The Roy Hill Project is a 55 million tonne per annum iron ore mining, rail and port project being developed in Western Australia’s Pilbara region. Roy Hill is a world class, low phosphorous, Marra Mamba ore deposit, which is known to be one of the world’s premier iron ore provinces.
With Roy Hill forecast to sustain a mine life of more than 17 years, a 344km single line, heavy haul railway is needed in order to transport over 160,000 tonnes of iron ore daily.
Opus Rail (Australia) has played a significant role in the Roy Hill project since its inception in 2011, serving as the Independent Technical Expert (ITE) until early 2014. The quality of the ITE input was acknowledged by the client and resulted in the continuing engagement of Opus as the Senior Lender’s Technical Advisor (SLTA) for the rail component of the project. The engagement will continue to completion of construction this year and extend through operations ramp-up to the Lenders’ Completion Date in mid-2018.
The ITE team provided major technical and economic input to the due diligence study including evaluations of geotechnical data, hydrology, alignment, earthworks, gradeline, bridges, signalling, communications, train control, rolling stock, training and safety, amongst many others. The SLTA role involves progress monitoring and reporting regarding construction, finances, risks, operations and technical issues during project construction works and operations ramp-up.
The project has seen the use of state of the art technology, including train control, iron ore loading and unloading, trackside monitoring and loco performance systems which are controlled from a Remote Operations Centre in Perth and integrated with Mine and Port operations for optimal throughput. This capability will prepare the rail system for future autonomous train operations.
The success of the Opus team on the Roy Hill Project has resulted in Opus being invited to perform similar roles on other mining projects that are at an early stage of development.