Overland conveyor to deliver productivity improvements 

Fortescue Metals Group will trial an innovative, relocatable overland conveyor at its Cloudbreak mine as part of its 2018 financial year innovation drive.

The conveyor, which will occur alongside the expansion of autonomous haulage technology at the company’s Solomon Hub and the roll-out of the same technology at its Chichester Hub, is part of Fortescue’s assessment of options to replace the output from its small but integral Firetail deposit.

Firetail’s high-grade ore and lower mining cost have helped FMG lower operating costs significantly over the past few years, but the company will need to find a replacement ore source over the coming years.

The trial of the conveyor comes as FMG’s iron ore rivals ramp up the use of similar technology.

A total of 68km of conveyor belts is used to move ore at Vale’s massive S11D complex in Brazil, opened last December, as part of the mine’s truckless system, which Vale estimates will cut fuel costs by as much as 70 per cent.

Closer to home, Rio Tinto last year contracted RCR Resources to construct 9km of overland conveyors at its Silvergrass mine in the Pilbara.

In central Queensland earlier this year, the BHP Billiton Mitsubishi Alliance announced a US$204 (A$266) million investment in an 11km overland conveyor system between its Peak Downs coal mine and its coal handling preparation plant at the nearby Caval Ridge mine.

Fortescue said its conveyor, together with the expansion of its autonomous haulage technology, would deliver sustained productivity improvements across the business by lowering haulage costs to offset rising strip ratios.

Benefits will be partially delivered in FY18, and fully during the following financial years.

“Fortescue is continuing to introduce leading-edge technology across our business to ensure it remains at the lowest end of the global cost curve,” FMG Chief Executive Officer Nev Power said.

“Our focus remains on improving safety and increasing productivity and efficiency to deliver ongoing cost reductions.

“These projects will encompass technological advancement, workforce skills development and collaboration with our suppliers to harness the best ideas and position Fortescue strongly for the future.”

latest news

Balla Balla rail and port development gets a boost

The future of a proposed rail and port development at Balla Balla is looking brighter after an agreement which could also spur development of a new mine in the Pilbara.

Read more

Draig, St George soar on drilling results

Shares in explorers Draig Resources and St George Mining soared today on encouraging drill results from their respective projects.

Read more

Gascoyne eyes $20m raising for Dalgaranga project

Shares in Gascoyne Resources have been placed in a trading halt. 

Read more

Mineral Resources to learn fate of appeal

Western Australian Environment Minister Stephen Dawson will decide this week whether Mineral Resources can appeal against a ruling by the State’s environment watchdog that banned the company from building iron ore mines in the Helena Aurora Range. 

Read more

Iron ore markets will stay positive: BHP

Mining giant BHP says China will continue to demand high-quality iron ore and new demand will emerge from immature economies such as India. 

Read more

WA State government backs mining museum plans

The Western Australian State Government will back a proposed mining museum at the old East Perth power station site if the mining industry pays for it.

Read more

 

industry insight

Tasmania’s uncertain road ahead

Trying to predict the future has been a fascination of human nature almost since time began. From

...
Products & Technology

Productivity a key consideration 

People & projects

Instincts lay the groundwork at Kin

Occupational safety & health

Leading the push for zero harm workplaces  

interview

A gift for $10 million miners

In this year’s Budget announcement, much of the publicity for small businesses was built around the extension of the $20,000 instant asset write-off.

Read more