Tag Archives: Yandi

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.

REMA TIP TOP Australia belts up at BHP South Flank project

REMA TIP TOP Australia has been selected by Monadelphous to install more than 50 km of conveyor belting for the BHP-owned South Flank iron ore project, in the Pilbara of Western Australia.

A key component of the project to build the $3.6 billion mine, the conveyor belting will be delivered with splice kits and the installation and splicing of steel cord and fabric belt on five conveyors systems, three of which are overland conveyors, with 77 rolls of belt to be installed and 77 splices to be completed in total. REMA TIP TOP Australia will assist Monadelphous in this work.

The conveyor solutions specialist has worked with Monadelphous on a range of major projects in the past and it is this proven track record that was critical in securing the project for the business, it said.

Steve Hipwell, REMA TIP TOP Australia Projects Manager, said: “This project represents a significant win for the business and is a testament to the commitment we have shown to delivering quality projects.

“Monadelphous have a substantial pipeline of works in the resources, energy and infrastructure sectors so it’s great to continue to build on our successes with this leading engineering company.”
Hipwell said mobilisation was set to begin in the June quarter.

Earlier this year, Fenner Dunlop secured the contract to manufacture and deliver the overland conveyor belt package to South Flank.

BHP is targeting first ore extraction at the operation in 2021 and expects to ramp up to 80 Mt/y of output. This will replace production from the existing Yandi mine, which is reaching the end of its economic life.

BHP extends FIFO agreement with Alliance in Western Australia

Alliance Aviation Services says it and BHP’s Western Australia Iron Ore division have agreed to extend their air charter services agreement for a further two years.

The extension solidifies a relationship that started with the first flight for BHP WA Iron Ore in 2009, Alliance said.

BHP’s WAIO division 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. At each processing hub – Newman, Yandi, Mining Area C and Jimblebar – the ore is crushed, beneficiated (where necessary) and blended to create high-grade hematite lump and fines products. Iron ore products are then transported along the Port Hedland–Newman Rail Line to the Finucane Island and Nelson Point port facilities at Port Hedland.

Lee Schofield, Alliance’s Chief Executive Officer, said: “Alliance is delighted to be continuing the provision of these charter services into Coondewanna and Barimunya. Our commitment to safety and providing our clients with industry leading on time performance has played a significant role in being awarded this extension.”

Schofield, added: “In May this year, BHP acknowledged Alliance’s exceptional safety and operational record when BHP presented Alliance with an Aviation Safety Award in recognition of the safe carriage of 3.5 million BHP staff and contractors on charter and scheduled services throughout Australia from April 2002 to April 2019.”

WA government, EPA approves BHP’s strategic 50- to 100-year Pilbara mining plan

The Western Australia Government has approved a 50- to 100-year strategic mining proposal for the Pilbara by BHP, which outlines bold plans for new and existing mines, the state said.

BHP’s Pilbara Expansion Strategic Proposal details a cumulative picture of the miner’s planned and potential operations across the Pilbara, including mining operations, rail, storage areas, dams and associated mine infrastructure.

It mentioned new potential mining operations at Caramulla, Coondiner, Gurinbiddy, Jinidi, Marillana, Mindy, Ministers North, Mudlark, Munjina/Upper Marillana, Ophthalmia/Prairie Down, Rocklea, Roy Hill and Tandanya; alongside future expansions of existing mining operations at Jimblebar, Mining Area C, Newman and Yandi (pictured).

This type of “strategic proposal”, which the Environmental Protection Authority (EPA) has approved with conditions, “helps reduce red and green tape, allowing the EPA to consider the cumulative impacts of future proposals, rather than assessing impacts on a case-by-case basis, as individual mines or developments are proposed”, according to the government.

The EPA assessed the impacts to flora and vegetation, fauna, water quality and quantity, air quality as well as social surrounds, with the ministerial statement for BHP’s strategic proposal including conditions that may be applied to each development, including environmental management plans, a cultural heritage management plan, a mine closure plan and offsets through contributions to the Pilbara Environmental Offsets Fund where significant residual impacts remain.

“BHP is required to refer future individual proposals outlined in the ministerial statement to the EPA to determine if they meet the high environmental standards set by the strategic assessment,” the government said.

WA Premier, Mark McGowan, said BHP’s plan has the potential to deliver tens of thousands of jobs for Western Australians.

“We expect this Australian-first plan will reduce environmental approval times by up to 50%, while maintaining the highest environmental standards,” he said.

“Industry has been crying out for this type of plan. It recognises the need to reduce unnecessary ‘green tape’ to increase investor confidence, and pave the way for more jobs. It is another sign our economy is improving with the major miner taking a long-term view of its proposals in the state.”

Environment Minister, Stephen Dawson, meanwhile, said: “The Pilbara region holds immense environmental value and a key focus of the EPA assessment was to ensure the proposal did not significantly impact on important regional environmental values, including Karijini National Park and Fortescue Marsh.

“Strategic proposals allow the EPA to take a bigger picture view of the potential environmental impacts the proposals may have, considering the cumulative impacts rather than on a case-by-case basis, as individual mines or developments are proposed.”

BHP’s Jurgens presents big picture automation plan

Diane Jurgens, BHP’s Chief Technology Officer, used her time on stage at the Bank of America Merrill Lynch SmartMine conference, in London, to highlight the company’s plan to introduce full or partial automation across its entire value chain.

The miner has already introduced automation across many of its operations – from haul trucks at Jimblebar (Western Australia) to drill rigs at Western Australia Iron Ore – but Jurgens said the company has bigger automated plans.

This includes considering opportunities to accelerate truck autonomy across the company’s Australia and Minerals Americas sites – the company previously detailed plans to automate around 500 haul trucks across its Western Australia Iron Ore and Queensland Coal sites – and introducing “Decision Automation” to link autonomous processes and data from different sources together to create “near instantaneous, optimised decision making”, Jurgens said.

While she talked up the use of automation in mining – referencing the experience she has in the automotive and aerospace industries – she admitted full automation across the BHP group was unlikely.

“This is because we automate equipment and processes where it provides the highest value,” she said, explaining that investment in technology competes against all of other projects in the BHP portfolio, “and alternative uses of cash, under BHP’s Capital Allocation Framework”.

To test this, the company has built proving grounds at two active mine sites (Eastern Ridge in Australia and Escondida in Chile) to trial new innovations in geology, extraction and processes, and “develop workforce capability so that our people are equipped for the rapid pace of change that lies ahead”, Jurgens said.

Just some of the new innovations Jurgens mentioned included the use of advanced geophysics modelling to reanalyse existing drilling data. This new approach led, in November last year, to the Oak Dam copper discovery, near its existing Olympic Dam operations in South Australia.

Recently, sensors were installed at the Escondida test grounds to prototype the use of real-time data to analyse the quality and grade of ores and inform, for example, whether to divert unprocessed ore for leaching, to concentrators or waste. Jurgens said: “The key to achieving this is using data collected through the sensors and combining it with proprietary algorithms. We then apply our knowledge of the ore body to optimise the processing methods. Once in production, we expect these to improve throughput performance.”

With access to more detailed data on extracted material, machine algorithms can automate decisions to identify and divert waste, which increases plant performance and reduces processing costs, she added.

New patented leaching technologies have, meanwhile, increased metal recoveries by 10-12% and shortened the processing time by 50%, according to Jurgens. “At Spence in Chile we increased copper recoveries by about 10% and helped offset grade decline through implementing the low-cost Spence Recovery Optimisation project,” she said. “The initiative improved heap leach kinetics which meant we could maximise utilisation of the leach pads and therefore use the full 200,000 t of tankhouse capacity.”

This breakthrough also informed the successful heap leach trial at Olympic Dam, which the company has just completed.

The company’s automation and innovation journey has already resulted in significant wins, according to Jurgens.
Equipment automation is creating more efficient, standardised and safer operations, she said:

  • Autonomous blast hole drills across BHP’s Western Australia Iron Ore assets have increased drill rates by 25%, and reduced monthly drill maintenance costs by over 40%;
  • Haulage automation at the Jimblebar operation, in the Pilbara, has reduced heavy vehicle safety incidents by 80%;
  • Machine learning is being applied to maintenance on trucks in iron ore and coal – to analyse component failure history;
  • At Yandi, haul truck maintenance analytics increased truck availability to above 90% and generated recurrent cost savings. Replicating these strategies to our trucks in energy coal in the Hunter Valley, BHP has also seen an increase in truck availability;
  • Automating key components of BHP’s rail network is supporting increased capacity, more reliable dispatch and improved maintenance outcomes;
  • In Western Australia, material density scanning and laser precision have delivered an additional 2.4 t of iron ore per car while reducing safety risks of overloading;
  • The automated rail network scheduling system, which controls over 10,000 ore cars and transports about 270 Mt/y of iron ore, is becoming more effective through self-learning algorithms, ensuring trains arrive at port, on-time, and;
  • LiDAR technologies are being used to automate the loading of ships that transport BHP’s product to customers around the world.

Monadelphous wins more iron ore work off BHP

Australia-based engineering group Monadelphous has been awarded a contract with BHP’s iron ore division worth approximately A$240 million ($172 million) over a three-year period.

The contract, which contains an additional two one-year extension options, involves the provision of general maintenance services at BHP’s Mt Whaleback, Jimblebar, Eastern Ridge, Mining Area C and Yandi mine sites, in the Pilbara of Western Australia.

Monadelphous Managing Director, Rob Velletri said the contract built on the company’s long-standing relationship with BHP, on both construction and maintenance projects, over the past two decades.

“We look forward to further developing our relationship with BHP over the coming years, growing our operational footprint in the Pilbara and continuing to strengthen our long-term commitment to the region and the communities in which we operate,” he said.

In 1996, Monadelphous’ engineering and construction division ventured into the iron ore market with BHP on the Yandi II project to construct the crushing and screening plant, while, in 2008, it secured part of the structural, mechanical and piping works for BHP’s Rapid Growth Project 4 at the Newman Hub iron ore processing facility.