BHP’s South Flank project moves forward with Decmil contract

BHP’s development of the South Flank iron ore project in the Pilbara is gathering pace with the miner awarding another early stage contract.

Decmil has secured a $13 million contract with BHP for initial works at the proposed $US3.2 billion South Flank development.

The project scope includes civil and enabling works at the Mulla Mulla village, which requires expansion to support operations at Mining Area C and the South Flank project.

“The company currently has project teams at a number of major WA iron ore projects and this contract adds to Decmil’s almost 40 years of experience as a contractor to the sector and a long relationship with BHP’s Iron ore division,” Decmil said in an ASX announcement.

BHP approved a $US184 million investment in South Flank during June to kick off development of the project, which the diversified miner hopes will replace output from the ageing 80Mtpa Yandi mine when it reaches the end of its economic life next decade.

The South Flank project would leverage and grow the existing Mining Area C hub. BHP is expected to submit the project for board approval in mid-2018, with first ore targeted in 2021 and ramp-up timed to coincide with the ramp-down of Yandi.

Earlier this month, BHP awarded Fluor a project and construction management services contract at South Flank.

That contract will be undertaken from BHP’s Perth office, with the two companies managing the project together as an integrated team.

Full development of the South Flank project would generate thousands of construction jobs, according to BHP.