BHP on track to deliver first ore from South Flank

Thyssenkrupp stacker and reclaimer at BHP's Mining Area C.

BHP has reached its halfway point at its South Flank project in the Pilbara, Western Australia, with thyssenkrupp Industrial Solutions getting ready to construct the rail mounted stackers and reclaimer.

The two fully autonomous stackers and reclaimer will be the largest of their kind in the world, each with a capacity of 20,000 tonnes per hour.

BHP has contracted thyssenkrupp to design, supply, construct and commission the two stackers, which will deposit iron ore into stockyards for loading in the Pilbara.

They have been designed with functional safety requirements including machine collision avoidance, GPS, safety integrated level (SIL) rated encoders and limits.

thyssenkrupp’s machines are also digitally connected and monitored from a remote centralised control room for further safety and convenience.

The company expects to commence rail construction at South Flank in late January 2020 and its first machine to be ready for first ore in 2021.

South Flank project director at thyssenkrupp Industrial Solutions (Australia) Zoran Matijevic is pleased with the project’s progress so far.

“It has been a privilege to lead thyssenkrupp’s team through design, procurement, fabrication and pre-assembly phases and achieve 50 per cent overall project milestone ahead of the plan,” Matijevic said.

“I look forward to logistics, construction and commissioning phases and final handover of this equipment.”

Off-site pre-assembly of the machines is under way in Perth and many of the larger pre-assembled modules are already complete.

The South Flank project has created 2500 construction jobs and is estimated to create a further 600 operational positions over the 25 year mine life, as well as another 80 construction jobs through Civmec’s smart module assembly.

BHP has contracted Civmec for the supply and assembly of 23 fully equipped smart modules, including conveyor shuttle modules, sample station and train loadout.

The modules will be transported from the Australian Marine Complex (AMC) in Henderson to the South Flank site once ready.

BHP has also awarded Pacific Industrial Company a contract to manufacture the reclaimer boom, tripper conveyor and equipment platform at South Flank, according to the Western Australian Government.

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