Rocktree Consulting, a division of Singapore-headquartered transhipment and logistics group Rocktree, has completed the front-end engineering and design (FEED) for a new floating terminal for the Bauxite Hills Mine, operated by Australia's Metro Mining Limited.
Bauxite ore is the world's primary source of aluminium. Australia, Guinea and Brazil are the largest suppliers of bauxite to the seaborne market, while China is the main buyer.
The FEED work forms part of an updated Definitive Feasibility Study (DFS) for the Stage 2 expansion of the Bauxite Hills Mine, located approximately 95 km north of Weipa, Queensland, Australia. Metro Mining aims to increase bauxite exports from about 3.5 million tpy to 6 million tpy by 2021.
Fundamental to the expansion is the optimisation of an on-water transhipment facility capable of loading bauxite on to larger vessels, increasing transhipment volumes and loading rates. Currently, bauxite from the mine is exported by way of smaller, geared self-loading bulk carriers.
Rocktree Consulting, under the leadership of Managing Director Mario Terenzio, was appointed in February 2019 to carry out a feasibility study aimed to identify the most cost-effective floating terminal solution capable of increasing Bauxite Hills' competitiveness by reducing transportation costs with the use of large bulk carriers up to cape size.
Using dynamic software to simulate the entire supply chain and taking into consideration the specific operating conditions in the region, Rocktree has put forward a 100 m long, 30 m wide, 5.5 m draught floating terminal design capable of loading up to 3000 t of bauxite per hr.
With a lightship weight of 5100 t, the terminal will feature a pair of heavy duty four-rope cranes, each operating a scissor-type grab, and a state-of the-art materials handling conveyor and stacker system. This is based on two twin large hoppers with feeder belts and conveyors to transport bauxite to the point of loading. A telescopic ship loader will feed bauxite into ships' holds.
The terminal will also include an 8000 t buffer storage facility, workshops, accommodation, and power generation units. All installed systems and machinery will have full redundancy and be optimised for energy efficiency, exceeding current safety and environmental regulations set by the Australian Maritime Safety Authority and other regulatory bodies.
The transhipper will be designed and constructed to meet all local (Australian) and leading international maritime regulations for assets of this kind. The terminal will be built in accordance with IACS classification society rules.
Daniele Pratolongo, CEO, Rocktree Group, said: “The relationship Rocktree has developed with Metro Mining has enhanced Rocktree’s presence in Australia, a key market for the export of commodities and abundant in opportunities for waterborne logistics requiring Rocktree’s expertise. This initial scope of work, which has focused on engineering and consultancy services, is the first step towards a longer-term role with Metro Mining, where Rocktree will operate and manage the floating terminal upon project implementation in 2021.”