Cloudbreak Ore Handling Desands Facility & Cloudbreak Village

Client: Fortescue Metals Group Ltd
Location: Pilbara, Western Australia
Completion Date: 2007

Cloudbreak Mine is an iron ore mine located in the Pilbara region of Western Australia. The ore from the mine is processed on site before being loaded onto rail. The product is then transported to the coast at Port Hedland through the Fortescue railway where it is loaded onto ships.

Cloudbreak Mine Project Overview:

FMG is operating and continuing to develop the Pilbara Iron Ore and infrastructure projects. In order to accommodate the employees and contractors during the development and ongoing operations of the mine sites, permanent accommodation villages have been set up and further temporary and permanent camps constructed. All Cloudbreak, Christmas Creek Construction Camp and the Christmas Creek Village projects are reliant upon treated groundwater for drinking and other potable water supplies. Cloudbreak Village accommodates 1,200 people while Christmas Creek Village is designed to accommodate 800 people. The sites use Reverse Osmosis systems while a DMI filter followed by an ion exchange softener is used at Christmas Creek Construction Village.

DBM Vircon's Scope of Work:

Construction on the 280 kilometre long line from Cloudbreak to the Herb Elliott Port at Port Hedland begun in November 2006. The line was fully operational within 18 months. DBM Vircon's scope included the Mechanical Structural and Piping 3D models with full BIM intelligence and complete workshop drawings of the below structures:
  • Screening Building including 11 bins and screens
  • Crushing Building including surge and feed bins
  • Fines and Lump Ore stockpile
  • Train Loadout facility including all bins and chutes
  • Desanding facility
  • 11 Conveyors and associated Transfer Stations
For the Cloudbreak Village and Christmas Creek Construction Camp scope of work included a comprehensive assessment of the water treatment management systems including water quality risks, appropriateness of the water treatment regime, adequacy of water storage, disinfection, monitoring and security.

Cloudbreak Mine Project Highlights & Challenges:

  • DBM Vircon worked closely with Worley Parsons Team 45 who were contracted to design the facility. DBM Vircon staff members integrated with the Perth and Melbourne Project design offices adding a wealth of iron ore material handling experience which aided in streamlining and providing prompt solutions and clarifications of design and fabrication issues.
  • DBM Vircon worked closely with the clients to maintain a very tight schedule and managed many design changes that had minimal impact on the overall construction schedule. Contributions made aided in the successful operation from design to commissioning on time and on budget.
  • DBM Vircon and FMG group worked as an integrated team to resolve problems continuously, from schedule delays of design, changes to protocols, re-design, construction and operation requirements and restrictions of manpower the two teams worked together as one to achieve great results.
  • Water source protection (from cattle faecal matter) posed a challenge for the Cloudbreak Village and Christmas Creek Construction project. Protective measures included a change in disinfection, changes to the water treatment regime, improved monitoring and installation of equipment.