Solomon Iron Ore Mine – Fire Tail and Kings Valley

CLIENT: Fortescue Metals Group Ltd
LOCATION: Pilbara, Western Australia
project overview:

The Solomon Iron Ore mine is part of FMG’s major expansion in Pilbara expected to produce 60 mtpa. It is FMG’s fastest built project to date.

DBM Vircon’s Scope of Work:

  • DBM Vircon’s initial scope on this project was to provide shop detailing on the vault steelwork, but this rapidly expanded due to the underperformance of the originally engaged overseas detailer, who fell increasingly behind schedule. As a result DBM Vircon was awarded a second scope of 289 tonnes of plate work on the Firetail mine and 588 tonnes of plate work on the Kings Valley mine. Following this, larger portions of the structural work were awarded to DBM Vircon.
  • DBM Vircon were also involved in the project’s piping scope for the basic line route for the tailings line. DBM Vircon were required to finalize the route and complete the design of the distribution header, resolve any clash issues, and then execute isometrics and MTO’s for fabrication. DBM Vircon was given a very tight schedule of 1.5 months, which was successfully met.
  • In addition to weekly meetings, DBM Vircon met with the design team in their local offices, as required, to resolve any issues. Being local, the daily interaction with the client either face-to-face or via phone helped clear communication between both parties resulting in limited time being lost.
  • DBM Vircon’s consistent compliance to the client’s needs, delivering via phases and packages of work to assist the client in getting Workpacks issued.
  • At completion, DBM Vircon issued a total of 28,000 tonnes of structural steel and platework. The Firetail scope included 70 BIM models & 340lm of piping models, whilst the Kings Valley scope consisted of 130 BIM models.

Solomon Iron Ore Mine Project Highlights & Challenges:

  • DBM Vircon received the initial Vault steelwork design drawings 2 weeks late and with a number of outstanding items, we were able to meet the tight schedule of the project imposed by the demand to keep the workshop busy and meet tight shipping dates. This was achieved by having the experienced personal that had the ability to work through hold points and preliminary information asking the correct questions allowing us to start detailing prior to final design.
  • Parallel workflows were achieved with progressive packages of work being modeled and detailed whilst detailed design continued.
  • DBM Vircon’s integrated approach ensured increased efficiencies were delivered and prompt response times to TQ’s. DBM Vircon raised 684 TQ’s, mitigating schedule delays and potential rework on site.
  • The client had concerns that the offshore fabricators didn’t fully appreciate what was included in their scope in regard to structural/mechanical interface. Because of DBM Vircon’s depth of mining experience, we were asked to review a number of models on Fire Tail to ensure that all the mechanicals were done. DBM Vircon went through the full scope of work and uncovered approximately 6 tonnes of Guards (327 panels) and 60 tonnes of counterweight boxes in addition to numerous miscellaneous mechanical items which weren’t incorporated. DBM Vircon completed these thus mitigating potential rework on site and significant schedule delays.
  • DBM Vircon delivered a significant portion of the scope in a tight time frame due to late requests from the client, facilitating fabrication and optimizing workshop processes. The high quality of DBM Vircon’s work resulted in little workshop/site queries which assisted in reducing the overall timeframe.

David Dawson