Tag Archives: thyssenkrupp

FLSmidth looks for sustainable gains with thyssenkrupp mining buy

The subtleties behind FLSmidth’s acquisition of thyssenkrupp’s mining business appear to have got lost within the financial community.

The company’s Denmark-listed shares, since announcing the transaction in late July, lost 16% of their value to August 20.

This downward move is hardly surprising when focusing on pure financials: FLSmidth is looking to acquire a company for an enterprise value of $325 million that is only expected to return to profitability two years after financial close.

Yet, this narrow train of thought discounts the well-timed strategy behind the move.

A combination of the two companies will undoubtedly create a leading global mining technology provider with operations from pit to plant. It will also see FLSmidth re-geared towards a mining sector on the up at a time when the cement business it serves is exhibiting flattish demand.

While this won’t be lost on analysts, most of them will only be able to factor in short-term profitability projections into their financial models, meaning, as far as they’re concerned, FLSmidth will be weighed down by the transaction until 2024.

Yet, for FLSmidth and mining, 2024 is practically ‘just around the corner’.

In FLSmidth’s recently released June quarter results it registered an order backlog of DKK16.7 billion ($2.6 billion), the majority of which was associated with mining orders. Of the backlog amount attributable to the mining sector, 16% would not be realised until 2023 and beyond.

This could mean many of the orders FLSmidth registered in the most recent June quarter will only be realised (read: delivered) in 2024, the year thyssenkrupp’s mining business is expected to be back in the black.

This is just one of the subtleties that may have got lost by shareholders fixated on the short term.

The second is how the transaction sets the company up as a mining sustainability leader at a time when the industry is calling out for one.

At the top end of the mining industry, the ability to decarbonise operations is becoming as – if not more – important as returning cash to shareholders. Every tonne of copper extracted and processed, and every ounce of gold mined and refined is likely to come with an associated carbon content/price in future years. The battery materials supply chain tied to the likes of lithium, cobalt and nickel will come under even more scrutiny.

Blockchain-type traceability platforms will mean investors and any interested party can interrogate where the raw materials came from and how they were produced.

These same miners will also be judged on how they use water, with freshwater use being rationalised in many regions where such resources are scarce.

FLSmidth, should the acquisition complete next year, is arming itself to compete in this brave new sustainable world.

The company started this journey all the way back in November 2019 when it announced its MissionZero program at its Capital Markets Day in Copenhagen.

Central to MissionZero is FLSmidth’s focus on enabling its customers in cement and mining to move towards zero emissions operations in 2030.

The OEM planned to do this by leveraging the development of digital and innovative solutions tied to sustainable productivity, offering its customers in the mining sector the technological solutions to manage zero emissions mining processes by 2030 – with a specific focus on water management.

For the latter, dry-stack tailings was the order of the day, with FLSmidth’s EcoTails® solution expected to reduce water costs, tailings dam risks and minimise environmental footprint. The development of the largest filter press plate ever built, the 5 m x 3 m AFP, was a signal of just how confident FLSmidth was on this emerging market trend becoming fully embedded across the globe.

Digital products such as SAGwise™, SmartCyclone™, BulkExpert™ and Advanced Process Control would, in the meantime, allow miners to become that more efficient with every resource (water, energy, etc) they used, again, improving their sustainability credentials.

Close to two years after making the MissionZero declaration, Thomas Schulz, CEO of FLSmidth, says the company has been seeing the program’s effects come through in its order book.

“Actually, this has been translated in orders for a few years already,” he told IM.

“When we look into sustainability, we define it as making productivity improvements. If you don’t adopt these sustainability solutions, you effectively have to pay more to keep operating at the same levels, or you have to stop operating – there is a productivity element to it, and quite a big one.

“For us, as a lifecycle provider, it is important that we offer to our customers at any point in time and any point of our offering, the right solution to make more money. That can be with dry-stacked tailings, tailings management, IPCC (in-pit crushing and conveying) systems, electrification of the pit, reducing emissions or dust, etc.”

Many of these solutions will enable companies to produce the same amount of product, or more, with the same input costs and energy draw, according to Schulz.

Coping with further restrictions on the industry’s access to freshwater will require more than step-change initiatives, and that is why the company is working on how its equipment can use “different types of water” and technologies that use less freshwater to ensure operations can abide by incoming legislation.

The company has been working on providing these zero-emission and resource-efficient solutions since 2019 to enable its customers to become sustainable operators by 2030.

“For many people, that sounds very long,” Schulz said. “In the mining industry, it’s not.”

Factor in the two-to-three years to build a pilot plant to prove such technology, two-to-three years to get a full-scale plant approved and the associated construction time, and a decade has passed.
Sustainability represents the ‘long game’ for mining OEMs, and technology is the key to achieving that sustainability, Schulz said.

Which brings us back to the thyssenkrupp mining business acquisition.

One of the big pillars

FLSmidth, in adding thyssenkrupp mining to its portfolio, is providing a whole host of decarbonised options for its mining customers to consider in their own sustainability drive.

It is adding mine planning expertise to its portfolio, ensuring that the IPCC and continuous surface mining technologies it puts forward are optimised for the operation at hand. These technologies are further complemented by semi-continuous and mobile crushing options from thyssenkrupp mining, adapted to the pit profile at hand.

Heavy-duty overland conveyors from thyssenkrupp mining complement other bulk handling solutions FLSmidth might be providing at stockyards or ports to reduce truck haulage and shift the transport dynamic to ‘green’ grid power.

“The culture in project service companies is you are the hero if you come to the table with the next big project,” Thomas Schulz says. “In product service companies, you are the hero if you come with the next big profit”

Then, when it comes to comminution, a crushing (including primary jaw crushers) and screening portfolio, plus smaller milling options and expertise in high pressure grinding rolls (HPGRs) through the globally renowned Polysius business, is bolted onto FLSmidth’s own crushing and grinding (including vertical roll milling technology) portfolio. This puts the combined offering up there with any global OEM around, while also providing the potential ‘dry grinding’ technologies the industry has been on the lookout for.

All these solutions come with sustainability benefits that can be felt throughout the mining value chain.

They also provide options and flexibility to an industry that cannot just suddenly retire a fleet of ultra-class haul trucks at a deep open-pit operation in favour of a fixed IPCC solution, or build a new process plant fitted with HPGRs to replace a typical SAG and ball mill grinding circuit.

Schulz said as much to IM.

“One of the big pillars of the whole acquisition lies in sustainability,” he said. “Normally, the process plants where we play big are all electrified, so if the energy resource coming into these plants is a green one, the process is already sustainable.

“When we look into the pit, in-pit crushing and transporting of material is where we can focus a lot.

“I’m not saying you can replace every truck, but some of the surface mines and the ones underground can be made significantly more continuous and sustainable from a transport perspective.

“thyssenkrupp is leading in that. They are quite big in the pit; we are quite big in the processing plant. Both, together, are complementary.

“If we can integrate the offering – and we will do – and make it more sustainable, that is a big step towards the 2030 MissionZero target.”

This increased spread of solutions will also provide FLSmidth with more opportunities to refine the entire flowsheet, providing further sustainability benefits to its customers.

“When we design solutions, or offer replacement equipment or a new process, we can now rely on expanded competences to look at what the best overall system for the entire flowsheet is,” Schulz said. “For instance, if we change the gyratory on a mine site and then look into the pit, we know how to size the equipment in the pit and the concentrator upstream.”

This increasing flowsheet focus must be complemented by an aftermarket approach that ensures the process remains efficient and sustainable throughout a product’s, solution’s or mine’s lifetime.

This was one of the obvious disparities between the two companies when the announcement was made in late July. It is also one of the biggest opportunities that comes with the planned transaction, according to FLSmidth.

Whereas capital business represented 37% of mining revenue in 2020 for FLSmidth, it was 66% of revenue for thyssenkrupp’s mining business. Services represented 63% and 34% of the two businesses’ 2020 revenue total, respectively.

Schulz has seen such a contrast – and opportunity – before, referencing his arrival at FLSmidth in 2013.

“When I came here to FLSmidth, it was actually quite similar,” he said. “I was at Sandvik for 16 years where the aftermarket was actually seen as the most important. They realised the importance of the customer relationship: the capital equipment sales team may meet the customer for a few hours per year, but the service technician has that interaction over weeks and months in terms of aftermarket.”

He also recognises the cultural shift needed to capture many of the profitable aftermarket dollars that the company is forecasting with the planned acquisition.

“The culture in project service companies is you are the hero if you come to the table with the next big project,” he said. “In product service companies, you are the hero if you come with the next big profit.

“You need both – we need profit, and our customers need profit to invest, while you need the projects to spur these aftermarket opportunities.

“We calculated what the aftermarket potential of the thyssenkrupp mining business is and understood it was not covered as they were all looking for the next big project, which we understand.

“But this is not what we will accept in the future. We have to have a strong aftermarket and strong customer link.”

Which all comes back to MissionZero.

“If you focus on MissionZero, then you invest there where you can impact MissionZero. Wherever you have aftermarket, you impact MissionZero. Where you don’t have aftermarket, you don’t impact MissionZero.”

At the same time, Schulz is not losing sight of the company’s end goal with all the business it coordinates in the mining sector.

“Whatever we do with the customer, they have to be more efficient, more productive and make more money.”

It just so happens that in doing this, the mining sector will become that much more sustainable.

Udokan Copper installs thyssenkrupp gyratory crusher at mining and metallurgical plant

Udokan Copper says it has completed the installation of a thyssenkrupp gyratory crusher at the coarse crushing plant at its namesake operation in the Far East of Russia.

The company is in the process of developing one of the largest copper deposits in the world into a mine, currently building a mining and metallurgical plant (MMP) where the coarse crushing plant is housed.

The thyssenkrupp crusher will process rougher ore fractions supplied from Zapadniy open pit, the company said.

German Mironov, CEO of Udokan Copper, said: “The crusher has the best operational capacity compared to other brands and can process up to 4,000 tonnes of copper ore per hour.”

All processing parameters of the coarse crushing plant are controlled and adjusted from the operator’s workplace, with real-time control a possibility, the company explained.

Once mining at the Udokan MMP starts, the ore will be transported to the coarse crushing plant by 130 t dump trucks. After the coarse crushing, the ore will go to storage areas and then to the beneficiation plant through the crushing and conveyor unit, which consists of two mainline conveyor belts with total length of 2.8 km.

Construction works are in full swing throughout the crushing and conveyor unit. The foundation and steel structures of Conveyor #1 gallery have been installed. Steel structures are also being installed for the transfer unit from Conveyor #1 to Conveyor #5.

Along the Conveyor #5 route, the foundation of the horizontal section has been installed and the conveyor is being assembled. The installation of steel structures for the Conveyor #5 tension station, ore storage, fine crushing plant and conveyor galleries between the ore storage and beneficiation plant is close to completion. The underground part of the ore storage infrastructure includes the installation of ore feeding conveyors from the ore storage area to the main building of the beneficiation plant.

Udokan Copper was established to develop Russia’s largest untapped deposit, Udokan. The deposit comes with resources of 26.7 Mt, according to JORC, with an average copper grade of 1.05%.

Udokan is located in the Zabaikalye Region in the Far East of Russia, 30 km away from the Baikal-Amur mainline.

The first stage of the Udokan plant should provide total output of 125,000 t/y of copper in cathodes and sulphide concentrate, its processing capacity being 12 Mt/y of ore. This is due to start up in 2022. The second stage, currently undergoing a feasibility study, implies processing 24 Mt/y.

Berco bolsters Excavator Line with Cat 6020B undercarriage replacement range

Berco, a leader in the manufacturing and supply of undercarriages and components to OEMs and the aftermarket, has reached another milestone with the launch of its complete undercarriage replacement range for the Cat 6020B hydraulic mining shovel.

Developed specifically for the high-quality demand mining segment of the aftermarket, this is the first “non-captive” range available to purchase, according to the company. This means that aside from Cat, Berco is the only company currently capable of providing a full and significantly more affordable variety of undercarriage replacement components for this particular machine, Berco said.

Launched in 2014, the Cat 6020B is a 230 ton (224 t) excavator at the high end of the mining range. Depending on the abrasiveness of the soil, undercarriage components need to be replaced every four-to-five years, according to Berco, meaning there are significant numbers of this particular model currently due undercarriage maintenance. This number, moreover, is forecast to grow in the coming years.

To meet this demand, Berco is supplying a full range of undercarriage components including the chain, the bottom rollers, the top rollers, the drive sprocket and idlers with supports. Everything is set to be available from September onwards.

“These machines must be capable of working in harsh environments for 20-24 hours a day without stopping, because when the main excavator on a site is out of service, it has a direct knock-on effect on all of the secondary machines,” Diego Buffoni, Head of Aftermarket Berco, said. “We are particularly proud of this new range launch, which will offer a great business opportunity for our partner distributors worldwide. On top of Berco’s acclaimed high quality, which it provides, it also signifies the path we are on, which is to supply comprehensive and affordable solutions to all aftermarket customers.”

For the Cat 6020B hydraulic mining shovel range, Berco used a “reverse engineering” process to deconstruct the original equipment components. Three-dimensional material scanning was carried out to gain a complete understanding of the initial design criteria, while laboratory analysis determined the materials used as well as the heat treatments and microstructures.

“Having gained a full understanding of all of the components in question, company engineers then proceeded to develop their very own Berco-quality aftermarket undercarriage system, which is further boosted by the addition of another Berco innovation: BPR2™ (Berco Positive Pin Retention2™ system),” the company said. “This improves the working lifetime of the components by mechanically locking the link to the pin which results in the avoidance of ‘end-play generation’ and ‘pin walking’ in an undercarriage.”

For the track chain, a newly designed track link with a 350 mm pitch was produced using the “drop forged” process made from a mild carbon steel grade with boron. Unlike the original equipment product, however, the chemical composition of the Berco version is enriched with chromium to increase tensile resistance. In addition, the track bushing has a high resistance to wear. With 60 HRC hardness, it can contain pitch elongation, according to the company. The case depth has also been increased by 20-25% when compared with the original. The track pin, moreover, has deeper case depth and higher core hardiness, resulting in an improved bending load resistance, Berco said.

The track roller can, because of its lubrication and seal features, adopt an “all-weather” configuration, ranging from -40°C to 50°C. Additionally, three top rollers without a central flange support the heavy weight of the chain, and the oil filling hole has been moved to the outer collar to ensure full access to it.

With Berco’s Dozer Line already complete, the launch of its range for the Cat 6020B hydraulic mining shovel brings the company closer to finishing its Excavator Line too.

Accounting for a large portion of all aftermarket sales, Berco says the mining market segment is of particular importance to it. The company is now looking to further strengthen its position by extending its mining ranges and becoming the only high-quality alternative to OEM components.

Berco on the latest innovations in mining undercarriage solutions

Berco, part of the thyssenkrupp Forged Technologies Business Unit, is continuing to innovate within the undercarriage component market segment, with Francesco Grenzi, Executive Director of R&D, talking up some of the company’s most recent solutions for demanding applications like mining.

With over 100 years of experience and expertise in the industry, Berco says it manufactures and supplies undercarriage components to the world’s leading heavy machinery OEMs and to the aftermarket.

“Universally renowned for the very high quality of its products, Berco’s reputation is further bolstered by its dedication to providing tailor-made and innovative solutions for applications that operate in both unique and extreme conditions,” Grenzi says.

A recent challenge for Berco has been that of extending the number of hours of its mining excavator application.

“Because of the work efficiency of the most advanced mining excavators, as well as the extremely different working modes used in the open-pit mines, the goal of achieving 20,000 maintenance-free hours was indeed a difficult one,” Grenzi said.

The traveling rate of an undercarriage is also something that can significantly vary between applications. When blasting is being carried out, for example, the heavy machinery will naturally be evacuated from the area before detonation. In situations such as this, the use of carburised bushings is recommended to reduce the speed of wear.

For applications that do not travel frequently, however, undercarriage parts are still often subjected to wear. Continuous hammering of the front shovel, for example, may not lead to quick wear of the bushings, but can cause other side effects such as cracks on bushings.

Berco’s solution in this case was to use both quenched and tempered, and induction hardening and tempering bushings, as well as a quenched and tempered steel with boron to increase hardenability. These specially produced bushings deliver even more added value when fitted on reinforced chains, Grenzi said.

This solution, which is designed for heavy application such as for track chains used on 200-400 t machines, provides high resistance to wear as well as outstanding resistance to impact, according to Grenzi. Being capable of achieving up to 20,000 hours of use in the field, it ultimately reduces ownership and undercarriage costs. Since November 2020, they have been fitted as original equipment on two of the machines the manufacturer has built to perform in Russia’s most extreme environments.

While heavy machinery manufacturers look to Berco for tailor-made solutions, the company goes one step further by placing a large emphasis on R&D to anticipate solutions that are ever-more innovative, Grenzi says. An example of this is the use of ‘rotoforged’ steel in the production of rollers for very demanding mining applications.

This pioneering process will bring significant benefits to machines that have a huge load transfer in their working times, such as mining excavators that weigh above 200 t. For applications of this size and even heavier (350-400 t), the rollers are under pressure as they take all of the inertia of the vehicle. This means that the rollers need to be made of “perfect steel”, which is why the ‘rotoforging’ process is ideal, according to Grenzi.

Steel that has undergone this heat treatment process acquires a high microstructure and compactness, to such an extent it is able to achieve toughness values double those of conventional steel, he said. Continuous casting steel is usually rolled. Rolled steel that undergoes the new ‘rotoforging’ process has its microstructure transformed down to the core, resulting in a much stronger and tougher structure.

“For this reason, rollers made from ‘rotoforged’ steel are suitable for machines which must operate in the most demanding environments around the globe,” Grenzi said. “They offer a very high level of reliability of between 15,000-20,000 hours. This innovation is now ready to enter production.”

thyssenkrupp rail-mounted stacker handed over to BHP South Flank

thyssenkrupp says it has handed over the world’s largest rail-mounted stacker to its client BHP for the South Flank iron ore development in Western Australia,

The first stacker among a “trio of giants”, ST-04 took more than three years of research and design development in six countries, and two years of significant local fabrication, construction and commissioning processes, thyssenkrupp said.

Over the next few months, it will gradually ramp up its operating capacity of 20,000 t/h.

The engineering company was awarded this contract − one of its largest ever fabrication and construction projects in Western Australia − by BHP back in late 2018.

Under the €150 million ($181 million) contract, thyssenkrupp was to supply two stackers that deposit iron ore into stockyards for loading, and a reclaimer for loading the ore onto trains for transport to Port Hedland. The machines’ capacity of 20,000 t/h made them the largest rail-mounted stackers and reclaimers in the world, according to the company.

Primero has been helping thyssenkrupp in this pursuit, carrying out pre-assembly of the machines at its Australian Marine Complex, in Henderson, Western Australia.

In BHP’s half year results to December 31 released earlier this week, it said South Flank remained on budget and on track to deliver first production by mid-2021. The company expects the operation to ramp up to 80 Mt/y of output, helping replace production from the existing Yandi mine, which is reaching the end of its economic life.

thyssenkrupp wins semi-mobile-crushing-plant contract in India coal hub

thyssenkrupp has been awarded a contract to supply three semi-mobile-crushing-plants (SMCP) to a major open-pit coal mine in the Singrauli district of Madhya Pradesh, India, namely the Jayant mine of Northern Coalfields Ltd, a division of state compay Coal India. The plants will be used for a new 15 Mt/y coal handling plant (CHP).

Looking to boost production from 10 Mt/y to 25 Mt/y, the miner is implementing an in-pit crushing and conveying system utilising the in-pit SMCP for the CHP, which will, thyssenkrupp says, make the production process more efficient and stable.

thyssenkrupp won the contract from an India-based engineering procurement and construction contractor, SK Samanta. It involves the complete design, engineering, manufacturing and supply, and “TAG services” for the three semi-mobile crushing plants.

The plants consist out of three separate modules. The receiving hopper module comes with a 2.2 m wide and 10.5 m long, heavy-duty apron feeder, which can be fed by trucks and has a capacity of around 150 tons (136 t).

The heart of each plant is the crusher module, which uses a RollSizer DRS 1,000 x 2,250 (centre distance x length of the roller) for a maximum feed capacity of 1,900 t/h.

The third module is the electrical building with the operator room. By separating this module from the crusher module, the operators and electrical equipment are not exposed to any vibrations from the crushing process. This ensures the plants meet all requirements from a health and safety perspective, while guaranteeing a long life of the electrical equipment, thyssenkrupp said.

“Compared to stationary crushing plants, SMCPs are more flexible and can be relocated when the distance between the mining area and the crushing plant increases and, thereby, can reduce the cost for transport of the run of mine material significantly,” thyssenkrupp said.

“thyssenkrupp can look back on a long history of supplying fully-mobile, semi-mobile, and stationary crushing plants, which makes the company a leading partner for the engineering, construction and service of industrial plants and systems for the coal industry.”

thyssenkrupp reaches new milestone on Rio EII facility

Just over a month after declaring the first ore aboard a new stacker at the bulk handling facilities of Rio Tinto’s East Intercourse Island (EII) facility, thyssenkrupp says it has achieved another milestone at the sustaining capital project in the Port of Dampier, Western Australia.

First ore has now arrived on Stacker ST2EN, according to the company, with two of the three stackers now installed as part of the project, which involves the manufacture, installation and commissioning of three replacement stackers and associated equipment as part of an almost A$70 million ($39.8 million) upgrade.

When the upgrade was announced back in August 2017, Rio said design and fabrication work was expected to commence in 2018, with installation and commissioning anticipated in late 2020.

Rio also said at the time that thyssenkrupp Australia would manufacture, assemble and fabricate the stackers required for the refurbishment before transporting the 1,860 t of stacker weight to the Pilbara.

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).

Primero lays foundations for world’s largest rail mounted stackers, reclaimer

Primero Group looks set to hit the June 30 deadline for the pre-assembly of two stackers and one “off-reclaim machine” for thyssenkrupp at the BHP-owned South Flank iron ore project, in Western Australia.

In an update posted today, Primero said it was nearing completion of the pre-assembly and dressing out of 24 machine modules for thyssenkrupp, with the last of these modules being “punch listed” and signed off in preparation for shipment.

The modules will complete the world’s largest rail mounted stackers and reclaimer, which are currently under construction on site in the state. thyssenkrupp said previously that the rail mounted stacker/reclaimer units will have a loading capacity of 20,000 t/h.

Primero has been carrying out the work at the Australian Marine Complex, in Henderson, south of Perth, Western Australia, with the company saying over 10 km of cable, 2 km of piping and 200 m of conveyors had been installed. The project has seen Primero reach 75,000 project hours loss time injury free, it added.

The Primero contract commenced last year and was expected to be completed in the current Australia financial year, ending June 30, 2020.

The $4.6 billion South Flank iron ore project will be one of the largest iron ore processing hubs in the world when operating. It includes an 80 Mt/y crushing and screening plant, an overland conveyor system and rail-loading facilities. The mine will replace production from BHP’s Yandi mine, which is nearing the end of its life.

Construction began in July 2018 and first production of iron ore is anticipated in 2021.

New thyssenkrupp stacker starts up at Rio Tinto’s East Intercourse Island facility

thyssenkrupp is celebrating the first ore aboard a new stacker at the bulk handling facilities of Rio Tinto’s East Intercourse Island (EII), in the Port of Dampier, Western Australia.

The engineering company confirmed this week that “Stacker ST1EN” had reached the iron ore milestone at the project, which involves the manufacture, installation and commissioning of three replacement stackers and associated equipment as part of an almost A$70 million ($39.8 million) upgrade.

When the upgrade was announced back in August 2017, Rio said design and fabrication work was expected to commence in 2018, with installation and commissioning anticipated in late 2020.

Rio also said at the time that thyssenkrupp Australia would manufacture, assemble and fabricate the stackers required for the refurbishment before transporting the 1,860 t of stacker weight to the Pilbara.