Image: Ad Duwayhi Gold Project: Program management assistance for Saudi Arabian Gold Plant

Minerals & Metals2 min read

Ad Duwayhi Gold Project: Program management assistance for Saudi Arabian Gold Plant

Saudi Arabia
Ma'aden Gold
2013 - 2015

The Ad Duwayhi project is a CIL/gravity separation gold plant incorporating crushing, grinding, screening, flotation, gold recovery, and gold room and related facilities.

The project is located in a remote Central Arabian region of Saudi Arabia with the nearest town, Zalim, being some 140 km from the site. Water supply is pumped to the site across a 400 km pipeline from Taif which may also service future mines in the region. Ausenco’s scope as PMC was as an augmentation of Ma’aden’s in-house project management team and covered quality assurance of deliverables by Hanwha Engineering & Construction, a Korean company appointed by Ma’aden as the EPC contractor.

Ausenco led a value engineering effort during the design process introducing a number of practical procedures intended to improve the operability of the plant.

Ausenco established a site project management team to oversee the construction on the 16km² project site and the 120 km access road from the main highway through to the site. The water pipeline, mine development and power generation were managed separately by Ma’aden. Ausenco’s site team worked effectively with Ma’aden to drive Hanwha’s safety and accelerated performance of the works. The Ausenco site team focused on supporting Hanwha in planning, coordination and scheduling.

The project had an ambitious timeline, so to reduce the program overrun Ausenco developed and implemented a number of recovery strategies and acceleration plans on site. Additionally, Ausenco made a number of recommendations for Hanwha and Ma’aden to improve operability and accelerate start-up/ ramp-up processes for the plant, some of which were accepted and implemented.

Continuous Health and Safety management and supervision by Ausenco’s on site team and the rigorous application of Ausenco’s Golden Rules of Safety, were the primary reasons for raising the HSEC performance standards on this project with the world-class achievement of over 8 million Lost Time Injury (LTI) free man hours. The solid safety foundations created by the Ausenco team allowed Ma’aden to achieve more LTI free man hours, even after Ausenco demobilised from site.

The site conditions were challenging with temperatures rising to the mid-50°C during the summer months. The site was located in an arid, remote location and suffered frequent sand storms. The construction crews and construction management on site peaked at 2500 personnel and the workforce was drawn from very diverse backgrounds with personnel from 16 different countries speaking six different languages, necessitating site and safety communications be delivered in multiple languages.

All these factors make the HSEC statistic of 8,280,540 million man hours without a Lost Time Incident all the more remarkable and impressive for all those involved.