Tag Archives: Pilbara

Kerman Contracting to construct ore storage facility for MRL’s Ashburton Hub project

Kerman Contracting Pty Ltd says it has been awarded a A$60 million ($42 million) contract from Mineral Resources Limited (MRL) to design and construct its Port of Ashburton Ore Storage facility in Onslow, Western Australia.

The scope includes the design, fabrication, supply and erection of an enclosed 284-m-long ore storage facility and associated materials handling. The design is already well underway and on-site construction works are expected to start in January 2023, Kerman said. The facility is part of MRL’s plans to develop the 30 Mt/y Ashburton Hub iron ore operation.

“This project fits perfectly into our core business and will provide employment for about 60 site personnel and opportunities for local businesses,” Kerman’s Managing Director, Chris Kerman, said. “To deliver a world-class facility for MRL we will call upon our previous experience in the design and construction of port bulk storage and materials handling facilities in locations such as Bunbury, Esperance, Geraldton, Port Kembla and Whyalla.

“We are very pleased with the opportunity to design and construct a storage facility with these dimensions in the Pilbara region. Once constructed this facility will be one of the largest enclosed bulk storage buildings in Australia’s cyclone region.”

K2fly to deploy Ground Disturbance Solution across BHP WA iron ore sites

K2fly has announced that BHP Iron Ore has signed an initial one-year contract to deploy K2fly’s Ground Disturbance Solution over its entire iron ore operations in the Pilbara of Western Australia.

The agreement with K2fly will generate annual recurring revenue of A$620,000 ($432,151), according to the provider of resource governance solutions.

BHP’s Western Australia Iron Ore (WAIO) is an integrated system of four processing hubs and five mines, connected by more than 1,000 km of rail infrastructure and port facilities in the Pilbara region of northern Western Australia. It produces over 245 Mt/y of iron ore, making it one of the top five producers of iron ore globally.

Sitting within K2fly’s Natural Resource Governance area, K2fly Ground Disturbance solution is a cloud-based Software as a Service platform for applying, approving, tracking, reporting and submitting closure of permits and rehabilitation commitments surrounding ground disturbance activities, K2fly explained.

“K2fly’s Ground Disturbance Solution is the only commercial off-the-shelf (COTS) solution available in the market today and is transforming the way resource and infrastructure landowners manage and govern their land assets, enabled by delivering spatial first visibility, speed and efficiency in understanding and decision making, and collaboration for the users across the spectrum of land management,” it said.

The agreement with BHP means K2fly now provides the ground disturbance solution for the three biggest iron ore producers in Western Australia: Rio Tinto, BHP and Fortescue Metals Group.

Nic Pollock, CEO of K2fly, said: “We are delighted to be starting our relationship with BHP, who will join many other Tier 1 global mining companies as a valued client of K2fly. Our Ground Disturbance Solution is the only system which helps provide better transparency and governance whilst avoiding damaging the environment or protecting cultural heritage and ensuring all stakeholder engagement and obligations are met.

“Because of recent events in the Pilbara, the world’s attention is very much focused on how mining companies ensure that they better protect the environment, cultural heritage sites and engage with communities. This is a global trend and because K2fly offers the world’s only COTS solution for the range of natural resource governance and ESG issues that mining companies are addressing today, we are expecting this solution to become standard across many mining companies and across all jurisdictions.”

Zenith Energy to roll out 5B Maverick solar system across Australian mine sites

Renewable energy penetration is set to increase on major mine sites in the Goldfields and Pilbara regions of Australia, after Zenith Energy and 5B signed a deployment agreement that could see the 5B Maverick™ system rolled out.

Zenith, one of Australia’s leading independent power producers, and 5B, a clean energy technology provider, signed an Ecosystem Framework Agreement-Deployment, permitting Zenith to be a deployment partner of the 5B Maverick system within Australia.

The 5B Maverick system solar array is prefabricated, allowing rapid deployment while increasing the ability of Zenith to expand renewable assets across existing and future sites, Zenith said. Each 5B Maverick array consists of up to 90 solar panels, mounted on specially designed racks, and optimised for the 540-550 W module class of the utility scale solar industry.

Zenith Managing Director, Hamish Moffat, said the partnership represents the next step in reducing emissions across Zenith’s legacy portfolio.

“We’ve been looking to increase renewable assets across multiple sites for some time; the question has always been around how we can achieve that in such a way that is economically viable,” he said. “The 5B Maverick system is re-deployable, meaning it can be integrated on mines with shorter tenure, and moved at the end of operations at those sites.”

He added: “It offers Zenith greater ability to leverage value from our initial capital expenditure, making it more cost effective to offer expanded renewable energy solutions for our clients.”

5B Co-Founder and CEO, Chris McGrath, said the strategic partnership is an important validation of 5B Maverick’s ability to reduce deployment complexity.

“This has been a major barrier for solar installations on mine sites worldwide,” he said. “The agreement also shows that our cost reduction efforts over the past two years have worked – we’ve hit the price point where 5B Mavericks can be viably packed up and redeployed elsewhere, substantially reducing the risk of stranded assets in mining, agricultural and industrial operations.”

Moffat said Zenith is looking to integrate the 5B Maverick system across three sites initially. These include:

  • Nova: The 5B Maverick will play a major role in Zenith’s industry first ‘engine-off’ project at IGO’s Nova nickel mine, allowing the site to operate on up to nine consecutive hours of renewable energy through the installation of an extra 10 MW of solar, and a 10 MW battery energy storage system;
  • Warrawoona: Zenith recently committed to the supply, installation, and commissioning of a 4 MW DC Solar Farm, using the 5B Maverick, as well as a 3 MW/3 MWh AC battery energy storage system at Warrawoona, owned by Calidus Resources. The hybrid power station configuration will reduce gas use, which in turn results in a reduction in emissions; and
  • King of The Hills: Work is currently underway to install 2 MW of 5B Maverick on the Red 5 site, also supported by a battery energy storage system.

Moffat said the 5B agreement is another key milestone on the company’s journey toward ‘net zero’.

“Our 2035 ‘net zero’ target strikes a balance between ambition and ability to achieve, with the 5B partnership a clear demonstration of our progress and commitment to this goal,” he said.

McGrath said 5B was keen to partner with Zenith, given the independent power producer’s strong reputation and credibility in providing renewable energy solutions to the mining and resources industry.

“We’re keen to develop mutually beneficial partnerships with like-minded companies, and Zenith definitely fits the bill,” he said. “It is great to see Zenith leveraging the ability of the 5B Maverick solar arrays to deploy up to 10 times faster, more safely than single axis tracker and fixed tilt solar systems, to deliver a full solution for their customers.”

Moffat said the partnership offers both Zenith and 5B the opportunity to continue to lead the industry, demonstrating the ability and capacity to effectively integrate renewable energy solutions.

“We have continually said we want to be part of the renewable solution, not just by developing the concepts needed, but by also actively deploying and proving the technology,” he said. “The partnership with 5B allows us to do this and continue to bring our clients on the glide path to ‘net zero’.”

Mineral Resources partners with Hexagon for ‘autonomous road train first’

Mineral Resources Ltd (MRL) says it has partnered with Hexagon to develop an autonomous road train solution as part of a plan to unlock “stranded tonnes” in the Pilbara of Western Australia.

Part of its mining services infrastructure supply chain solution, the autonomous road trains will form an essential part of the cost-efficient supply chain for the Ashburton Hub iron ore project, MRL said.

To support the development of the 30 Mt/y Ashburton Hub, the company plans to run a fleet of 425 t Gross Combination Mass (GCM), triple-trailer road trains operating across multiple convoys, with each road train convoy consisting of up to five prime mover trucks, with three trailers each, hauling the ore from the mine site to the Port of Ashburton.

The autonomous road train solution integrates Hexagon’s drive-by-wire technology with an autonomous management system to orchestrate vehicle movement, MRL explained. A successful pilot project is already underway at MRL’s Yilgarn operations (pictured) using 385 t GCM triple-trailer road trains, which have been tailored for the specific economic constraints of iron ore and other bulk commodities. During the next two years, the testing will continue, ramping up to 425 t GCM in time for the development of the Ashburton Hub project in the December quarter of 2023.

In this final configuration, a remote operations centre would monitor the trucks, with one operator in control of the platoon.

“An autonomous road train configuration of this scale is a world first and reflects MRL’s approach to continuous improvement and innovation,” it said. “We will initially adopt the technology for our own operations, with a view to offering the solution to our large Tier One customer base, further growing MRL’s mining services business.”

Mike Grey, MRL’s Chief Executive – Mining Services, said: “MRL has always been at the forefront of providing innovative and low-cost mining services solutions. In recent years, we have implemented a number of new technologies which have enhanced the safety and operational efficiency of our long-distance road train haulage fleet, reducing the risks of driver fatigue and increasing fleet availability. The autonomous road trains will take us to the next level again. They provide a safe, cost-efficient solution for hauling ore, which is key to unlocking stranded tonnes in the Pilbara.”

He added: “Being part of the MRL Group, our Mining Services division is in a really good position to trial all of our new technologies on our own mine sites prior to offering additional services to our customers. Our autonomous road trains, combined with our other innovations, are all part of our growth strategy to expand our capability to provide full pit-to-ship, low-cost infrastructure solutions.”

Hancock, Mineral Resources and Roy Hill consider Australia-first infrastructure sharing pact

Hancock Prospecting Pty Ltd and Mineral Resources Ltd have entered into a legally binding agreement under which they will jointly investigate the potential to develop a new iron ore export facility at Port Hedland’s Stanley Point berth 3 in South West Creek.

The agreement would see Roy Hill Holdings, a Hancock subsidiary, provide services to both MRL and Hancock for development and operation of the project, including rail haulage and port services.

MRL said: “The project aligns with MRL’s strategy to unlock stranded deposits in the Pilbara by developing pit-to-port solutions and expanding its capability to be a long-term, low-cost sustainable supplier of iron ore to international markets.”

Hancock and MRL will conduct an expedited study to assess the economic and technical feasibility of the proposed project in the coming months, to usual market standards, they said.

In addition, Hancock and MRL will seek to undertake discussions with the Government of Western Australia and the Pilbara Ports Authority (PPA) in relation to the potential project. It is acknowledged that in order for the proposed project to proceed, the parties would need to first receive a development approval and a capacity allocation for the project from the PPA to jointly develop and operate Stanley Point berth 3 and other associated supporting port infrastructure.

MRL Managing Director, Chris Ellison (pictured in shot with Hancock Prospecting Executive Chair, Gina Rinehart on screen), said this partnership and infrastructure sharing proposal is the first-of-its-kind in the Australian resources industry and would enable significant value to be unlocked for the company in a sustainable manner.

“Our long-stated strategy is to transition from short-life, high-cost mines to lower-cost, long-life operations underpinned by innovative infrastructure solutions,” he said. “Developing our stranded assets will provide additional growth for MRL’s unique mining services build-own-operate model.”

The project  will be subject to a final investment decision by both parties, and other necessary approvals and agreements (including a lease, licence and an infrastructure development agreement or similar) from the PPA on agreed terms.

Dynamic Group drilling businesses capture iron ore, gold and lithium work

Dynamic Group Holdings Ltd says its Dynamic Drill & Blast Pty Ltd and Orlando Drilling Pty Ltd businesses have been awarded new contracts set to generate between A$12-$14.15 million ($8.6-10.1 million) of additional revenue.

Of the six recently awarded contracts, three were awarded to Dynamic Drill and Blast, and are associated with a Tier 1 ASX-listed iron ore producer across projects in the Pilbara region of Western Australia for the purposes of mining, civil construction and specialised blasting, the company said.

In addition to the Pilbara projects, Dynamic Drill and Blast has been awarded a project in the Gascoyne region of Western Australia working with a Tier 1 ASX-listed earthmoving contractor, as well as an additional construction project in the Goldfields region of Western Australia.

Furthermore, Global Lithium Resources Ltd (team pictured) has selected Orlando to carry out Global Lithium’s planned RC drilling program in the March quarter of 2022 at its Marble Bar lithium project in Western Australia. Global Lithium’s drilling program is planned to comprise of some 60,000 m of RC drilling.

Global Lithium Managing Director, Jamie Wright, said: “The program is aimed at extending the lithium mineralisation by targeting the greenstones to the south of our Archer Deposit, down to our southernmost tenements.”

Dynamic Drill and Blast continues contract discussions, which are at various stages, with multiple parties. The company is experiencing a sustained and strong level of enquiry resulting in a significant pipeline of opportunities for short-, medium- and long-term projects, it said.

Monadelphous banks more work with Rio Tinto and BHP

Monadelphous Group Limited says it has secured new contracts and contract extensions in the resources sector totalling approximately A$110 million ($80.1 million).

The company has secured a 12-month extension to its existing contract with BHP Iron Ore for the provision of general maintenance services for shutdowns, outages and minor capital works at the Mt Whaleback, Jimblebar, Eastern Ridge, Mining Area C and Yandi mine sites located in the Pilbara region of Western Australia.

Monadelphous has also been awarded several new contracts with Rio Tinto in the Pilbara under its sustaining capital projects panel agreement for:

  • The construction of new hawser rails and upgrades to the existing dolphins at Cape Lambert A and B wharves. The work, which includes design, fabrication, supply and installation, is expected to be completed by July 2023; and
  • The upgrade of conveyor gravity take-up systems at East Intercourse Island and Cape Lambert, with work expected to be completed in the September quarter of 2022.

In addition, Monadelphous has also secured a 12-month extension to its existing mechanical and electrical maintenance, shutdown and project services contract across BHP’s Nickel West operations in Western Australia.

Modular Steinert KSS sorting plant heading to Novo’s Pilbara deposits

Novo Resources has advised that Phase 2 mechanical sorting trials of its Pilbara deposit bulk samples will commence from early December 2021 following the dispatch of a Steinert KSS 100F LIXT fine mechanical sorting unit, due to be commissioned at its operation in Western Australia over the next few weeks.

The sorter will be installed adjacent to the company’s Golden Eagle processing facility in Nullagine.

Fifty samples from four different deposits across the Pilbara, ranging in size from 800 kg to approximately five tonnes, will be crushed and screened into three size fractions prior to testing through the sorter. The bulk samples will be processed by the sorter to produce a concentrate for gold assay.

Once this second phase of testing is complete, expected around the June quarter of 2022, the next phase of the test work will involve relocating the sorter to the company’ Comet Well project in Karratha, Western Australia, and commencing proposed large-scale bulk sample sorting test work of 20,000 t, leading to potential commercialisation of mechanical sorting for Pilbara conglomerates, Novo said.

The sorter infrastructure, designed and constructed by OPS Screening and Crushing Equipment, is a fully modular and containerised turnkey plant deployable to any of Novo’s tenements in the future for test work and potential large bulk sampling and processing, according to Novo. The sorter includes feed and product transfer conveyors, allowing the sorter to produce gold-bearing concentrates in a single pass for further upgrading or downstream processing.

This trial of the sorter within the Golden Eagle processing facility area is a culmination of several years of test work conducted by Novo to determine the amenability of mechanical sorting to its 13,250 sq.km of tenements across Western Australia.

“Mechanical sensor-based sorting utilises X-ray technology, 3D colour laser and metal induction to identify gold-bearing material,” Novo said. “A high-pressure air jet ‘shoots’ these gold-bearing particles into a collection system to produce a concentrate for further downstream processing.”

Rob Humphryson, CEO and a Director of Novo, said: “Mobilising the mechanical sorter for Phase 2 field trials represents an important step in progressing this innovative technology. We are looking forward to observing sorter performance from field samples collected at Comet Well, Purdy’s Reward, Talga Talga and Egina ahead of larger-scale field trials at Comet Well and Purdy’s Reward scheduled for Q2 (June quarter) 2022.”

Metso Outotec reinforces Pilbara focus with plans for new service centre

Metso Outotec is investing in the development of its service capabilities in Australia with a new service centre in the iron-rich Pilbara region of Western Australia.

The planned Pilbara service centre underlines Metso Outotec’s commitment to deliver high-level services to its mining and aggregates customers, with the facility delivering enhanced productivity and shorter lead time in the region, the OEM said.

The construction work will begin as soon as the acquisition of the land and planning of the facility, currently subject to customary authority approvals and conditions, has been completed. Construction is planned to be completed by the end of 2022.

The location of the centre will provide the agile delivery of equipment repairs, act as a base for field services and hold inventory for customer-critical wear and spare parts, according to Metso Outotec. The Pilbara service centre is expected to employ around 40 skilled personnel from the local communities, including service engineers and experts. It will handle equipment including crushers, mills, screens and car dumper repairs, as well as a customer training facility.

Stuart Sneyd, President for Metso Outotec in Asia Pacific, said: “The new facility location has been chosen to provide enhanced local support to our customers in the Pilbara region and represents our long-term commitment in Australia. Our customers will now have even better access to services, repairs, parts and technical expertise to maximise their operations’ performance.”

Martin Karlsson, Senior Vice President, Professional Services, added: “The facility complements our global network of service centres. We will provide our customers with strong operational support and leading process knowledge to deliver high performance and safety standards for an exceptional customer experience.”

The centre also supports its customers’ sustainability commitments by delivering environmentally-efficient technologies and services, the company said. Metso Outotec has high sustainability targets in its own operations and supply chain. It is committed to reducing CO2 emissions from its own operations by 50% by 2024 and targets net-zero emissions by 2030.

Metso Outotec, in Australia, employs approximately 900 people serving mining, metals and aggregates customers.

Rio’s WTS2 iron ore project hits first ore milestone, Mondium says

Mondium says first ore has been achieved at Rio Tinto’s Western Turner Syncline Phase 2 project (WTS2) in Western Australia.

Rio Tinto awarded Perth-based Mondium a A$400 million ($276 million) contract to design and construct the mine in early 2020. This saw the company, a joint venture involving Monadelphous and Lycopodium, undertake all engineering and design, procurement and site construction works associated with the WTS2 development, including the process plant, overland conveyor and non-process infrastructure.

Celebrating the achievement, Mondium said it was a significant achievement for its EPC team, Rio Tinto and delivery partners.

It added: “593 days and more than two million site hours worked culminated in the first loader bucket tipping high-grade ore into the WTS2 run of mine bin. Forty minutes later, the ore was discharged to the WTS1 belt and delivered to the Tom Price stockpiles.”

Back in November 2019, Rio said it would invest $749 million in the development of WTS2 at its Greater Tom Price operations, facilitating mining of existing and new deposits and including construction of a new crusher as well as a 13 km conveyor. In addition to this, the haul truck fleet at the mine would be fitted with Autonomous Haulage System technology to enable autonomous haulage. This fleet has since been commissioned.