hoppers, chutes and screens, SIMPEC said.

Worth A$2.1 million ($1.6 million), the vertical contract has commenced immediately, with works expected to be completed in April.

SIMPEC Managing Director, Mark Dimasi, said: “It has been a long-term goal of SIMPEC to work directly for Fortescue and to break into the field of sustaining capital works. By building our sustaining capital portfolio, SIMPEC aims to achieve a more stable cash flow as well as provide continuity for our workforce.

“This is a very proud moment for the team, and we look forward to successful completion of this project and what we hope will be a long-term relationship with Fortescue.”

Fortescue fast-tracks carbon neutrality aim, sets plan to trial hydrogen-powered drills

Fortescue Metals Group is accelerating its carbon neutrality efforts, with the iron ore miner now expecting to achieve this ‘green’ milestone by 2030, 10 years earlier than its previous target.

Fortescue Future Industries (FFI), a wholly owned subsidiary of Fortescue, will be a key enabler of this target through the development of green electricity, green hydrogen and green ammonia projects in Australia, however, the company has also identified battery-electric technology as a potential diesel alternative game changer.

Dr Andrew Forrest, Chairman of Fortescue Metals Group, said: “We have joined the global battle to defeat climate change. We are trialling and demonstrating green hydrogen technologies in global-scale commercial environments, while also rapidly evolving into a green hydrogen and electricity producer of similar scale.”

In line with its 2030 aim, Fortescue, through FFI and its operations team, is undertaking to deliver several key projects by the stretch target of June 30, 2021. This, the company says, will underpin its pathway to decarbonisation.

These projects include:

  • Developing a ship design powered by green ammonia and trialling that design in new ammonia engine technology, at scale;
  • Testing large battery technology in its haul trucks – a project the company is pursuing with the help of Williams Advanced Engineering;
  • Trialling hydrogen fuel cell power for its drill rigs;
  • Trialling technology on its locomotives to run on green ammonia; and
  • Conducting trials to use renewable energy in the Pilbara of Western Australia to convert iron ore to “green iron” at low temperatures, without coal.

Fortescue Chief Executive Officer, Elizabeth Gaines, said: “Each of these projects will contribute to the world’s inexorable march to carbon neutrality. Fortescue will establish that the major steel, truck, train, ship and mobile plant industries can be operated with renewable, environmentally friendly energy. This will be possible as a result of these ground-breaking Fortescue trials. Each will be tested by Fortescue using commercial-scale equipment to prove that the demand for direct green electricity, green hydrogen and green ammonia could one day be as large as the fossil fuel industry.”

She added: “These projects are in addition to Fortescue’s significant investment with our partners into energy infrastructure, including the Chichester Solar Gas Hybrid Project and Pilbara Energy Connect program.”

Forrest said the company’s commitment to demonstrate green hydrogen’s economic value in world-scale operations, and become a major energy exporter, means Fortescue will emerge as an “executor” of major green hydrogen projects.

He said the company’s green energy and industry initiatives may one day out-scale its iron ore business due to the global demand for renewable energy, but Fortescue’s commitment to iron ore and resources globally “remains indefeasible”.

Fortescue says it is seeking to move from being a major consumer of fossil fuel with a current trajectory of more than 1 billion litres a year of diesel being used across the operations if no remedial action is taken – to a major clean and renewable energy exporter.

FFI is advancing projects across Australia, including Tasmania, to build large-scale renewable energy and green hydrogen production capacity. This will expedite the substitution of green hydrogen and green ammonia for carbon-based fuels, it says. These projects will, with the support of Australia’s governments, contribute to a significant reduction in national carbon emissions.

SIMPEC to help Central Systems with Fortescue Solomon Hub work

SIMPEC is to supply and install the electrical, instrumentation and communication works for the Solomon Central Facilities Workshop Yard at Fortescue Metals Group’s Solomon Hub iron ore operations in the Pilbara of Western Australia.

The contract, awarded by Central Systems, is valued at A$7 million ($5.4 million), according to SIMPEC, WestStar Industrial’s engineering contractor business. Work has commenced immediately.

FMG Solomon Pty Ltd, a subsidiary of Fortescue, is developing the Solomon Central Facilities Workshop Yard, which involves consolidating various workshops, facilities and other non-process infrastructure into a centralised location. Central Systems was awarded the A$57.5 million design and construct contract for the Central Facilities (picture courtesy of Central Systems) back in October, and SIMPEC will be working with the company on site to supply and install the electrical, instrumentation and communication works for these facilities.

This award, SIMPEC’s first from Central Systems, builds on the portfolio of non-process infrastructure work packages successfully undertaken by SIMPEC across Western Australia and Sydney, New South Wales, the company said.

SIMPEC Managing Director, Mark Dimasi, noted: “To be part of this new development in the non-process infrastructure space on a Fortescue Metals Group project is very rewarding for the team. This large project allows SIMPEC to showcase its true electrical and instrumentation capabilities.”

Fortescue’s Solomon Hub is in the Hamersley Ranges and comprises the Firetail and Kings Valley mines, which together have a production capacity of 75 Mt/y. At the hub, higher iron grade, low cost Firetail ore is blended with low phosphorous Chichester ore to create the company’s Fortescue Blend.

Fortescue employs SRG Global for maintenance and shutdown services

SRG Global has been awarded a five-year term contract from Fortescue Metals Group to initially provide rope access and electrical maintenance requirements across the company’s mine, rail and port locations throughout Western Australia.

The A$150 million ($117 million) term contract, which has already commenced, is a Master Agreement for Maintenance and Shutdown Services, the company said.

Locations for SRG’s work include the Christmas Creek (pictured), Cloudbreak, Firetail, Kings Valley and Eliwana mine sites, along with its supporting rail and port infrastructure.

SRG Global Managing Director, David Macgeorge, said: “We are delighted to be selected as a key partner to FMG and to provide critical maintenance and shutdown services across their Pilbara operations for the next five years. This is another significant step forward in our strategy to build a portfolio of annuity earnings, with quality clients, to deliver long-term sustainable growth.”

Primero completes WHIMS project at Fortescue’s Christmas Creek iron ore op

Primero Group says it has completed the construction of a Wet High Intensity Magnetic Separation (WHIMS) processing plant at Fortescue Metals Group’s Christmas Creek iron ore mine in Western Australia.

The plant is expected to improve product grade and mass recovery from the desands unit at the Christmas Creek Ore Process Facility #2.

The flowsheet is based on a simple and robust configuration, where wet screen undersize at a nominal -1 mm is treated in open circuit through a low intensity magnetic stage, followed by a vertical WHIMS stage to produce a concentrate stream and a tailings stream, which can be integrated with the existing process and auxiliary equipment. The vertical WHIMS project entails the redirection of the wet screen undersize stream from the existing scrubbing circuit to feed the brownfield magnetic separation plant.

“We can proudly say that despite the impacts of COVID-19 and the fast-tracked nature of the project, the plant was successfully delivered and commissioned in less than 12 months – meeting all safety and project key performance indicators,” the company said.

Primero put the project’s success down partly to the “enhanced opportunity for collaboration early contractor involvement (ECI) provides”.

It added: “A flexible approach to project development that ensures the needs of all project stakeholders can be met prior to detailed design and implementation in a lump sum engineering procurement and construction (EPC) environment. This constructive, relationship-based contracting continued throughout construction, commissioning and now operation – demonstrating the power of the ECI contracting model when coupled with Primero’s unique, vertically integrated EPC capability.”

Aqura Technologies to boost FMG’s network at Kangi accommodation camp

Veris Ltd’s wholly-owned subsidiary Aqura Technologies has been awarded A$1.1 million ($849,165) in works to undertake an upgrade of the in-situ accommodation network at Fortescue Metals Group’s Kangi 1,850 room village in the Pilbara Region of Western Australia.

The scope of the Kangi village engagement is to design and deliver physical upgrades to the GPON network to ensure a high level of reliability of services to village guests, it says.

The enhancement of the existing infrastructure using Aqura’s specialist technical expertise will establish an extremely robust platform for the delivery of entertainment services and wellbeing programs to the large workforce accommodated at the site, the company explained.

Aqura has commenced the design phase and will look to complete the scope of works by July.

“The new contract adds to Aqura’s strong track record in delivering high-performance Content Access Network (CAN) solutions for clients such as BHP, Newmont, OZ Minerals and Abra Mining,” Veris said. “Aqura’s expertise in the delivery of CAN solutions has delivered enhanced user experiences in over 16,000 accommodation rooms completed to date.”

The Kangi camp was constructed – and expanded – by Pindan (photo courtesy of Pindan) as part of FMG’s Solomon iron ore mine development.

Aqura Technologies CEO, Travis Young, said: “We’re pleased to kick off a new engagement with Fortescue who are looking to our in-house team to provide a high-quality foundation for their Kangi Village network.

“The contract award is testament to the strong quality and safety record of Aqura in the design and delivery of high-quality network infrastructure.

“We are very mindful of the benefits of this type of investment which fundamentally supports and enhances the positive wellbeing for fly-in fly-out staff who are away from home for extended periods and need reliable infrastructure to support connections to family and friends.”

Fortescue’s Forrest opens up about iron ore miner’s ‘green steel’ ambitions

Fortescue Metals Group Chairman and founder, Dr Andrew Forrest (pictured), has revealed the iron ore miner has plans to build Australia’s first “green steel” pilot plant this year.

A commercial plant, powered entirely by wind and solar, could be constructed in the next few years he said in the first Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) Boyer Lecture for 2021, entitled: ‘Oil vs Water: Confessions of a Carbon Emitter’.

In a wide-ranging talk, he acknowledge that Fortescue was trialling both known methods of making “zero-carbon-steel” without the use of coal in Australia: replacing coal in the furnace with ‘green hydrogen’ and adding carbon separately to strengthen the steel, and “zap[ping] the ore with renewable electricity”.

On the development of such an industry, Forrest said: “We could look at losing our coal industry as a national disaster – yet, I’ve always believed, out of every setback, is the seed of equal or greater opportunity.

“We produce over 40% of the world’s iron ore. And our potential green energy and hydrogen resources are immeasurable.

“If Australia were to capture just 10% of the world’s steel market, we could generate well over 40,000 jobs – more than what’s required to replace every job in the coal industry.”

Fortescue, through its Fortescue Future Industries company, has been signing agreements to leverage hydro-electric power and geothermal energy to become one of the “world’s largest green energy and product businesses”, Forrest said.

“We’re now undertaking feasibility studies that could lead to some 300 GW of power – more than four times what Australia can produce,” he explained.

Forrest also mentioned some of the decarbonisation work Fortescue is currently working on.

Back in December, Fortescue Chief Operating Officer, Greg Lilleyman, announced the company was working on developing an in-house, non-diesel 240 t haul truck prototype that will test both battery-electric and fuel-cell electric drivetrain technology in the Pilbara of Western Australia.

Seemingly referencing this project, Forrest said: “By the end of the decade, our trucks will run on renewable energy. Imagine that: a fleet of vehicles that produces nothing more than steam as exhaust.”

He also said the company was aiming to develop “green iron ore trains” powered by either renewable electricity or “green ammonia”.

Looking at the company’s shipping operations, he said 2021 would see the company “begin to settle designs” that allow its ships to run on “zero-pollution, green ammonia”.

He added: “And we’re willing to share that knowledge, to help our competitors go green too – including Vale, one of the largest mining companies in the world.”

RCR and Primero Group to deliver crushing and conveying system for Fortescue

RCR Mining Technologies and Primero Group are to work together on delivering a primary crushing plant (PCP) and overland conveyor (OLC) for the Queens project at Fortescue Metals Group’s Solomon Hub operations in the Pilbara of Western Australia.

RCR, a wholly owned subsidiary of NRW Holdings, was awarded the A$80 million ($61.8 million) contract by Fortescue, with Primero being sub-contracted a A$30 million package to provide engineering support and construction services for the PCP and OLC.

RCR previously delivered the Hopper 9 Crushing Facility at Fortescue’s Cloudbreak mine, with the latest award “strategically significant for the business as it showcases our engineering-led delivery of innovative solutions”.

Civil construction and earthworks will be undertaken by NRW’s Civil division, while RCR and DIAB Engineering, together with Primero, “bring a very strong design, manufacture and construction capability to this project with an engineering-led philosophy of solutions and innovation”, NRW said.

NRW Holdings is in the middle of trying to take over Primero following a cash and shares bid that values Primero at A$100 million.