Fortescue celebrates first ore through its second train unloader

PORT HEDLAND, Western Australia - Fortescue Metals Group (Fortescue) has celebrated first ore through the company’s second train unloader in Port Hedland.

The train unloader is a key component of Fortescue’s expansion of Herb Elliott Port, which will support an increase in tonnes from the Cloudbreak and Christmas Creek mines and the new Solomon mine currently under construction. It’s a major milestone that will increase Fortescue's port infrastructure capacity to 115 million tonnes per annum (mtpa).

The commissioning of the train unloader follows the opening of Fortescue’s third berth and second outload circuit at the port in May. Fortescue Chief Executive Officer Nev Power said the milestone demonstrates Fortescue’s commitment to its expansion in the Pilbara.

“We’re commissioning the second train unloader only a few weeks before our new ore processing facility at Christmas Creek comes on line, which will lift production capacity from the Cloudbreak and Christmas Creek mines to a combined to 95mtpa,” Mr Power said.

“This is a tremendous achievement for Fortescue and I am extremely proud of the employees and contractors for completing this massive construction project safely, ahead of time and under budget.”

A third train unloader is expected to be commissioned before year end. Both facilities were constructed locally in Henderson, near Fremantle by Metso. More than 350,000m3 of earth was moved and 15,000m3 of concrete was used to construct them.

The successful delivery of the project was a result of the combined efforts of contractors, Worley Parsons, Lycopodium, Ninos, Metso Minerals, EC&M, Laing O’Rourke, RCR Mining Technologies, Aerison, Goodline, NRW, BEC Engineering, Kerman Contracting Calibre, McConnell Dowell and Abigroup.

The train unloading process involves a rack and pinion indexer taking control of the ore cars and pushing them into the train unloader two cars at a time. The ore cars are tipped two at a time every 90 seconds, the iron ore is then dumped into an apron feeder and transported via a conveyor belt moving at 5.5 metres per second to the stackers and operating at about 12,000 tonnes per hour.

Fortescue’s infrastructure at Herb Elliott Port includes some of the largest and most technologically sophisticated equipment in the world. Fortescue’s port operations comprise two key components, the inload circuits where iron ore is unloaded from trains and stockpiled, and two outload circuits where iron ore is reclaimed and, before being loaded onto ships, is verified for quality via a robotic sample station.

Mr Power said Fortescue will continue to focus on delivering safe production and meeting its growth target of 115mtpa by March 2013.

Media Contacts:

Nathan Vass
0405 040 133
   Yvonne Ball
0417 937 904



 The first ore enters the second train unloader in Port Hedland

Click here to view more images
of the second train unloader