Tag Archives: WAIO

BHP and Gallawinya agree on tyre agreement for WAIO operations

A new contract with Pilbara Traditional Owner business Gallawinya Pty Ltd, will supply up to 4,000 tyres a year for light vehicles and light trucks across BHP WA Iron Ore’s central Pilbara mining operations, the mining company says.

Gallawinya is one of more than 80 Indigenous and Traditional Owner businesses engaged directly in the first half of BHP’s 2023 financial year – with a total spend of more than A$120 million ($82 million) – to Indigenous and Traditional Owner businesses through WAIO’s Project Rise initiative.

Chris Cowan, Head of Global Indigenous Procurement, said the Gallawinya contract represented a major step forward in a non-traditional supply area and would create social value opportunities including additional regional employment.

“We’re trying to find ongoing, longer term operational contracts to collaborate with Traditional Owner businesses, and this is a great example of that,” he explained.

“What I particularly like about this one is, it’s demonstrating a new category of supply by a Traditional Owner business that we haven’t seen before, and it’s going to create social value back into the communities in which we operate.

“We hope to collaborate with our maritime team to bring tyres directly into Port Hedland to reduce the need to transport the tyres by road from Perth to the Pilbara. This will improve our carbon footprint as well as safety risk and performance.”

Under the contract, Gallawinya will initially supply tyres to BHP’s central Pilbara operations (Mining Area C, South Flank and Yandi) before potentially expanding to other WAIO’s mining sites including Jimblebar, Newman and Port Hedland.

Gallawinya is a subsidiary of Nyamal owned and operated East West Pilbara Group, which employs more than 10 people in the Pilbara, through its facilities at Port Hedland and Karratha. The BHP supply contract will create more training and employment opportunities for Indigenous people.

Compared to the same period in FY22, to date WAIO has increased its year-to-date annual spend by around 62.5% and, thanks to Project Rise, is on track to deliver on its FY23 target of A$225 million spend with Indigenous and Traditional Owner businesses, which will extend to A$300 million in FY2024.

BHP keeps Western Australia iron ore rail operations on track

BHP says its Rail Operations team in Western Australia is finding new ways to safely navigate the challenges posed by the COVID-19 virus, with several of its train drivers based in other states of Australia and overseas relocating to support their counterparts in WA.

Most of BHP’s rail operations team already live in Western Australia, according to the company, but a number regularly commute from interstate or overseas for their scheduled rosters, BHP said.

To help cover those roles, some of these drivers have opted to stay in the Pilbara for their next shift, while others have temporarily relocated to Western Australia and are currently in 14 days of self-isolation before they return to site, the company said.

Media reports say BHP has relocated some 300 people from the eastern states of Australia to Western Australia to comply with cross-border restrictions or quarantine requirements in the country. This follows a ban on fly-in-fly-out workers from New South Wales entering Western Australia.

BHP’s majority-owned Western Australia Iron Ore operation 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.

Other rail operations staff, including supervisors, coordinators, trainers and many other team members, are picking up jobs they wouldn’t normally do to keep BHP trains operational over the next few months, the miner said.

“With the current challenge in front of us, the team are doing whatever it takes to help each other out and keep our trains moving,” Rail Operations Manager, Steve Campbell, said. “It has meant working differently, making it possible to deliver today, what would have been seen as impossible only a short time ago.

“The rail drivers here at BHP are some of the best in the world. They are proud of what they do and who they represent.

“I am so proud of the entire rail team who have all been up to the challenge, keeping our trains moving, helping to keep the country moving – to me, that’s big!”