Rio Tinto Iron Ore has commenced a major sustaining capital project to replace the original stackers at the Paraburdoo mine – stackers are pieces of machinery used to evenly distribute ore into stockpiles. The existing old stackers were part of the mine’s original infrastructure, stacking the very first load of iron ore from Paraburdoo in 1972. In 46 years of operation, they have stacked just over 800 million tons of ore, requiring only minimal structural changes throughout that time. Rio envisage that this project will create almost 100 jobs.
TAKRAF – a Tenova company and a leading solutions provider to the global resource industry – is leading the design and implementation phases of the stacker replacement and has committed to sourcing all material and equipment from well known, reputable suppliers with a high preference for local content predominantly in Western Australia.
TAKRAF’s office in Perth will manage the entire project, with support provided from the company’s offices in Brisbane and global competence centers. The design of the new stackers is underway and the start of fabrication is scheduled to begin later this year with installation and commissioning completed by early 2020.
The new Paraburdoo stackers boast some advanced new features:
- Modern advances in engineering design and mechanical technology
- Latest generation variable-speed drive control and fiber optic network infrastructure
- Advanced anti-collision system with GPS back up
- Fully automated and monitored from the Rio Tinto Operations Center in Perth, Australia
On 29 June, Dr. Frank Hubrich, TAKRAF CEO, along with the West Australian Premier, Mark McGowan, and Rio Tinto Iron Ore CEO, Chris Salisbury, visited the Paraburdoo Mine to mark the start of the project. Dr. Hubrich had this to say of the event: “We are extremely proud of having been selected to provide some of our advanced machines to this important project for Rio Tinto, the state of Western Australia and the country as a whole. This only serves to reinforce TAKRAF as a leading global provider of mining and bulk material handling equipment and we look forward to working together with Rio Tinto in other important projects in the future.”
This project forms part of Rio Tinto’s broader sustaining capital program estimated at 1 billion AUD a year over the next three years. The company is also investing in replacing depleting assets with an estimated 2.2 billion AUD expected to be spent on replacement mines over the next three years.