Tag Archives: Port Hedland

Element 25 progresses Zero Carbon Manganese vision with AK Evans pact

A day after securing the sale of the first parcel of material from its Butcherbird manganese project in Western Australia, Element 25 Ltd has signed a letter of intent with AK Evans Group Australia for transportation of manganese concentrate from the project to Utah Point in Port Hedland.

AK Evans is a privately owned construction, civils, heavy and bulk haulage company, founded in Port Hedland, with locations across Western Australia. AK Evans also has a strategic partnership with Kurtarra Pty Ltd, an 100% indigenous-owned earthmoving and services company.

The letter of intent will cover the initial transport arrangements – with haulage for the maiden cargo undertaken using agreed terms and rates – and the parties are in the process of finalising a long-term commercial arrangement, which will see the introduction of new quad road trains during the remainder of 2021, Element 25 said.

Element 25 Managing Director, Justin Brown, said: “We are excited to be partnering with AK Evans with a view to having new dedicated road trains to transport our manganese to Port Hedland. We are also excited to know we can work with our commercial partners in delivering solutions to fulfil our vision of delivering Zero Carbon Manganese™ for the electric vehicle (EV) battery revolution. This is another important milestone for the project and company, and we are excited to be heading for our first shipment of Butcherbird’s material to our offtake partners.”

On May 26, Element 25 announced the sale of the first parcel of material from Butcherbird to OMH under offtake agreement terms. The material in the contract specification is 30-35% Mn concentrate, with the first shipment planned for June 2021.

Last year, Element 25 completed a prefeasibility study on Butcherbird that outlined a start-up manganese concentrate export scenario as part of a staged development strategy. It outlined a maiden proven and probable reserve of 50.55 Mt at 10.3% Mn containing 5.22 Mt of manganese, with a base case assuming annual production and sales of 312,000 t/y of medium-grade lump manganese concentrate grading 30-35% Mn.

“The project team will now turn its focus to the next stages of the multi-stage development strategy of the project including a Stage 2 expansion of the concentrate business followed by a Stage 3 development to convert the concentrate material into high purity manganese sulphate monohydrate for electric vehicle (EV) batteries to power the global transition away from fossil fuel powered mobility,” the company said.

Element 25 says Butcherbird is ideally placed to feed potential demand, with advanced flowsheet development work undertaken in 2019 and 2020 confirming a simple, unique, ambient temperature and atmospheric pressure leach process for Element 25 ores which, when combined with offsets, will target the world’s first Zero Carbon Manganese for EV cathode manufacture.

Sanjiv Ridge heads for full operations after Atlas Iron crushes first milestone

Atlas Iron has announced first ore has been crushed at its new mine, Sanjiv Ridge, in Western Australia, ahead of schedule.

Sanjiv Ridge is set to provide a significant boost to Atlas’s annual output, with an expected 4-5 Mt/y of lump and fines to be hauled by road to the Utah Point stockyard at Port Hedland. It is expected the mine will add 5-6 years to the Atlas value chain, with 64 Mt at 57.2% Fe of mineral resources and 29 Mt at 57% Fe reserves.

On the crushing milestone, Atlas Iron CEO, Sanjiv Manchanda, said: “Congratulations to all our team members, including both Atlas Iron staff and our valued contractors, for their hard work and dedication to hit this target ahead of schedule. Now, with first ore crushed, we are focusing on building the product stockpile and commencement of road haulage.”

Sanjiv Ridge was recently renamed from Corunna Downs after Atlas’ CEO in recognition of his long service across the Hancock Prospecting Group of companies.

The new mine site is due to be in full operation in the third quarter of Atlas’ 2021 financial year, and is situated northeast of Atlas Iron’s existing mining operation, Mount Webber.

SIMPEC and IronMerge create Aboriginal Business JV serving the Pilbara

WestStar Industrial Ltd’s engineering contractor business SIMPEC has formed its first Aboriginal Business joint venture, IronMerge SIMPEC JV, with IronMerge Pty Ltd.

IronMerge is a Supply Nation Aboriginal-owned mining and civil works service company, delivering local contracting solutions to customers across the Pilbara, driving employment outcomes for Indigenous people and local communities in the Port Hedland region, WestStar says. The company prides itself on being a Nyamal family business and offers direct employment for Nyamal people in the Pilbara.

IronMerge SIMPEC JV, an unincorporated 50:50 joint venture, has been formed to deliver a key component of SIMPEC’s Aboriginal engagement strategy and overall commitment to returning benefit to Traditional Owners and communities within its operational footprint, according to WestStar.

The key objectives of the joint venture are:

  • For SIMPEC and IronMergeto cooperate and support one another in construction and service opportunities in and around the Pilbara, winning work jointly or separately;
  • To actively participate and positively contribute to the communities in which the parties operate by continuing to create local employment opportunities and engaging the community interest in everything that is done; and
  • To be project and service delivery partners of choice through complete alignment with clients in meeting their goals, obligations and commitments to Traditional Owners and local Aboriginal businesses.

SIMPEC Managing Director, Mark Dimasi, said: “This is a milestone achievement not only for SIMPEC but also Ian Taylor (pictured in the centre) and his IronMerge team. This is a very proud moment for all of us and I sincerely look forward to seeing this JV relationship delivering sustainable outcomes to our businesses and equally to Aboriginal business and communities. A big thank you to all involved in bringing the first step in our ambitious goal to a reality.”

SIMPEC says it continues to develop and strengthen its relationship with local Traditional Owners and Aboriginal businesses.

“We believe our overall focus on social responsibility will further enhance SIMPEC’s positioning for financial year 2021 and beyond,” it added.

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.

Monadelphous set to take on more BHP work in Australia, Chile

Monadelphous Group has gained a further foothold in numerous BHP majority-owned projects as part of its latest construction and maintenance contract awards in the resources and energy sectors that come with a combined value of around A$100 million ($72 million).

Under its recently awarded WAIO Site Engineering Panel Framework Agreement with BHP, the company has been awarded the following contracts in the Pilbara region of Western Australia:

  • A contract for the supply and installation of the Jimblebar Transfer Station project, with work expected to be completed by December 2020; and
  • A contract for the refurbishment of Car Dumper 3 at Nelson Point, Port Hedland, with work expected to be undertaken during the second half of 2020.

Further, Monadelphous has also been awarded a contract under its WAIO Asset Panel Framework Agreement with BHP for the Port Availability Improvement project to provide multidisciplinary brownfield modification works to conveyors and transfer chutes across the Nelson Point and Finucane Island facilities, in Western Australia. The work is expected to be completed in the second half of the 2021.

Then, in Chile, Monadelphous has secured several new contracts through its maintenance and construction services business, Buildtek, which it acquired late last year.

This includes two contracts with Minera Escondida BHP, for the construction and assembly of a communications tower and associated infrastructure at the Escondida copper mine, as well as an upgrade to the conveyor system feeding the Filter Plant Warehouse at Coloso Port, both in the Antofagasta region.

These contract awards were announced the day before Monadelphous released its 2020 financial year results, which showed the company generated A$1.65 billion of revenue in the 12 months and produced a net profit after tax result of A$36.5 million.

BHP studying iron ore export expansion at Port Hedland

BHP says it is looking into options to increase its iron ore export capacity at Port Hedland, in Western Australia, with the potential for a 40 Mt/y boost if “market conditions allow”.

The company is currently focused on hitting its 290 Mt/y capacity (on a 100% basis) in the medium term, but it said it wanted to be able to respond to further growth opportunities in the future if conditions allow.

BHP, prior to the spread of the COVID-19 virus, said it expected to ship 273-286 Mt of iron ore on a 100% basis in its 2020 financial year to June 30, 2020.

A public consultation on the expansion plan has begun ahead of BHP submitting an application to the Western Australia Government to gain a licence for this increased iron ore export capacity.

The licence application is the first step in a broader process. The company anticipates submitting the application next month once the consultation has occurred and the process towards the approval taking most of the rest of 2020.

BHP said the move was about “providing future options”, and “should not in any way be construed as a forecast or target”.

This is not the first time the company has talked about expanding capacity beyond the 290 Mt/y mark at Port Hedland. During the last boom when the company was still heading for 155 Mt/y capacity, it tabled an ambitious and expensive Outer Harbour development at Port Hedland. While the project was scrapped as the downturn ensued, it could have seen capacity rise to 450 Mt/y (on a 100% basis).

One area where the company has made a definitive pledge to invest in the Pilbara is around air quality and dust emissions.

BHP said it planned to spend A$300 million ($194 million) over the next five years to improve air quality and dust emissions across its Pilbara operations. This investment, it said, reinforces its commitment to the long-term, sustainable future of the Pilbara region as an economic powerhouse and follows A$400 million in projects already delivered over the past decade to minimise dust emissions across its supply chain.

BHP General Manager Port, Nilson Davila, said: “BHP has reviewed global best practice dust management and air quality control methods and identified new opportunities to further improve our approach. We recognise we have a shared responsibility to address dust issues in the Pilbara.”

The Pilbara air quality program involves:

  • The construction of wind fences at port operations, a method that has been proven to significantly reduce the potential for dust lift-off from stockpiles;
  • Trialling, with a view to “at-scale construction”, of vegetation barriers to capture dust in the West End in Port Hedland, in partnership with Curtin University and Greening Australia; and
  • Implementation of operational dust control projects across its entire Pilbara supply chain, such as moisture management systems, ore conditioning and monitoring infrastructure, and improvements across its existing controls at mines and port.

BHP said individual projects will still be subject to all necessary internal and state government approvals.

“The planned investment signals BHP’s strong commitment to the Pilbara, and particularly to the revitalisation of the West End into a vibrant commercial hub,” Davila said.

BHP said it remained committed to working with government, industry and the local community on the recommendations of the Port Hedland Dust Management Taskforce Report, including the development by the Department of Water and Environmental Regulation of best practice guidelines for bulk handling facilities and their implementation.

Mondelphous strengthens BHP ties in Western Australia

Monadelphous Group has secured a number of contracts across Western Australia with BHP as part of a package of construction and maintenance agreements worth circa-A$110 million ($75 million).

The news comes on top of existing maintenance and other contracts the company has previously secured with the major mining company.

These include a contract at the BHP-owned Mining Area C iron ore mine site in the Pilbara, where Monadelphous will provide upgrades to existing conveyer equipment, and power switching and stackers. Work is expected to be completed in the September quarter of 2020.

The engineering firm has also won a contract for the provision of services associated with the demolition and rehabilitation of a number of end-of-life facilities at Nelson Point in Port Hedland. This contract is expected to commence in January 2020 and will be completed in the September quarter of 2020.

Monadelphous will also carry out a 12-month extension to its existing contract with BHP’s Nickel West division for the provision of maintenance, shutdowns and off-site repair services at the Kalgoorlie nickel smelter.

Lastly with BHP, the company has been awarded a contract with thyssenkrupp Industrial Solutions (Australia) for the construction of a reclaimer and two stackers at BHP’s South Flank project in the Pilbara. thyssenkrupp has previously said these will be the largest rail mounted stacker/reclaimers in the world, with a loading capacity of 20,000 t/h.

Monadelphous’ work is expected to be completed in the March quarter of 2021.

In Queensland, meanwhile, the ASX-listed company has secured a three-year contract for the provision of general mechanical and maintenance services as part of Incitec Pivot’s scheduled turnarounds for its Queensland manufacturing facilities, it said.

Mammoet keeps BHP South Flank iron ore project moving forward

Mammoet is doing its bit to ensure BHP hits its 2021 first production goal at the South Flank iron ore project, in the Pilbara of Western Australia, having started transporting the first heavy components for the under-construction mine.

Around 1,900 items including prefabricated and modular mine processing plant units of various sizes will be transported from Port Hedland to the new mine site, 340 km away, Mammoet said.

The $3.6 billion South Flank project, around 8 km south of BHP’s existing Mining Area C operation, will replace production from BHP’s Yandi mine, which is nearing the end of its life. The investment into the new mine site will ensure the continued production of high-quality iron ore for more than 25 years, according to BHP.

Once complete, South Flank will be one of Western Australia’s largest iron ore processing facilities. As mentioned, production is expected to start in 2021.

Mammoet has existing operational branches in Port Hedland and Karratha, meaning it is equipped to provide localised support for the South Flank project.

Among other heavy haulage equipment on site, Mammoet has 96 axle lines of SPMT located in the port and the mine site, as well as 178 axle lines of conventional trailers with 14 prime movers. The company says it has approached the large-scale logistics project with detailed planning to coordinate the thousands of components that are arriving at the port over 14 shipments and ensure they are delivered to site safely and on time.

Port Hedland’s iron ore export capacity receives ‘potential’ boost

One of the world’s largest ports for iron ore exports, Port Hedland, in Western Australia, has had its  potential shipping capacity increased by 40 Mt/y.

The additional capacity, which was a result of Western Australia Government and industry investment at the port, will see Port Hedland’s potential shipping capacity go from 577 Mt/y to 617 Mt/y, a 6.9% increase.

Annual capacity allocations for each port user will remain the same, according to a media statement from Western Australia Ports Minister, Alannah MacTiernan. However, the increased capacity will allow all port users more capacity above their allocated tonnages by accessing D‑class shipping opportunities under the Port Hedland Vessel Movement Protocols.

Investments at the port to facilitate this new capacity modelling by the Pilbara Ports Authority included capital dredging, innovative marine technology and other port efficiencies, according to the statement.

This includes the recently completed three-year dredging works program, the Channel Risk and Optimisation Project. The A$120 million ($81 million) project included the removal of “high spots” in the channel, optimising navigable depths to allow deeper drafted vessels to safely navigate along the 42 km shipping channel.

Also driving this increase is the continued movement and facilitation of larger vessels in the channel. The sizes of ships coming into Port Hedland have increased significantly in recent years, with 45% of vessels now carrying more than 200,000 deadweight tonnage, compared with less than 10% in 2009, according to the Pilbara Ports Authority. Much of this increase can be put down to bigger vessels carrying iron ore from Port Hedland to Asia and elsewhere.

In August, Port Hedland achieved a monthly throughput of 46.1 Mt, of which 45.4 Mt was iron ore exports. The monthly throughput was a 7% increase from August 2018, according to the Pilbara Ports Authority.

Fortescue completes tug fleet and towage infrastructure at Herb Elliott Port

Fortescue Metals Group has celebrated the completion of its fleet of tugs and towage infrastructure at the company’s Herb Elliott Port, in Port Hedland, Western Australia.

Founder and Chairman, Andrew Forrest (pictured on the left), together with Chief Executive Officer, Elizabeth Gaines (pictured on the right), and the core leadership team, were joined by local politicians and members of the Port Hedland community to celebrate the milestone ahead of tug operations commencing in July.

Fortescue has procured and constructed six tugs and leased a further three tugs, including six Advanced Rotor Tugs 85-32W, which were constructed by Damen Shipyards at the Song Cam and Damen Song Cam shipyards, in Vietnam, it said. The tugs will be based at the new nine berth tug and harbour facility, located in the vicinity of Fortescue’s berths one to three at Anderson Point.

Forrest said: “As Australia’s economic and industrial gateway to Asia, the port of Port Hedland is the largest bulk export port in the world. It is an economic powerhouse of our country generating countless jobs and businesses directly across the nation and supporting the standard of living of us all.

“Since Fortescue was founded, we have set ourselves the toughest stretch targets we could. We aimed to develop the world’s most advanced vertically integrated bulk operations infrastructure, and to seamlessly link this with our core exploration, metallurgical and mining operations.

“Our aim was to develop an integrated world leading system to deliver critical ores that would build the economies of nations. The strategic decisions made by the Board to build our fleet of ore carriers and Fortescue owned and operated towage capability mark the critical completion of this part of Fortescue’s journey.”

Gaines added: “Fortescue operates the most efficient bulk port operation in Australia and the towage fleet represents the final element in our supply chain, with our innovative new tug fleet able to provide safe and reliable towage services and additional towage capacity for all Port Hedland users. The tug fleet and new facilities will maximise the efficiencies of our operation and provide long-term sustainable towage services crucial to meeting the demands of our customers.

“I would like to thank the entire Fortescue team for their work to bring us to the point of operational readiness, as well as the Pilbara Ports Authority, Damen Song Cam Shipyard, who constructed the vessels, and KOTUG and Westug Pty Ltd, who will manage the towage operations.”