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BHPBIO - Hedland to Yandi Rail Duplication - Chichester Deviation, Pilbara, WA

BHPBIO - Hedland to Yandi Rail Duplication - Chichester Deviation, Pilbara, WA

As a part of Rapid Growth Project 5 (RGP5) BHPBIO duplicated the existing railway between Port Hedland and Newman in order to increase capacity to allow additional volumes of ore to be transported to the port.

The rail duplication project comprised four sections, these being: Port Hedland to Yandi Junction, Yandi Junction to Yandi Minesite, a 14km stretch of rail between Jimblebar Junction and Newman and a deviation to the main rail line known as the Chichester Deviation which lies between chainage 216.5 to 250 km.

RPS was initially engaged by Calibre Rail (Project EPCM) at the feasibility stage of the project in August 2007, to design and cost the development of construction water supplies along the railway. RPS assessed all potential water supply targets and conducted a financial modelling and optimisation study to define the most cost effective water supply scheme for the railway construction.

In December 2007 RPS was engaged to undertake a ground truthing exercise to confirm the location of the drilling targets for new water supplies and to assess the condition of the existing bores along the railway. In May 2008 RPS was appointed to co-ordinate and supervise the installation of the water supply scheme for the railway and camp construction.

The field program took place over a 12 month period with four separate mobilisations and comprised exploration drilling, production bore installation and test pumping. During this time a total of 21 production bores were installed to supplement existing supplies at 14 water supply areas along the railway route. Spacing between the completed water supply areas ranges between 3 and 19 km (7.5 km on average) and the majority satisfy the water demand of 1500 kL/day. In addition water supplies for three construction camps were also installed.

RPS was nominated as Calibre Rail’s site representative for the water supply installation program. Due to vertical packaging, over the life of the project, this involved developing and maintaining strong working relationships with two different construction contractors, two different drilling contractors, site based EPCM FAST staff (FAST were appointed joint EPCM with Calibre Rail) while maintaining a close working client relationship with Calibre Rail staff based in Perth. During this time we also implemented good field management techniques, regular liaison with all parties and maintained a strong and consistent project management team over the life of the project.

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