BHP Mitsubishi Alliance (BMA) has awarded a contract to Jord International to address a maintenance hazard during filter press repairs at the Caval Ridge coal mine in Queensland.
Jord’s solution beat eight other shortlisted companies that presented their proposals through the BHP supplier innovation program.
The program makes it easier for mining equipment, technology and services (METS) companies to work with the mining major.
Jord’s solution involves using filter presses to remove moisture from coal rejects at the wash plant.
It comprises a belt cartridge installer within a self-contained steel frame that holds a new belt and removes the old damaged belt.
This removes maintainers from the exposure of rotating machinery during filter press repairs.
BHP group procurement officer James Agar said replacing filter press belt was a time consuming task with lots of manual handling.
“While there are processes in place to control the risks around that task, the new solution proposed through this innovation program eliminates the need for maintainers to be in physical contact with the filter press altogether,” Agar said.
BMA will use the first belt installer by July, with the pilot running for six months.
The solution will be implemented at Caval Ridge permanently and potentially at other BMA sites if successful.
“Creating a safer environment is the pinnacle of an engineer’s ethos and it’s incorporated in everything we design,” Jord senior design engineer Craig Samuel said.
The procurement innovation team is developing another six supplier program challenges across BHP’s Minerals Australia business.
Minerals Australia includes BHP’s operations in iron ore, copper, coal and nickel across Western Australia, Queensland, New South Wales and South Australia.
BHP stated it would announce more pilot contracts in coming months.
The company launched the supplier innovation program in mid-2020 in partnership with Austmine.