Engineering consulting firm Parsons Brinckerhoff has signed an initial contract as project manager for a $10 billion iron ore pit-to-port project for Roy Hill Holdings Pty Ltd., a 55 million metric ton per year (mt/y) project located in Western Australia’s Pilbara.

Parsons Brinckerhoff Global Mining Managing Director Mark Dimmock sounded strong optimism about a project which “spearheads the development of a new generation of integrated iron ore mining, rail, and port operations,” he said. “This requires a team with an ‘embedded’ depth of knowledge across the development lifecycle,” he added, to “counter project challenges as they arise with effective design and implementation solutions.”

The execution phase will last from 2013 to 2015; due diligence process with international investors to secure debt finance, with approval targeted for mid-year is currently underway.

The Roy Hill Project is a low-phosphorus, Marra Mamba iron ore deposit with a defined mineralization of more than 2.4 billion tons of iron ore – sufficient to sustain a mine life of more than 20 years. A new 214-mile heavy haul railway will link the mine and port, featuring state-of-the-art ore-handling facilities, a stockyard and two berths developed at Port Hedland. The first ore shipment export is slated for the fall of 2015.

Completed project aspects include port dredging, internal mine roads, a 1.5-mile airstrip, a 2,200-bed permanent accommodation village, four rail construction villages – holding 300 beds – a 1,200-bed permanent village in Port Hedland and a Perth-based $50 million corporate headquarters and remote operations center.
The Roy Hill team will develop technologies for operational efficiency along with risk management and regulatory compliance. Systems will include information technology infrastructure; fiber optic communication links; an in-pit wireless network supporting a fleet management system; and a digital radio network.