RCR wins $33m innovation contract with Fortescue

Fortescue's Cloudbreak operation. Image: Fortescue Metals Group

Fortescue Metals Group has awarded RCR Tomlinson a $33 million contract to design, manufacture and construct a five-kilometre relocatable conveyor system for its iron ore operations in the Pilbara.

The conveyor system, to be trialled at Fortescue’s Cloudbreak mine, has been identified as a key productivity initiative for the iron ore miner’s future deposits.

RCR will lead the design, manufacture and construction of the conveyor system for Fortescue, with the project to be delivered as a joint venture with an Indigenous partner.

The contract is also the first to be secured under an innovation and development memorandum and understanding (MoU) between Fortescue and RCR. The MoU aims to identify improved productivity and efficiency initiatives across Fortescue’s iron ore operations.

RCR managing director Paul Dalgleish said the mining services company had a long history in materials handling and focused on the concepts of in-pit crushing and conveying (IP2C), which has culminated in this relationship with Fortescue.

“RCR and Fortescue have each developed unique positions in the industry as innovators and first movers on smart technology,” Dalgleish said.

“RCR, working with Fortescue, is excited about the opportunity to use engineering intelligence to provide a solution which will ultimately lead to ongoing reductions in the cost of production for iron ore.”

Fortescue has emerged as the world’s lowest-cost iron ore miner over the past year. The company reported a cash production costs record of $US12.15 per wet metric tonne during the September quarter.