Image: Ravensworth North CHPP: From PreFeasibility Study to project delivery, ahead of time

Minerals & Metals2 min read

Ravensworth North CHPP: From PreFeasibility Study to project delivery, ahead of time

Hunter Valley, NSW, Australia
Xstrata Coal (now Glencore)
2009 - 2013

The Ravensworth North Operation is located in the Hunter Valley, New South Wales. It incorporates an open cut mine and a Coal Handling and Preparation Plant (CHPP).

Glencore involved Ausenco QCC from the outset. The Pre-Feasibility Study and Feasibility Study were completed in 2009 and then progressed to an alliance contract for the delivery of the coal infrastructure.

The Challenge

Working in a predominantly brownfields operating facility required close coordination with the operations team.

The raw coal and rejects system, spread over a large geographical area, presented logistical challenges. The remainder of works, within the existing plant, was very congested and afforded limited crane access and laydown areas.

The construction occurred in 2012 and 2013 when there was a huge demand for building and upgrading CHPPs, driven by the increased coal price. This presented significant challenges around pricing and delivery of equipment and material supplies.

The Better Way

The design made the best use of the existing facilities. Two new 900 t/h Coal Preparation Plant (CPP) modules were built and integrated with the existing module, involving two-stage washing, using dense medium cyclones and spirals circuits.

The new raw coal facility married each end into the existing dump station and plant feed silos by incorporating a series of overland and plant conveyors, secondary and tertiary sizing stations, stacker, raw coal stockpile and reclaim tunnel.

The rejects conveyor system was extended to transport rejects to a new mine truck load-out bin near the Run Of Mine dump station. The product coal facility incorporated an extension to the existing tunnel and a new product and reclaim tunnel system, with associated plant conveyors and a stacker.

Fourteen new conveyors (9.1 km long in total) were installed, the longest being 2.4 km. We also upgraded the capacity of the existing plant conveyors and services – in total, eighteen conveyors, totalling 4.8 km.

Through the alliance model, Ausenco QCC and Xstrata worked as a team to tackle challenges arising during the project execution, on a shared risk and reward principle.

The team broke up the civil and mechanical packages into smaller contracts to deliver projects in a time and cost-effective manner.

The Outcome

Ausenco QCC completed the project within budget and four months ahead of schedule in 2013.

We had upgraded the existing infrastructure and designed and engineered two additional 900 t/h CPP modules and new raw coal and product coal facilities. In over 2,000,000 site hours, there was no Lost Time Injury.