Bauxite terminal planned

Australia's Bauxite Hills Mine. Credit: Australia Mining Monthly

Rocktree Consulting has completed the front-end engineering and design (FEED) on a new floating transhipment terminal for Australia’s Bauxite Hills Mine, for the export of bauxite to China. The terminal, situated about 95 km north of Weipa in Queensland, Australia, aims to increase Metro Mining’s bauxite exports from 3.5 million tonnes to 6 million tonnes annually by 2021.

FEED work comprised the development of the new terminal using simulation and design software to mimic the operating conditions in the region, in order to maximise efficiency and minimise the need for maintenance.

On completion, the terminal will be 100 m long, 30 m wide, and 5.5 m in draught, with a maximum loading capacity of 3,000 tonnes of bauxite per hour. It will be used to load vessels with the help of a telescopic ship loader and array of transhipment systems, including two heavy-duty four-rope grab cranes, and a material handling conveyor and stacker system comprising two twin hoppers with feeder belts and conveyors to transport bauxite.

It will be assisted by an 8,000-tonne buffer storage capacity, as well as power generation, workshops, and accommodation. “The completion of the feasibility study and selection of Rocktree’s design is a key step in allowing us to build on the outstanding production performance and operating experience gained since the Bauxite Hills started operations in April 2018,” said Metro Mining managing director and CEO Simon Finnis.

“Rocktree, which has been instrumental in the design, engineering, and construction of more than 20 floating terminals over the past two decades, is now tendering key work packages that will allow costs to be firmed up and final engineering and design work to be completed.”

Daniele Pratolongo, CEO of Rocktree Group, said, “The relationship Rocktree has developed with Metro Mining has enhanced Rocktree’s presence in Australia, a key market for the export of commodities and abundant in opportunities for waterborne logistics requiring Rocktree’s expertise.”

He added, “This initial scope of work, which has focused on engineering and consultancy services, is the first step towards a longer-term role with Metro Mining, where Rocktree will operate and manage the floating terminal upon project implementation in 2021.”