Tag Archives: Iron Bridge

Fortescue Metals granted approval to expand iron ore capacity at Herb Elliott

Fortescue Metals Group says it has received approval from authorities to increase the material handling capacity of its Herb Elliott Port facility, in Western Australia, from 175 Mt/y to 210 Mt/y on a staged basis.

The approval, under the West Australian Environmental Protection Act 1986, includes provisions for 188 Mt/y of hematite ore and 22 Mt/y of magnetite concentrate. The high-grade magnetite product will be produced from the Iron Bridge magnetite operations, with first ore on ship from Iron Bridge scheduled for mid-2022.

The revised licence uses the capacity of Fortescue’s existing port infrastructure, comprising five berths and three ship loaders, and supports its 2021 financial year iron ore shipments guidance of 175-180 Mt.

Chief Executive Officer, Elizabeth Gaines, said: “Fortescue’s port operations are world leading and we have continually demonstrated our capacity to optimise the efficiency and productivity of our port infrastructure to deliver iron ore to our customers.

“The increase in the licensed capacity of Fortescue’s Herb Elliott Port from 175 Mt/y to 210 Mt/y is in line with our strategy to deliver growth through investment, including the $2.6 billion investment in the Iron Bridge project. This significant project will deliver 22 Mt/y of high-grade magnetite product, enhancing the range of products available to our customers through our flexible integrated operations and marketing strategy.

“We will continue to ensure that Fortescue remains a significant long-term contributor to the state and national economies through growth and development of our iron ore assets, job creation and investment.”

Fortescue says it maintains a high level of vigilance over its management of dust in Port Hedland, with installation and implementation of additional controls ensuring no net increase in dust emissions as a result of the progressive increase in throughput capacity at Herb Elliott.

CPB Contractors to help deliver wet processing plant at Iron Bridge project

CPB Contractors has been awarded a contract at the Iron Bridge magnetite joint venture project in the Pilbara of Western Australia.

The contract from Fortescue Metals Group subsidiary FMG Iron Bridge, and Formosa Steel IB Pty Ltd, the joint venture partners at Iron Bridge, will see the CIMIC Group subsidiary deliver concrete and detailed earthworks for a wet processing plant.

Work will commence this year and is scheduled for completion in 2021, CPB Contractors said.

The Iron Bridge project is expected to see a new magnetite mine developed to support production of 22 Mt/y of high grade concentrate, according to FMG.

The contract was announced in tandem with another award in the water sector, with both set to provide around A$128 million ($92 million) of revenue in total.

CPB Contractors Managing Director, Diego Zumaquero, said: “The award of these contracts is recognition of our people’s expertise in delivering essential and strategic infrastructure projects. Our commitment is to safely and efficiently deliver these projects while maximising the benefits to local communities.”

Civmec to build foundations for key Iron Bridge processing equipment

Civmec’s Metals and Minerals division has been awarded a standalone civil contract to build the structural concrete components for the dry plant at the jointly-owned Iron Bridge magnetite project in the Pilbara of Western Australia.

The “Dry Plant Detailed Earthworks and Concrete” package was awarded by the owners of the project, Fortescue Metals Group subsidiary, FMG Iron Bridge Ltd, and Formosa Steel IB.

The project will see a new magnetite mine developed to support production of 22 Mt/y of high grade, magnetite concentrate product.

Civmec’s scope includes constructing the structural concrete components for the primary, secondary and tertiary crushing areas, screening areas, air classification and primary grinding areas, course ore stockpile, dry rejects, conveyors and all related earthing. It will involve over 350,000 cu.m of earthworks, the fixing of some 5,000 tons (4,536 t) of steel reinforcement and the placement of around 38,000 cu.m of concrete.

These works will employ over 200 of Civmec’s skilled workforce at peak, plus a commitment to engage with Local Aboriginal Enterprises, Civmec said, adding that the works will commence immediately with an expected completion in the March quarter of 2022.

Civmec’s Chief Executive Officer, Patrick Tallon, said: “Through our current delivery of works for Fortescue in the Pilbara, we have formed a strong working relationship built on transparency, trust and collaboration and reliable execution. Hence, we are extremely pleased to be given this further opportunity to continue to work with Fortescue on the Iron Bridge project.

“This is an exciting project of a very significant scale with a declared value for the overall project being $2.6 billion. The Iron Bridge joint venture has demonstrated and refined each step of the magnetite ore processing system and conducted full-scale trials to ensure the effectiveness of the process and gain confidence in the overall project success.”

This most recent contract award, combined with some other recent awards and scope increases on existing contracts, take the group’s current order book to circa-A$901 million ($625 million).

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.

PROK conveyor pulleys to feature at Fortescue’s Iron Bridge magnetite project

Global conveyor components manufacturer PROK has been awarded a major contract for the design, manufacture and supply of conveyor pulleys at the Iron Bridge Magnetite project, a joint venture between Fortescue Metals Group subsidiary FMG Iron Bridge and Formosa Steel IB Pty. Ltd, near Port Hedland in Western Australia.

PROK will produce around 170 complete pulleys from its Bayswater production facility in Perth, Western Australia. The pulleys will be installed across 25 new conveyors at the Iron Bridge site.

PROK says it is an expert in conveyor equipment and specialises in solutions that help mining companies across the globe keep their conveyor systems running efficiently and safely.

PROK General Manager, Wade Guelfi, said the Iron Bridge contract award highlighted PROK’s high level of technical capability and manufacturing experience.

“As a recognised leader in large engineered pulleys, we were a perfect fit for this type of project,” he said. “Our advanced in-house engineering team worked closely with the client to design a pulley solution that meets all project requirements.”

The pulleys range in sizes from 500-1,200 mm diameter and will be delivered in six stages starting in January 2021, the company said.

The contract forms part of Stage 2 of the Iron Bridge project, which involves construction of a large-scale process plant and port infrastructure to support 22 Mt/y (wet) of magnetite production. Stage 1 (pictured), completed successfully, was achieved by building and operating a full-scale pilot plant at the North Star mine site. This pilot project included the use of a dry crushing and grinding circuit, which FMG plans to leverage in stage two.

In FMG’s March quarter results, released late last month, the company said the $2.6 billion project was progressing on schedule and budget, with first concentrate production planned in the first half of calendar year 2022.

“We are excited to be part of this project and proud to be supporting Fortescue with heavy-duty engineered pulleys manufactured right here in Western Australia,” Guelfi added. “We look forward to working closely with FMG as the project progresses.”

Cundaline Resources to work on Iron Bridge magnetite project

Fortescue Metals Group has awarded 100% Aboriginal owned company, Cundaline Resources Pty, with the contract for the West Canning Basin earthworks at its majority owned Iron Bridge magnetite project, in Western Australia.

The award, which continues FMG’s longstanding commitment to supporting local and Aboriginal businesses, will see the group carry out the earthworks, access preparation and rehabilitation services associated with the hydrogeology drilling program for the Iron Bridge project.

The Iron Bridge project will deliver 22 Mt/y (wet) of high grade 67% Fe magnetite concentrate product, according to FMG, with the first stage completed successfully by building and operating a full-scale pilot plant at the North Star mine site. This pilot project included the use of a dry crushing and grinding circuit, which FMG plans to leverage in stage two.

The second stage of the project comprises the construction of a large-scale process plant, and port infrastructure to support the production of 22 Mt/y (wet) of iron ore.

In FMG’s March quarter results, released late last month, the company said the $2.6 billion project was progressing on schedule and budget, with first concentrate production planned in the first half of calendar year 2022.

Key milestones in the three-month period included detailed engineering passing the halfway mark, procurement of major long lead process equipment committed and the first blast at the ore processing facility site, enabling bulk earthworks to commence.

Fortescue’s Chief Executive Officer, Elizabeth Gaines, said Fortescue’s Aboriginal procurement initiative, Billion Opportunities, has awarded over A$2.5 billion ($1.6 billion) in contracts and sub-contracts to Aboriginal businesses and joint venture partners since the program began in 2011.

“We are committed to building on this proud track record through our growth projects, Eliwana and Iron Bridge, which have already awarded over A$60 million in contracts to Aboriginal businesses,” she said.

“Importantly, Billion Opportunities is focused on building the capability and capacity of Aboriginal businesses, and it is very pleasing to see Cundaline, a business which commenced operations as a labour hire company, now expand into earthworks and mechanical maintenance contracting areas.”

Cundaline’s Managing Director, Brenden Taylor, said: “The West Canning Basin Earthworks contract is a milestone project and the first of a number of potential opportunities on the Iron Bridge magnetite project for Cundaline.

“We have worked hard to transition our company from a labour hire specialist to a contracting entity managing and delivering our own projects. I am particularly proud of my team for their professionalism and ‘can do’ attitude and not giving up during the tough times.

“Along this journey we have worked together with other Aboriginal businesses and I especially want to acknowledge Fortescue, through the Billion Opportunities initiative, for making a real difference for a local and Aboriginal business like Cundaline to continue to grow our capacity and capability into the future.”

thyssenkrupp to deliver next gen gyratory crushers to Iron Bridge magnetite project

thyssenkrupp is to make history in Australia, with plans to install KB 63-130 type gyratory crushers at the jointly owned Iron Bridge magnetite project, in Western Australia.

The company said its mining business unit had been awarded consecutive contracts to supply these two gyratory crushers and a radial stacker for Iron Bridge, which is a joint venture between Fortescue Metals Group subsidiary FMG Iron Bridge and Formosa Steel IB Pty Ltd.

Iron Bridge will be a new magnetite mine, around 145 km south of Port Hedland in the Pilbara region of Western Australia. Delivery of first ore is scheduled for mid-2022.

Johann Rinnhofer, CEO of thyssenkrupp’s mining business in Australia, said: “We are proud to be part of this project and excited to install two of thyssenkrupp’s next generation gyratory crushers here in Western Australia. These high capacity crushers are considered to be the largest and most powerful in the world and are unrivalled when it comes to crushing blasted hard rock and ore.”

The KB 63-130 type gyratory crushers will be the largest ever installed in Australia, according to thyssenkrupp, with the crushers processing raw iron ore material from the pit and transfering it to a receiving conveyor.

The slewing and luffing radial stacker, meanwhile, will be used to stack secondary crushed magnetite iron ore onto a stockpile at the mine.

The Iron Bridge project will deliver 22 Mt/y (wet) of high grade 67% Fe magnetite concentrate product, according to FMG.

The first stage of the project was completed successfully by building and operating a full-scale pilot plant at the North Star mine site. This pilot project included the use of a dry crushing and grinding circuit, which FMG plans to leverage in stage two.

The second stage of the project comprises the construction of a large-scale process plant, and port
infrastructure to support the production of 22 Mt/y (wet).

NRW Holdings wins bulk earthworks assignment from Iron Bridge project partners

NRW Holdings is about to mobilise a team to carry out bulk earthworks at Fortescue Metals’ majority-owned Iron Bridge magnetite project in Western Australia.

The contractor confirmed it had received a notice of award for the bulk earthworks assignment from the Iron Bridge joint venture (between FMG subsidiary FMG Iron Bridge and Formosa Steel IB) and, while the award remained subject to finalisation, it had been directed to commence mobilisation.

The $2.6 billion Iron Bridge project will see the development of a new magnetite mine (including processing and transport facilities) and associated infrastructure. It will support production of 22 Mt/y (wet) of high grade (67% Fe), magnetite concentrate product, according to the partners. Production is expected by mid-2022. The Iron Bridge site comprises the North Star, Eastern Limb, Glacier Valley and West Star magnetite iron ore deposits and is 145 km south of Port Hedland.

The contract scope for NRW includes the bulk earthworks and drainage for roads, processing plant and infrastructure for the new mine site development. The contract value is around A$70 million ($47 million) and is expected to have a duration of around 45 weeks, NRW said. At its peak, there will be some 200 site based personnel required for the project.

NRW’s CEO and Managing Director, Jules Pemberton, said: “NRW is pleased to be involved in this exciting new project with Fortescue and looks forward to its successful execution.”

Fortescue continues to invest in power options for Iron Bridge development

Fortescue Metals Group is to invest $450 million as part of a program that will see hybrid solar gas energy delivered to the under-construction Iron Bridge magnetite project in the Pilbara of Western Australia.

The Pilbara Generation project – as it is called – is the next stage of its Pilbara Energy Connect program, the company said. This complements the $250 million Pilbara Transmission project, announced in October 2019, and will provide low cost power to the energy efficient Iron Bridge project.

The $2.6 billion Iron Bridge Magnetite project is expected to deliver 22 Mt/y of high-grade 67% Fe concentrate production by mid-2022.

The Pilbara Transmission project consists of 275 km of high voltage transmission lines connecting Fortescue’s mine sites, while the Pilbara Generation project will include 150 MW of gas-fired generation, together with 150 MW of solar photovoltaic generation. This will be supplemented by large scale battery storage and will be constructed, owned and operated by Fortescue, the company said.

Together, the transmission and generation projects, totalling $700 million of investment, form the Pilbara Energy Connect program of works providing Fortescue with a hybrid solar gas energy solution that will enable low cost power to be delivered to Iron Bridge. “This allows Fortescue to leverage its existing energy infrastructure including the Fortescue River Gas Pipeline and generation capacity at the Solomon power station and support the incorporation of large scale renewable energy,” the company said.

The Pilbara Energy Connect project builds on the Chichester Solar Gas Hybrid project which was announced last year. This landmark agreement with Alinta Energy will see up to 100% of daytime stationary energy requirements of the Chichester Hub iron ore operations powered by renewable energy.

Alinta will build, own and operate the 60 MW solar PV generation facility at the Chichester Hub and 60 km transmission line linking the Christmas Creek and Cloudbreak mining operations with Alinta Energy’s Newman gas-fired power station. On completion, this will integrate with the Pilbara Energy Connect program, via the Pilbara Transmission project.

Chief Executive Officer, Elizabeth Gaines, said: “Mining is a 24/7 operation and efficient, reliable, competitive energy generation remains an important consideration for the mining sector in Western Australia. The lack of an integrated transmission network in the Pilbara has been a key barrier to entry for large scale renewables and Fortescue’s investment will address this issue.

“Fortescue’s commitment of $700million in electricity generation and transmission infrastructure will complete the integration of Fortescue’s stationary energy requirements in the Pilbara into an efficient network, while lowering the overall cost of electricity to existing and future sites.

“By installing 150 MW of solar PV as part of the Pilbara Generation project, the modelling indicates we will avoid up to 285,000 t of CO2/y in emissions, as compared to generating electricity solely from gas.

“Importantly, Pilbara Energy Connect allows for large scale renewable generation such as solar or wind to be connected at any point on the integrated network, positioning Fortescue to readily increase our use of renewable energy in the future.”

Pilbara Energy Connect builds on Fortescue’s previous energy initiatives, including the construction of the Fortescue River Gas Pipeline, the conversion of the Solomon Power Station from diesel to gas generation, as well as a partnership agreement with the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) to develop and commercialise hydrogen technology.

Weir secures largest-ever individual mining order from Fortescue

The Weir Group says it has been awarded a £100 million ($123 million) order to provide industry-leading energy saving solutions to the Iron Bridge magnetite project, a joint venture between Fortescue Metals Group and Formosa Steel IB.

The order, which includes a range of Weir crushing and pump equipment including Enduron® high pressure grinding rolls (HPGRs) and GEHO® pumps, will reduce energy consumption and wet tailings waste by more than 30% compared with traditional mining technologies, according to the equipment manufacturer.

The Iron Bridge project, 145 km south of Port Hedland in the Pilbara region of Western Australia, is a $2.6 billion investment in premium magnetite iron ore reserves with annual production, when the mine is fully operational, of 22 Mt/y of 67% Fe concentrate. Delivery of the first ore is expected in 2022.

When the mine build was approved back in April, Fortescue CEO, Elizabeth Gaines, said the innovative design for the project, which included the use of a dry crushing and grinding circuit, “will deliver an industry-leading energy efficient operation with globally competitive capital intensity and operating costs”.

A pilot project to verify the Iron Bridge project design involved processing 1 Mt of ore through a full scale HPGR and air classifier, according to Fortescue.

Weir Group Chief Executive Officer, Jon Stanton, said: “We are delighted to have secured this landmark contract, which is Weir’s largest-ever individual mining order.

“Fortescue challenged us to help create one of the most energy and cost-efficient magnetite ore processing facilities in the world. Our engineers have worked relentlessly to design a solution that is truly innovative – delivering significant energy, water and cost savings. This is a great example of working in close partnership with an ambitious customer who shares our passion for using innovative engineering to make mining more productive and sustainable.”

Ricardo Garib, President of the Weir Minerals division, added: “Our team are really enjoying working with Fortescue. Our engineers relish a challenge and it has been great to work on a project that demonstrates the substantial cost and environmental savings that our range of solutions can offer.

“As more mines look to increase productivity, we look forward to even more opportunities to leverage our combination of passionate people, innovative solutions and comprehensive global service capability.”

Weir’s Enduron HPGRs are increasingly replacing conventional mills in comminution (crushing, screening and grinding) circuits because of their substantially lower energy consumption and potential for significant total cost of ownership reduction, Weir says.

“Not only do they require as much as 40% less energy than traditional alternatives, but their wearable components last much longer and the maintenance time required to replace worn out parts is significantly lower.”

The company outlined the reasons why companies are turning to Enduron HPGRs in a blog post earlier this week.