Tag Archives: Fortescue Metals Group

Fortescue adds to Billion Opportunities program with Iron Bridge contracts

Fortescue Metals Group has continued its longstanding commitment to Aboriginal procurement and delivery of benefits for its Native Title partners, with over A$13 million ($10.1 million) of new contracts awarded as part of the company’s Iron Bridge Magnetite project.

Two contracts have been awarded to 100%-owned Aboriginal-owned business Jukawalyi Resources Pty Ltd, and the Yulu Joint Venture (a joint venture company between Njamal Resource Enterprises Pty Ltd and Icon SI (Aust) Pty Ltd).

Both companies are owned by members of the Njamal Native Title group, who are the traditional custodians of the land where Iron Bridge is located.

Under the contract, Jukawalyi will provide light vehicles for the Iron Bridge operations. The future sustainability and ongoing success of Jukawalyi will be further supported with Fortescue acting as a guarantor for the purchase of the vehicles, through Fortescue’s guaranteed leasing facility with ANZ, it said.

Yulu JV was awarded a contract to complete a portion of the non-mining process infrastructure work, including designing and constructing the main ore processing facility administration building, laboratory building and associated facilities.

The Iron Bridge, operated under an unincorporated joint venture between Fortescue subsidiary, FMG Magnetite Pty Ltd, and Formosa Steel IB, covers the development of a new magnetite mine, including processing and transport facilities. The $2.6 billion development is expected to produce 22 Mt/y (wet) of high grade, magnetite concentrate, with first ore in 2022.

Fortescue Chief Executive Officer, Elizabeth Gaines, said: “Fortescue is proud of our strong relationships with Native Title groups across the Pilbara, which is delivering significant benefits including jobs, training and business development opportunities for Aboriginal people, their families and their communities.

“Empowering businesses like Jukawalyi and Yulu JV to make long-term, beneficial business decisions is at the heart of our Billion Opportunities initiative. These contracts will provide the opportunity to build local capability and asset ownership for these local Aboriginal businesses.”

Jukawalyi Managing Director, Joanne Taylor, said: “As a small family-owned business based in Port Hedland, the ability to access finance in addition to the contract with Fortescue is transformative, providing us with the ability to take our business to the next level.”

Yulu JV owner, Troy Eaton, said: “We are proud to secure this work for such an important project. With the Pilbara positioned for ongoing development, the securing of this project leaves us well-positioned to capture future opportunities for both Yulu JV and the Njamal People.”

Since its inception in 2011, Fortescue’s Billion Opportunities program has awarded over A$2.7 billion in contracts and sub-contracts to Aboriginal businesses and joint venture partners.

Civmec tops up Iron Bridge work with new on-site contract

Civmec Ltd has confirmed approximately A$140 million ($105 million) in new contracts, with one of these a new agreement to deliver on-site structural, mechanical, piping and electrical works for the Iron Bridge magnetite project, in Western Australia.

The Iron Bridge contract will be delivered through the Minerals and Metals Division, while the other heavy engineering manufacturing projects will be delivered from Civmec’s expanded fabrication facilities.

It includes the installation of the crushing circuit, primary grinding, dry separation, air classification and dry tailings units for the dry plant at the project. Mobilisation will commence in early 2021 and, at peak, the project will employ around 400 people on site.

Iron Bridge is a joint venture between Fortescue Metals Group’s subsidiary FMG Magnetite Pty Ltd and Formosa Steel IB Pty Ltd (IBJV).

Civmec’s Chief Executive Officer, Patrick Tallon, said: “We are delighted to extend our relationship with IBJV with further work awarded on the Iron Bridge magnetite project. We are currently delivering site civil concrete works and have commenced work for the supply of 4,700 t of steel structures and modules for the same project, so this latest award is a very rewarding outcome and aligns well with our multi-discipline capability business model.”

Back in July, Civmec said the Metals and Minerals division had been awarded a standalone civil contract to build the structural concrete components for the dry plant at the IBJV.

MACA increases open-pit scale by acquiring Downer EDI’s Mining West business

MACA has entered into a binding agreement to acquire Downer EDI Limited’s Mining West business in a deal that could involve a consideration of A$175 million ($132 million).

Just last week, MACA said it was considering the potential purchase of Downer EDI Limited’s Mining West division as part of a stated plan to explore and pursue growth opportunities that will deliver “value to shareholders on an ongoing basis”.

The Mining West business currently comprises four large contracts at the long-life assets of Karara (Ansteel), Eliwana (Fortescue Metals Group), Cape Preston (CITIC Pacific) and Gruyere (Gold Fields, Gold Road Resources).

MACA’s CEO and Managing Director, Mike Sutton, said the acquisition provided MACA with a very meaningful addition of a large-scale mining fleet currently engaged across these projects. This comprises 14 excavators and shovels, 65 dump trucks, 11 surface drills and 36 other ancillary machines.

The fleet being acquired is currently fully utilised, or in the process of being deployed to projects, with the equipment having mixed life (with machines being on average mid-life). MACA says its due diligence has confirmed the machines are in good working order, having been well maintained by Mining West’s internal plant department.

With the inclusion of Mining West, MACA now has total contracted work in hand of over A$3.4 billion, which provides a robust revenue base well past its 2025 financial year, Sutton added.

Fortescue teams with Kawasaki and Iwatani on liquid hydrogen mission

Fortescue Metals Group has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Kawasaki Heavy Industries and Iwatani Corporation to develop a business model for the supply of liquid hydrogen into Japan.

Under the MoU, the three parties will establish the Global LH2 Consortium to facilitate collaboration for the establishment of large scale, liquid hydrogen production and supply capabilities, Fortescue says.

The consortium will focus on joint activities associated with the development of renewable hydrogen projects in Australia and overseas, with a view to establishing liquid hydrogen supply chains and the distribution and offtake of liquid hydrogen within Japan.

Fortescue Chief Executive Officer, Elizabeth Gaines, said: “The world’s transition to a clean energy future represents a major growth opportunity and this partnership with Kawasaki and Iwatani will help position Fortescue at the forefront of the establishment of a global renewable hydrogen industry.

“Japan has been identified as one of the priority north Asian markets for hydrogen exports. By leveraging our value chain and market access as well as the skills and capability of our people to rapidly develop complex projects, we believe Fortescue is well placed to meet the future demand of green hydrogen.”

Kawasaki Executive Officer, Dr Eiichi Harada, said: “Kawasaki is a world leader in the production, storage, shipping and handling of liquid hydrogen. In order to contribute to securing a stable energy supply and the preservation of the global environment, Kawasaki is excited to enter into a relationship and business partnership with Fortescue and Iwatani for the establishment of the Global LH2 Consortium.”

Iwatani Board Member, Manabu Tsuyoshi, said: “Iwatani is the number one hydrogen supplier and only liquefied hydrogen supplier in Japan. Since we started in the hydrogen business in 1941, we have built a nationwide hydrogen network from manufacturing to transportation, storage, supply and safety. In order to expand our hydrogen supply capabilities and to develop new business models, Iwatani is pleased to partner with Fortescue and Kawasaki to establish future global hydrogen supply chains.”

Kawasaki and Iwatani are also involved in the Hydrogen Energy Supply Chain project at Port Hastings, which is looking at the feasibility of turning brown coal from the Latrobe Valley, in Victoria, Australia, into hydrogen for liquefaction and export to Japan.

Fortescue to test battery-electric, fuel cell tech in prototype 240 t haul truck

Fortescue Metals Group has confirmed it is in the process of 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.

Speaking at its Investor and Media Day on Wednesday, Fortescue Chief Operating Officer, Greg Lilleyman, said the two-phase project would “offer a step-change opportunity to reduce our emissions”.

He explained: “With around a quarter of Fortescue’s Scope 1 and 2 emissions attributable to our mobile haul fleet, this is a significant opportunity to drive our pathway to net-zero operational emissions.”

The drivetrain of the 240 t prototype truck will be powered by the company’s integrated renewable energy network, he added.

Phase one of the project will see a battery-electric powertrain on-board the prototype truck tested and trialled, from an operational perspective, in the Pilbara. Phase two of the project will consider hydrogen fuel cell powertrains, Lilleyman added. The drivetrains will have the capacity to regenerate power on downhill haulage.

While no specific timeline was provided for the project, the company did say the program schedule was targeted to align with the replacement cycle of the company’s existing haul trucks.

Weir adds aftermarket and service contract to Iron Bridge remit

The Weir Group says it has won a £95 million ($127 million) order to provide aftermarket components and service to the Iron Bridge magnetite project in Western Australia.

The aftermarket contract follows Weir’s success in winning a record £100 million order for original equipment for the Iron Bridge project in 2019, including its Enduron® High Pressure Grinding Rolls (HPGRs, pictured) that, it says, will enable dry processing of ore and use at least 30% less energy than traditional alternatives.

The Iron Bridge magnetite project is a $2.6 billion joint venture between Fortescue Metals Group’s subsidiary FMG Magnetite Pty Ltd and Formosa Steel IB Pty Ltd located in the Pilbara region, around 145 km south of Port Hedland.

Both the aftermarket order and revenues will be recognised over the seven-year period of the agreement, which starts in 2022, in line with the 22 Mt/y project’s initial production.

Ricardo Garib, President of Weir Minerals, said: “This is another landmark order for Weir. Having helped design an energy and water efficient magnetite processing plant, we are delighted to provide operational support for Iron Bridge from 2022. It is an excellent example of the value that Weir’s innovative engineering and close customer support can create for all our stakeholders and reflects the key role we have to play in making mining operations more sustainable and efficient.”

Weir’s Enduron HPGRs are increasingly replacing conventional mills in comminution circuits, Weir says. In addition to their energy and water savings, they also reduce grinding media consumption, while their wearable components last longer, reducing maintenance costs. Additionally, HPGRs contribute significantly to carbon dioxide emission savings.

Stuart Hayton, Managing Director of Weir Minerals Netherlands, where the Enduron HPGRs are designed and manufactured, said: “This is an important project for Weir and for the broader mining industry. We know comminution is one of the most energy intensive parts of the mineral process and, with our Enduron HPGRs, we have a unique ability to offer significant cost, energy and water savings to customers around the world. As the mining industry evolves, we are commited to continuing to innovate, reducing miners’ costs and environmental impact.”

This latest contract award means Weir now has more than £200 million of orders from the Iron Bridge project including its Enduron HPGRs, GEHO® and Warman® pumps, Cavex® hydrocyclones and Isogate® valves.

To support the project and future growth, Weir says it will build a new service centre in Port Hedland, Western Australia, thereby providing employment and training opportunities in the area, with a particular emphasis on supporting greater Aboriginal representation in the broader mining workforce.

ABB to deliver drives and motors to Fortescue’s Iron Bridge Magnetite project

ABB has won a $26 million order from Fortescue Metals Group to deliver water-cooled variable speed drives and high voltage induction motors to FMG’s majority-owned Iron Bridge Magnetite project in Western Australia.

The project, operated under an unincorporated joint venture between Fortescue subsidiary, FMG Magnetite Pty Ltd, and Formosa Steel IB, covers the development of a new magnetite mine, including processing and transport facilities. The $2.6 billion development is expected to produce 22 Mt/y (wet) of high grade, magnetite concentrate, with first ore in 2022.

As part of the project, the Iron Bridge Joint Venture required a cost-effective energy efficient variable speed drive solution, according to ABB. These drives, to be installed in eight switch rooms, operate with a separate transformer that is located outside the room. This reduces the heat generated inside, resulting in less energy required to maintain the 25°C room temperature.

ABB’s water-cooled drives also directly support a higher voltage 33 kV network, it said. “This eliminates the need for a lower voltage intermediate switchboard and additional components, which ultimately reduces the total cost of the project,” the company explained.

Iron Bridge also selected ABB high voltage induction motors to power high pressure grinding rolls, grinding mills and baghouse fans used to separate the ore from the dust at Iron Bridge. Engineered to withstand harsh conditions, the motors offer high power efficiency, but in a frame size smaller than competitive alternatives, it said.

Mike Briggs, Business Manager for ABB Motion, Australia, said: “We have worked closely with the Iron Bridge team to ensure that we delivered an energy efficient, reliable and innovative solution. We are especially pleased to have won both the drive and the motor business, and look forward to continuing our strong relationship with Fortescue beyond the delivery of this project and supporting them throughout the mine’s lifecycle.”

BOC and Linde recruited for hydrogen coach project at FMG’s Christmas Creek

Leading gas and engineering company, BOC, a subsidiary of Linde plc, has announced a project to provide hydrogen production and refuelling infrastructure for the first fleet of hydrogen coaches at Fortescue Metals Group’s Christmas Creek iron ore operation in the Pilbara region of Western Australia.

The A$32 million ($23 million) renewable hydrogen supply project will enable Fortescue’s 10 coaches to be fuelled with renewable hydrogen and will transport workers from its base camp to the mine site.

Christmas Creek will be the first mine in Australia to deploy hydrogen for transport and transition from diesel engines, according to BOC.

BOC will supply two 700 kW ITM electrolysers to produce renewable hydrogen through electrolysis. The electrolysers will have capacity to produce enough renewable hydrogen to power 10 hydrogen fuel cell coaches that carry around 3,000 workers to and from the mine site every day. A state-of-the-art Linde hydrogen refuelling station will also be supplied by BOC at a site in the Pilbara.

The 10 full-sized hydrogen coaches, custom built by HYZON Motors, will replace the existing fleet of diesel coaches at Christmas Creek.

The project is expected to be completed by early 2022.

Linde is at the forefront in the transition to clean hydrogen and has installed over 190 hydrogen fuelling stations and 80 hydrogen electrolysis plants worldwide, according to BOC.

John Evans, Managing Director, BOC South Pacific, said the project will demonstrate BOC’s expertise in customised hydrogen solutions to suit the most challenging environments.

“BOC is proud to be the chosen partner in this exciting project that will demonstrate how renewable hydrogen can be used as a fuel for heavy vehicles in remote environments.

“Mining is a 24/7 operation which, together with the remoteness of the site, means that reliability is essential. BOC provided a solution that recognised the criticality of the application and we collaborated with Fortescue to design an application to protect the electrolyser and refueller from the environment in the Pilbara region.”

He concluded: “We look forward to working with Fortescue and our other partners to expand the use of hydrogen in heavy transport and remote applications – which are key priorities outlined in the Western Australian Renewable Hydrogen Strategy.”

Fortescue completes autonomous haul truck fleet conversion in Western Australia

Fortescue Metals Group says it has completed its Chichester Hub autonomous haulage project, with 183 trucks now operating in AHS mode across its Solomon and Chichester Hubs, in Western Australia.

The project represents one of the largest fleet conversions to autonomous haulage systems (AHS) in the industry. It was aided by the involvement of Thiess.

The multi-class fleet includes Cat 793F, 789D and Komatsu 930E haul trucks and has safely travelled more than 52 million km and moved 1,500 Mt of material since 2013, according to FMG. An additional 900 assets, such as excavators, wheel loaders and light vehicles, are integrated with the autonomous fleet using Cat MineStar Command for hauling technology, which is operated from the Fortescue Hive, the company’s integrated operations centre in Perth, Western Australia.

Chief Executive Officer, Elizabeth Gaines said, “Mining is one of the most innovative industries in the world, and Fortescue continues to build on our leading autonomy capability to deliver productivity and efficiency benefits.

“Most importantly, the introduction of AHS technology has improved safety outcomes across our operations and we’re very pleased that the team achieved this important milestone in the truck conversion program to the highest safety standards.

“Our approach to autonomy has been to be open and transparent with our plans and to work closely with our team members to offer opportunities for re-training and re-deployment. Around 3,000 Fortescue team members have been trained to work with autonomous haulage, including over 200 people trained as Mine Controllers and AHS system professionals.”

Group President, Resource Industries, Caterpillar Inc, Denise Johnson, said: “Fortescue is a leader in the implementation of autonomous solutions. This important milestone further reinforces the transformation Fortescue has made with autonomy to improve safety, site productivity and machine utilisation. We congratulate Fortescue on this significant achievement.”

Fortescue Chief Operating Officer, Greg Lilleyman, said: “Fortescue’s autonomous haulage fleet has delivered a 30% increase in productivity. Looking ahead, the flexibility of our efficient, multi-class autonomous fleet offers considerable potential for further productivity and efficiency gains.

“Our operations are more connected than ever before and, by using data from our autonomous haulage fleet, we can paint an accurate picture of our operations and focus on the optimal opportunities for improvement, such as haul road design and maintenance scheduling.

“Our autonomous haulage system is a foundational tool which allows us to streamline processes and improve outcomes, ultimately delivering increased value for our shareholders.”

Aqura to supply LTE equipment to Iron Bridge magnetite project

Veris Ltd subsidiary, Aqura Technologies, has secured a contract to supply advanced LTE equipment for the Iron Bridge Magnetite project, a joint venture between Fortescue Metals Group subsidiary FMG Magnetite Pty Ltd and Formosa Steel IB Pty Ltd, in the Pilbara of Western Australia.

The A$2 million ($1.4 million) contract reflects Aqura’s strong focus to understand the evolving technology needs of the project and demonstrate its industry-leading capability to identify and design robust technology solutions that will support clients’ future operational strategies, the company said.

Aqura Technologies CEO, Travis Young, said: “This contract award is a great validation of the strategy the Aqura team are pursuing to leverage their expertise to enable other organisations to achieve positive business outcomes with leading-edge technology. We are very pleased to be supporting the great work of FMG and look forward to assisting them with their longer-term technology transformation program.

“Aqura continues to lead in high-performance industrial connectivity with advanced engagements for new rollouts, and other developments such as the imminent completion of our first 5G-enabled LTE network to bring the benefits of private LTE to a broader spectrum of businesses.”

The $2.6 billion Iron Bridge Magnetite project is expected to see a new magnetite mine developed to support production of 22 Mt/y of high-grade concentrate, according to Fortescue. First concentrate is expected to be produced by mid-2022.