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Introducing a number of key innovations to the Cloudbreak Wet Front End project, Western Australia

The Fortescue Metals Group (FMG) Cloudbreak Wet Front End project comprises a materials handling and wet scrubbing circuit that facilitates the processing of below water table, clay bound ore that FMG is increasingly encountering at its Cloudbreak mine.

We supported FMG during the front end engineering design (FEED) phase of the project and as a result was able to introduce a number of key innovations to the design, including process debottlenecking and a layout re-configuration that dramatically reduced the tie-in shutdown requirements.

In 2011, we were awarded, with partner Kiewit-AGC JV, an EPC contract for the design, procurement and construction of the Wet Front End (WFE) facility. The EPC was awarded on a target price/fixed profit commercial model, with a risk/reward component. Within the EPC scope, our responsibilities included process and engineering design, direct procurement of packaged equipment and construction/ commissioning support.

During the design and procurement phase, an integrated team was formed that included both the constructor’s personnel as well representatives from FMG’s operations and maintenance groups.  This strategy ensured that constructability; operability and maintenance considerations were addressed in a timely and efficient manner and facilitated an effective interface with operations stakeholders.

The project was successfully executed without disturbing the throughput of the operating plant located adjacent to the wet front end site. The project was delivered in accordance with the HSE key performance indicators and met the schedule requirements. The final cost fell within 4% of the Target Price. The new circuit achieved the required performance criteria and has allowed FMG to maintain the overall facility production volume with the challenge of the wetter, clay-based material.

Location:Western Australia
Client:Fortescue Metals Group (FMG)
Scope:Detailed engineering, procurement of equipment and site support
Date:2011 - 2013