Due to aging infrastructure, Xstrata Port Operations undertook a major initiative at the Townsville Port to relocate its shipping operations from Berth 7 to Berth 8 and in the process, to significantly increase the loading capacity of mineral concentrates and other bulk materials. The relocation required two new conveyors, a new ship loader and associated bulk material handling infrastructure designed to increase capacity from 1200 tonnes per hour to 3000 tonnes per hour and service vessels up to Panamax size. The client developed a comprehensive design and implementation strategy which was aimed at utilising modular building packages to achieve the project goals around Safety, Time, Cost and Quality.
Mineforce were contracted to carry out the detailing, fabrication and construction of the new out-loading system comprising conveyors, transfer towers, and services. We were also responsible for the engineering on the new tubular conveyor structure which spans between berths.
The new infrastructure ties into the existing out-loading system near the storage facility adjacent to Berth 7. Following the product route, a new transfer tower redirects the product to Berth 8 via the new 145m long tubular conveyor. Once at Berth 8, a second new transfer tower directs the product onto a new 250m long tripper conveyor to the shiploader. There is also a new head tower supporting the far end of the tripper conveyor.
The conveyors were designed and built in modules to facilitate a cost effective installation. The sixteen (16) conveyor modules were fabricated and assembled prior to transporting to site – the largest modules being 8.7m x 11m high and up to 36m long.
A significant amount of engineering work was completed to ensure our 300T crawler crane could carry out the module lifts at site. The new Berth 8 wharf had load restrictions that required load spreading crane matts and Lennon Drive required geotechnical assessment of embankment stability.
Mineforce were engaged toward the end of the clients design phase, but we were able to inject our practical knowledge into the fabrication detailing and erectability of the new out-loading system.
The works completed by Mineforce will play an integral part in safeguarding future exports for Xstrata Copper, its partners and the Port of Townsville.