Located in the remote Pilbara region of northwestern Australia, SINO iron ore project is the largest monomer mining project in Australia to be invested by China. Design, construction, and communication were difficult on this project because construction standards and management concepts between China and Australia differ and construction resources were insufficient. The highly precise installation requirements further contributed to design, transport, and installation challenges. The Northern Engineering & Technology Incorporation, MCC formed a BIM team to implement a combined design and construction concept that focused on modular construction.
BCITIC Pacific Mining’s (CPM) Sino Iron project at Cape Preston is located 100 km southwest of Karratha, in Western Australia’s resource rich Pilbara region. The largest magnetite mining and processing operation in Australia, downstream processing operations currently consist of six production lines. Sino Iron takes magnetite ore and through a beneficiation process creates a high grade, premium iron ore concentrate that is exported for use in steelmaking.
A fully integrated mining, processing and export operation, Sino Iron incorporates some of the most innovative processes and supporting facilities to produce and transport its product to market. This includes a mining fleet with some of the world’s largest equipment, a combined-cycle gas fired power station with design capacity of 480 MW, a 51 gigalitre desalination plant and the first greenfield port to be built in the Pilbara in more than four decades.
Since late 2013, Sino Iron has been shipping premium magnetite concentrate to CITIC’s special steel plants as well as other steel producers in China.
Magnetite concentrate from Sino Iron is of a high quality with the advantage of having a low alumina and phosphorus content. There is strong demand in China for this type of product, as it is an ideal material for pellet making – the preferred feed in the steelmaking process. Pioneering the development of Australia’s magnetite industry, Sino Iron is poised to deliver significant long-term economic and community benefits to both Australia and China for decades to come.
The team used AECOsim Building Designer, MicroStation, and OpenPlant Modeler to design a variety of 3D models and imported them into RAM for finite element analysis. Navigator was used to perform collision detection. Bentley’s integrated modeling applications simulated a module assembly and construction environment, which enabled potential problems to be identified and resolved in advance, improving construction efficiency and shortening the construction period. The BIM solution facilitated accurate drawing extractions in compliance with general international standards, reducing design changes by 80 per cent.