Tag Archives: Fortescue

JSW, BBURG HD2500RC drill rig impresses at Fortescue’s Solomon iron ore mine

JSW Australia’s ambition to leverage the latest drilling and automation technology is coming to fruition with the deployment of a new high powered, small footprint drill rig to Fortescue Metals Group’s Solomon iron ore mine in the Pilbara of Western Australia.

The planned arrival of the HD2500RC was announced around a year ago.

Leveraging IDAT (Intelligent Drilling Applications & Technology) technology, developed by German manufacturer BBURG and customised in conjunction with IDAT, the rig underwent site commissioning in July and its initial production performance to date has been impressive, according to JSW.

The HD2500RC was designed especially for the challenging terrain at Solomon where the preparation of drill pads is difficult and expensive, the company says.

“With JSW’s years of experience on-site and first-hand knowledge of the challenges, along with IDAT’s technology expertise and BBURG’s engineering capability, we had a powerful collaboration for the development of the new rig,” JSW CEO, Warren Fair, says.

He said overall the rig was proving to be more productive, safer and quieter than the existing technology on site.

The HD2500RC joins other new technologies in JSW’s fleet including the Equus green drills developed specifically for bauxite mines and new drilling technology for magnetite mines being developed by IDAT in partnership with German manufacturer Bauer.

Fair concluded: “IDAT brings the technology, JSW brings the operational know-how. So far, it’s proving to be a winning formula.”

Fortescue puts first tonnes through Eliwana iron ore processing facility

Fortescue Metals Group is celebrating first ore through the ore processing facility at its Eliwana mine and rail project in the Pilbara of Western Australia.

Fortescue Chief Executive Officer, Elizabeth Gaines, and Deputy Chairman, Mark Barnaba, celebrated the official event on site at Eliwana with Bill Johnston, Western Australia Minister for Mines and Petroleum; Energy; Industrial Relations, representatives of Fortescue’s native title partners, the Puutu Kunti Kurrama and Pinikura People, and members of the Fortescue Board of Directors and the core leadership team.

Gaines said: “Eliwana is the next important stage of development of Fortescue’s world-class, integrated operations. Exploration commenced in this area in 2006, and we have now delivered a new 30 Mt per annum dry ore processing facility and infrastructure, along with 143 km of rail which is in the final stages of construction.

“Eliwana will see us maintain our low-cost status and provide us with greater flexibility across our product mix. Construction of the mine, village and infrastructure was completed safely over a 12-month period, in line with budget and schedule.”

Eliwana will help Fortescue maintain its overall production rate of a minimum 170 Mt/y over 20 years, the company has said.

RDG subsidiaries win A$26 million of work from Fortescue, Tianye SXO Gold Mining

Resource Development Group’s wholly-owned subsidiary, Central Systems Pty Ltd, is to design and construct an overpass at Fortescue Metals Group’s Cloudbreak mine site as part of an agreement with the miner’s Chichester Metals subsidiary.

The overpass is due for completion in late November, RDG said.

Cloudbreak is one of two mines (Christmas Creek being the other) within the Chichester Hub in the Chichester Ranges of Western Australia. The hub has an annual production capacity of 100 Mt/y of iron ore from three ore processing facilities (OPF).

Cloudbreak also hosts a 5 km relocatable conveyor (pictured), which includes two semi-mobile primary crushing stations and feeds directly into the Cloudbreak OPF.

Separately, RDG’s 80%‐owned subsidiary, Crushing Service Solutions, has been awarded a crushing and screening services contract with Tianye SXO Gold Mining Pty Ltd to provide these services in order to feed the Minjar gold plant near Southern Cross in Western Australia.

This contract will have a duration of approximately 12 months, RDG said.

The aggregate amount of these contract awards is A$26 million ($17.9 million), according to RDG.

Fortescue aims for net zero operational emissions by 2040

Fortescue Metals Group has become the latest company to announce plans to achieve net zero operational emissions.

The goal, which the company aims to achieve by 2040, is core to Fortescue’s climate change strategy and is underpinned by a pathway to decarbonisation, it said. This includes the reduction of Scope 1 and 2 emissions from existing operations by 26% from 2020 levels, by 2030, it said.

Other miners such as Vale, BHP and Rio Tinto have all made similar pledges in the last year.

Fortescue Chief Executive Officer, Elizabeth Gaines, said: “Fortescue has a proud history of setting stretch targets and our 2030 emissions reduction commitment, together with our goal to achieve net zero operational emissions by 2040, positions Fortescue as a leader in addressing the global climate change challenge.

“Fortescue supports the Paris Agreement long-term goal of limiting global temperature rise to well below 2°C above pre-industrial levels, and our emissions reduction targets align with this international objective. Our success will be founded on practical initiatives that will allow us to deliver on our targets in an economically sustainable manner.”

Gaines said since October 2019, Fortescue and its partners have announced investments in excess of $800 million in significant energy infrastructure projects to increase its renewable energy supply. These will be a key contributor to its pathway to achieving the emissions reduction targets, she added.

This includes the Chichester Solar Gas Hybrid Project, announced with Alinta Energy in October 2019. Currently under construction, the project will include a 60 MW solar photovoltaic (PV) generation facility at the Chichester Hub, comprising Fortescue’s Christmas Creek and Cloudbreak mining operations. In addition, a circa-60 km transmission line will be built, with completion due mid-2021. This will link the Christmas Creek and Cloudbreak mining operations with Alinta Energy’s Newman gas-fired power station and 35 MW battery facility.

Another major investment is the $700 million Pilbara Energy Connect (PEC) program. This includes the $250 million Pilbara Transmission project, consisting of 275 km of high voltage transmission lines connecting Fortescue’s mine sites, and the $450 million Pilbara Generation project, comprising 150 MW of gas-fired generation, together with 150 MW of solar PV generation and large-scale battery storage. “The PEC project leverages existing assets and provides Fortescue with a hybrid solar gas energy solution that enables the delivery of stable, low cost power and supports the incorporation of additional large-scale renewable energy in the future,” the company says.

These two initiatives, together, will deliver 25-30% of Fortescue’s stationary energy requirements from solar power, according to Gaines.

Gaines added: “Mining is one of the most innovative industries in the world and Fortescue is harnessing this technology and capability to achieve carbon neutrality with a sense of urgency. In addition to the development of gas technology and renewables for our stationary energy requirements, we are working towards decarbonising our mobile fleet through the next phase of hydrogen and battery-electric energy solutions.”

In terms of hydrogen, Fortescue, in 2018, signed a partnership agreement with the CSIRO to develop its metal membrane technology, which provides the potential for the bulk transportation of hydrogen through ammonia.

Emissions data and performance against targets will be reported annually as part of Fortescue’s annual reporting suite, the company said. Baseline and annual emissions data will be calculated on a financial year basis.

While not included in the existing operations calculation, Iron Bridge – due to commence operation by mid-2022 – is likely to come with emissions reduction targets that align with Fortescue’s goal to achieve net zero operational emissions by 2040, the company said.

FMG backs Western Australia Aboriginal businesses in latest contract awards

Fortescue Metals Group has awarded more than A$6 million ($4.4 million) worth of contracts to two Western Australia Aboriginal businesses, as part of the iron ore company’s Billion Opportunities programme.

Aboriginal-Noongar owned business Kooya Australia Fleet Solutions, Australia’s largest indigenous fleet management and rental company, has been awarded a three-year contract for the supply of light and commercial leased vehicles across Fortescue’s operational sites, while majority owned Aboriginal business Thuroona Services has been given a contract for maintenance work at Fortescue’s rail operations.

Since the inception of Fortescue’s Billion Opportunities in 2011, 270 contracts and sub-contracts valued at A$2 billion have been awarded to 110 Aboriginal-owned business and joint ventures, Fortescue said.

Fortescue Chief Financial Officer Ian Wells said the contracts signified the company’s continued commitment to supporting local content as part of its procurement process.

“By partnering with Aboriginal businesses to build their capability and capacity, we are opening the doors to future work with other organisations which is fundamental to their economic sustainability and prosperity,” he said.

Fortescue looks for further efficiencies with AHS retrofit, mobile conveying

In what was a strong June quarter in terms of iron ore production, Fortescue Metals Group gave an update on its autonomous haulage (AHS) project at the Chichester Hub operations and the installation of a relocatable conveyor at Cloudbreak.

The company shipped 46.5 million tonnes of ore from its Pilbara operations during the quarter, up 4% year-on-year, at a close-to-unchanged C1 cash cost of $12.17 per tonne (wet).

Mining, processing, rail and shipping combined to operate at or near record rates during the three-month period, helping the company reach its goal of shipping 170 Mt during the 2018 financial year to the end of June.

The company would have been helped by an increasing number of autonomous haul trucks operating at Chichester Hub during the quarter. Fortescue noted that 19 trucks had been converted and were in operation, through an agreement with Caterpillar, out of the over 100 it plans on retrofitting.

Since the introduction of AHS technology at its Solomon mine in 2013, automated trucks have moved over 500 Mt of material and achieved a greater than 30% increase in productivity levels.

Last month, the company noted its relocatable conveyor, manufactured by RCR Tomlinson, had been instaled at Cloudbreak. In the June quarter results, FMG said full capacity was due to be achieved in November.

The 5-km conveyor includes a semi-mobile primary crushing station and feeds directly into the Cloudbreak ore processing facility. The relocatable conveyor and semi-mobile crushing facilities can be positioned approximate to pits and relocated once mined.

By providing greater flexibility and increased accessibility to remote mine pits, the relocatable conveyor will reduce haulage costs, offsetting rising strip ratios and delivering sustained efficiency improvements across the business. FMG expects the conveyor to replace 12 trucks at full capacity.