Building work on the Koodaideri automated mine site laboratory in the Pilbara of Western Australia has commenced with site mobilisation now underway, according to Scott Automation.
The company, which was awarded a contract by Rio Tinto to design and build the laboratory back in February, said this important milestone was reached on time, despite COVID-19 restrictions.
“A number of Scott’s design and build activities for the Rio project have been moved to the company’s Australian operations to be closer to the customer,” it added.
The automation and robotics solutions provider’s contract involves the building construction and equipment supply for the robotic sample preparation and analysis laboratory, it said.
The project will be undertaken across multiple Scott manufacturing sites and is scheduled to be installed by mid-2021.
In April, Scott contracted Kerman Contracting for the civil and concrete works, as well as the structural, hydraulic, electrical/communication works and fire protection at the site. The supply, installation and commissioning of robotics equipment are all being undertaken by Scott.
Koodaideri, billed by Rio as an “intelligent mine”, will deliver a new production hub for Rio’s iron ore business in the Pilbara, incorporating a processing plant and infrastructure including a 166 km rail line connecting the mine to the existing network.
Construction on Koodaideri Phase 1 started in 2019 with first production expected in late 2021. Once complete, the mine will have an annual capacity of 43 Mt, underpinning production of the company’s flagship iron ore product, Pilbara Blend.