Tag Archives: Port Hedland

Aqura Technologies to deliver Private 4G network at Port Hedland

Aqura Technologies, a Telstra Purple company, says it will design and deliver an advanced Private 4G network for the Port Hedland-based operation of Pilbara Ports Authority (PPA).

The new standalone broadband network will support PPA’s extensive marine digital platforms, enhance worker mobility and provide seafarers with independent high-speed connectivity when visiting the Port of Port Hedland, it said. Port Hedland is a major export facility for the big iron ore producers in the Pilbara of Western Australia.

Aqura Chief Operations Officer, Alan Seery, said: “The solution Aqura has designed blends the best in operational network capability with enhanced user experience, accessible across the extensive Port of Port Hedland operations and out to sea.

“Our installation of Private 4G at the Port of Port Hedland will leverage the expanded capabilities of Private 4G that will assist the PPA in driving safety, productivity and efficiency initiatives.

“The communications network, upgradeable to 5G as technology advances, also offers more control and flexibility to support Industry 4.0 use cases and other technologies such as IoT.”

Private 4G requires the delivery of several prioritised services for a range of different end-use cases. The network leverages the embedded Quality of Service capability and high throughput of 4G and is dimensioned to ensure the extensive marine sensors network that PPA uses has reliable and robust connectivity for the safe passage of vessels through challenging waterways in the area.

The private network will also enable PPA staff to access their corporate and operational systems reliably and securely from anywhere across their extensive port operations, which enhances productivity and improves access to digital safety systems and procedures, Aqura says.

To ensure the wellbeing and welfare of seafarers is enhanced while being restricted to their vessels at berth or at anchor, Aqura will leverage its Complete Access Network platform to deliver a secure, user-friendly service, it added.

The project has kicked off with the network planned to be live by the end of 2022.

BHP continues to innovate with Port Hedland automation, dust control measures

BHP has completed Australia- and world-firsts at Port Hedland, in Western Australia, involving the award of a wind fences contract and testing of two new automated shiploaders at the port operations.

The automation world first is aimed at providing significant safety, production and cost benefits, BHP said, using 3D laser scan technology as part of the A$50 million ($36 million) project to fully automate eight shiploaders by 2023.

The eight shiploaders – at BHP’s Nelson Point and Finucane Island operations – are responsible for loading about 1,500 bulk ore carriers every year, exporting approximately 280 Mt of iron ore to global customers in 2021.

The project is expected to enable an increase in production of more than 1 Mt/y, through the combination of greater precision, reduced spillage, faster load times and equipment optimisation, BHP said.

An additional 12 jobs have been created through this project, located in the Integrated Remote Operations Centre in Perth. The number of Port Hedland-based roles remains unchanged, with existing staff being deployed across the shiploaders and through a range of other production-based roles.

BHP’s Asset President WA Iron Ore, Brandon Craig, said: “The shiploader automation project shows that our Pilbara teams are at the forefront of innovation, technology and operational excellence. Automating our shiploaders will improve safety for our people and allow us to load our ships more precisely and efficiently, including through automatic adjustments for weather, hazards and other variable port conditions.”

The shiploaders will transition towards becoming fully automated later this year. Once completed, the ship loading operations will be operated from the Integrated Remote Operations Centre in Perth.

Australia’s first wind fences, meanwhile, are designed to reduce dust emissions as part of BHP’s A$300 million air quality commitment. They will be built in Port Hedland by CIMIC Group’s CPB Contractors.

Announcing the successful tender in Port Hedland, BHP and CPB Contractors said three fences would be built at BHP’s Nelson Point and Finucane Island operations. Construction of the wind fences is expected to start in August 2022 and take 14 months to complete.

Up to 150 employees will be involved in the construction of the project, with up to 10% Indigenous employment.

Designed for the Pilbara’s unique weather conditions, and rated specifically to withstand cyclones, the fences will include mesh panels designed to reduce wind speeds, shielding BHP’s stockpiles and reducing the potential for dust lift-off, it said.

The fences will abate dust emissions in current operations and ensure no net increases in dust emissions should operations expand over time.

BHP Port General Manager, Cindy Dunham, said: “The wind fences will be constructed using global best practice dust management and air quality control technology.

“The investment forms part of our Pilbara Air Quality Program and demonstrates our commitment to the region and contribution to the revitalisation of the West End.”

CPB Contractors General Manager WA, SA & NT, Andrew Giammo, said: “Construction of the wind fences will involve the fabrication of 3,000 t of structural steel – this work will be undertaken here in WA and will be a major boost to local industry.”

The wind fences, which will be fabricated and built in Western Australia, are designed to control dust from BHP’s port operations and will be the first of their kind in Australia.

The 30-m-high fences, which span a length of 2 km, will include mesh panels designed to reduce wind speeds, shielding the stockyard and reducing the potential for dust lift-off. As the wind speed reaches a certain limit, the mesh curtain opens, to let the air flow through the fence.

Civmec to replace car dumper at BHPs Nelson Point, carry out new work for Roy Hill

Civmec Limited says it has recently secured circa-A$120 million ($86 million) of new contracts across multiple operating sectors, including three new agreements with BHP and Roy Hill.

Among these new assignments is a Car Dumper Replacement project for BHP, which has instructed Civmec to replace Car Dumper 3 (CD3) at the Nelson Point facility in Port Hedland, Western Australia, was commissioned in 1998. The new CD3 has a design life of 30 years and is intended to fit in the existing concrete vault with minimal structural modifications, Civmec said.

Procurement activities for this project have commenced, with fabrication commencing in the first quarter of its 2023 financial year (September quarter) and completion of fabrication in Q4 FY2023 (June quarter of 2023). At peak, this contract will employ approximately 85 people, Civmec said.

Roy Hill, meanwhile, has instructed Civmec to perform two contracts.

The first one is a capital upgrades project where it has been awarded the SMP&E (Structural Mechanical Piping and Electrical) works for the ROM4 Crusher 5 project at Roy Hill’s mine in the Pilbara of Western Australia. This is a follow on from the current SMP&E contract for the WHIMS project for Roy Hill, which is nearing completion and will see the same project management team transitioning to the ROM4 project.

The scope includes SMP&E plus communications works for the Crushing Station 5 and transfer conveyor, including installation of client-supplied modules and equipment. Mobilisation will commence in the June quarter of this year with completion by the end of the year.

Civmec has also received an extension of its Shutdown and Maintenance Support Services Agreement with Roy Hill, being granted an additional five years through to March 2027.

“This contract extension demonstrates a significant commitment from Roy Hill and will enable Civmec to support the Roy Hill Operation with multi-disciplined shutdown and maintenance services for the fixed plant assets across the port (facility) and PSA (mine),” Civmec said.

“As one of Civmec’s long term customers, Roy Hill is an important stakeholder for our maintenance business. Our investment in the local community and our commitment to building our Port Hedland Workshop facility is evidence of our pledge to being a long-term partner to Roy Hill and our intent is to further strengthen this relationship.”

CPB Contractors to help BHP debottleneck Nelson Point at Port Hedland

CIMIC Group says its CPB Contractors business has been selected by BHP to deliver the structural, mechanical, piping, electrical and instrumentation package for the port debottlenecking project at Nelson Point, Port Hedland in the Pilbara region of Western Australia.

The contract will generate revenue of approximately A$100 million ($72 million) to CPB Contractors.

CIMIC Group Executive Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Juan Santamaria, said: “We’re pleased to be supporting BHP with this project. Our mining and resources experience and history in the Pilbara means we can collaborate on the project’s high standards of safety and quality.”

CPB Contractors Managing Director, Jason Spears, added: “This project builds on CPB Contractors’ substantial experience in delivering resources infrastructure. We are pleased to continue our long-term partnership with BHP, to deliver another important resources project in the Pilbara.”

The project involves delivering both greenfield and brownfield works, with work commencing this year and expected to be completed in 2023.

Last year, Civmec also received a contract linked to the port debottlenecking project, which, in Stage 1, includes a new stockyard planned for the South Yard at Nelson Point.

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.

Civmec banks new work from BHP, Roy Hill and Rio Tinto

Civmec Ltd says it has received three notices of award from several repeat mining customers for maintenance and capital works projects collectively worth approximately A$130 million ($97 million).

These orders – from BHP, Roy Hill and Rio Tinto – bring its total order book to about A$1.05 billion as at September 30, 2021.

For BHP, Civmec is to carry out a civil and earthworks job as part of the miner’s Port De-bottlenecking Project Stage 1, which includes a new stockyard planned for the South Yard at Nelson Point, in Port Hedland, Western Australia.

The scope of work includes dewatering, piling, ground improvement, associated earthworks, concrete foundations, new roads, high voltage poles and underground power works.

Civmec says mobilisation will commence this quarter, with completion expected in the March quarter of 2022.

With Roy Hill, Civmec is due to carry out a greenfield construction package related to an extension of the existing Wet High Intensity Magnetic Separation (WHIMS) plant at Roy Hill’s mine site north of Newman, in Western Australia’s Pilbara region.

The scope of work includes greenfield installation and pre-commissioning of pre-assembled modules, piping, electrical and tie-in works. Mobilisation will commence immediately and completion is scheduled for the March quarter of 2022.

At Rio Tinto’s Boyne Island Smelters operation, Civmec is to supply refractory trades and other associated disciplines for maintenance, rebuild and reduction cell reconstruction works on carbon bake furnaces. The contract term is for three years with two one-year extension options.

Civmec’s Chief Executive Officer, Patrick Tallon, said: “We are delighted to secure these project wins with three of our long-term Tier 1 customers. The projects combine multi-year maintenance works along with two projects within our newly formed Maintenance and Capital Works – Resources and Energy area. With the BHP PDP1 project located in the Port Hedland region, it provides an ideal opportunity for Civmec’s newly opened regional branch to support the project, validating Civmec’s recently announced plans to invest in a purpose-built facility in 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.