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Rapid Growth Project 5
Pilbara Region, WA
Hanson’s Yandi mobile plant in Western Australia has produced concrete for BHP Billitons $6 billion RGP5 at the Yandi mine since 2001. RGP5 is part of Billiton’s iron ore expansion in WA’s Pilbara region.
A new plant was constructed as part of RGP5 to increase installed capacity across BHP Billion’s Western Australia Iron Ore operations by 50 million tonnes to 205 million tonnes per annum. Materials produced by the plant help deliver significant infrastructure upgrades in Western Australia, including additional shipping berths at the Port Hedland inner harbour (Finucane Island); a second track for the company’s rail system between the Yandi mine and Port Hedland; and additional crushing, screening and stockpiling facilities at the Yandi mine.
Hanson was commissioned to supply 30,000 cubic metres of concrete, mostly for the mine’s infrastructure requirements.
Hanson’s Yandi mobile plant is located approximately 150 kilometres north of Newman in regional Western Australia. The twin-silo plant has a 65 cubic metre an hour capacity and has provided a dedicated concrete supply for BHP Billiton’s Yandi mine for the past eight years, having started as a six-week contract.
Challenges and Solutions
As a Most Responsible supplier, the Hanson Yandi mobile plant needed to implement an innovative waste management solution for the wash-down facility. The team designed and built an innovative facility that recycles water and captures all of its alkaline slurry. The system received wide acclaim within BHP Billiton, and was promoted internally within the company as a best-practice environmental initiative.
The wash-down facility allows concrete trucks to wash out excess slurry in the bund at the front
of the facility, draining any water off the slurry through a series of holes at the rear of the bund.
The water then enters the pit and is recycled, either in the standpipe at the front of the bund or
the spray gun located at the rear wash-down pad.
‘The new facility is excellent’, confirmed Glen Bolton, Environmental Superintendent at the RGP5 Yandi Mine project. ‘The way it was designed makes it easy for loaders to access and then remove the waste materials. The front of the bund has removable gates, the pit is ramped and the concrete apron around the facility slopes into the water pit. 'After Yandi built the wash-down facility, a poster explaining how it works was developed and then circulated through BHP and to their contractors’, says Chris Boak, Hanson’s Western Australia Mobile Projects Manager. ‘Those contractors include Fluor Australia and Sinclair Knight Merz.’
The mobile plant has operated solely for BHP’s Yandi mine since 2001, and the acclaim received by
the plant’s wash-down facility confirmed Hanson’s status as a leader in waste-management innovation.
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Cape Preston, WA
China Metallurgical Corporation (MCC Mining)
The massive Sino Iron Project development at Cape Preston is located 100 kilometres southwest of Karratha in Western Australia’s Pilbara region. Developed by CITIC Pacific Mining, it is currently the largest magnetite mining and processing operation under construction in Australia, with an estimated value of $5.2 billion.
With the concrete component in excess of 300,000 cubic metres, Hanson was one of three concrete plants on the project contracted directly to China Metallurgical Corporation (MCC Mining). MCC Mining is the head contractor for the project construction and a 20 per cent stakeholder for the Sino Iron project.
Over a 15-month production period, Hanson supplied 53,000 cubic metres of concrete required for the construction of the desalination plant, port facility, mine process buildings, power station and power transfer towers.
Challenges and Solutions
The stringent safety and environmental requirements and the remoteness of the location demanded a Best Team, Most Reliable and Most Responsible response from our Cape Preston team.
The Hanson mobile plant was located on the Mardie Station in the low-lying wetlands of the north-western Cape. This area is rated as a Category A Sanctuary Zone by the Department of Environment and Conservation, so environmental responsibility was high on the priority list for the project developer and Hanson.
The Hanson team set out to be the best performing concrete plant environmentally, competing against over 40 contractor companies on site at any given time. The team achieved the Number 1 position as Best Performing Environmental Contractor four times out of the six reporting periods that covered their time on site. They were awarded second place in the other two reporting periods.
Given the remote location, hours from any support for contractors, it was common for drivers, loader drivers, batchers and even managers to get their hands dirty changing tyres, performing mechanical and electrical repairs to vehicles and plant, even handling the fabrication of plant and accessories. This willingness to pitch in ensured that the plant and fleet were constantly operational and that Hanson was a most reliable supplier.
The renowned Hanson ‘can do’ attitude empowered each individual to learn new skills in all areas of maintenance. This was facilitated by the most experienced workers on the team willingly sharing their knowledge with those that needed the help.
Working on a remote site with 12-hour working days as the norm brings a number of additional challenges, such as managing extreme weather conditions, stringent safety and environmental requirements, family matters, medical problems and other issues. Here again, the Hanson attitude ensured that staff rose above every challenge thrown at them.
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