BHP Billiton Iron Ore announced that it will complete its owner-operator transition in the Pilbara with the last contractor run site, Orebody 18, transitioning to BHP Billiton operation by the end of the financial year.

Mining service provider, Macmahon, has successfully managed the operation since January 2007, and is working closely with BHP Billiton to ensure a smooth transition for the operation. BHP Billiton began the move to owner-operation in 2011 with the acquisition of HWE Mining subsidiaries and followed with the transition of the Yarrie operation to owner-operator in 2013.

BHP Billiton President Iron Ore Jimmy Wilson said the move was consistent with the company’s decision to move the Western Australia Iron Ore business to a 100% owner-operated model.

“We are committed to the safe, effective and efficient transfer of the Orebody 18 operation to BHP Billiton and we will work closely with Macmahon to ensure this happens,” he said. “Excess trucks and shovels made available due to improved productivity at our other mining operations will be used at Orebody 18, resulting in no additional truck and shovel purchases required to operate the site.

“As an additional productivity measure for the iron ore business, we have made the decision to suspend production at our Yarrie operation until further notice. We will redeploy Yarrie employees to our Jimblebar operation, which will manage Orebody 18 and other areas of the business wherever possible.”

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