Flinders Port Holdings – enabling growth in South Australia’s mining sector

Image: Flinders Port.

This month, Flinders Port Holdings (FPH) marked six months since the completion of the Outer Harbor channel widening at Port Adelaide.

The $80 million project opened South Australia’s only container terminal to “post-panamax” ships, bringing it up to pan Australian standards in handling capacity.

The project was also a major milestone in the group’s long-term vision for delivering world-leading port services for the state’s key industries such as grain, wine, and mining.

Through its bulk handling operations at Port Adelaide and a number of its regional ports, FPH is the major supply chain and ports partner for South Australia’s mining sector.

To date, the company has successfully managed the impact of the coronavirus pandemic with all port supply chain and logistics services remaining operational throughout the last three months.

This business-as-usual status has been especially important for a mining sector which has also managed to continue production and exports without pause during COVID-19.

The focus is now on ensuring that FPH can continue to deliver the shipping and logistics support the expanding South Australian mining industry needs.

While demand for some key exports did drop during COVID-19, the long-term projections for demand from key markets, not least China, remain strong.

The group will complete a major master planning exercise this year, mapping out its infrastructure development plans for the next fifty years. But significant investment and development is already underway.

At Thevenard, a key regional port near Ceduna, FPH is overseeing a multi-million-dollar port upgrade. The project is scheduled to be completed by November 2020.

Deck installation has just passed the 50 per cent completion while new jetty and conveyor support steelwork installation is around 65 per cent complete. In addition to grain, the port facilitates significant export of gypsum, salt and mineral sands, predominantly zircon, while local mining partners have highlighted the potential for further expansion in the region’s Eucla Basin as well as other deposits.

The upgrade of Thevenard will make the commercialisation of such projects more efficient and cost-effective and underlines the important partner role FPH is playing within the mining sector.

More broadly, the state has set ambitious targets for international exports of energy and mining commodities starting at $8 billion in 2025 and $13 billion by 2030.

Through its master planning process, and works already underway, FPH is ensuring it is ready to facilitate this growth.

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