NRW has won a $620m contract to provide construction services for the completion of the mine-to-port rail line terminating at Port Hedland.
The Roy Hill iron ore project featuring heavily in the news for the past 12 months is making serious inroads to becoming a major Pilbara iron ore producer.
Transporting the iron ore from the Roy Hill iron mine to the port took another step to becoming a reality. The contract† was awarded in late August 2013, and was authorised to commence preliminary work, although the capital value of works was not authorised to be above $20 million.
NRW Holdings will be working with with Samsung C&T Corporation, which itself won the $5.59 billion contract to build the entire mine, rail and harbour infrastructure. Hancock Prospecting owns 70 per cent of Roy Hill Holdings with the remaining 30 per cent being owned by two Korean steel making companies Posco and STX Group, Marubeni from Japan, and Taiwanese China Steel.
The contract is to construct the†330 km rail line direct to Port Hedland where Hancock Prospecting`s brand new storage and shipping facilities are currently being built. Construction of the main line heavy haul rail will be complete with sidings, level crossings and associated infrastructure.
Once completed, the new rail network will operate five trains, allowing total iron ore capacity of around 150,000 tonnes a day. It’s also anticipated that the new rail line could be used by smaller mining companies in the region that have no direct port access of their own. Trains will be automatically operated from a central operations centre in Perth.
In terms of earth moving and relocation of existing materials, NRW can expect to be moving approximately 10.5 million cubic metres of dirt. That’s a lot of work for dozer, excavator and haul truck operators.
Not one for wasting precious construction time, NRW Holdings has already been hard at it with an estimated completion time frame of early 2015. The exact number of civil engineering and† construction jobs in WA this will create can not be determined, although it is rumoured to be up in the 1500 people range.
While other iron ore miners like Brockman Mining and Fortescue Metals Group had invested years vying to get their iron ore transported to Port Hedland on other mining companies` railway line network, Roy Hills’ Hancock Prospecting will go straight into production once the rail line is in place because of the financial clout of Gina Rinehart.
Iron ore set to exceed $100 billion annually
In a recent finance review it was reported that Australia`s biggest iron ore mining companies are set to go eyond $100 billion worth of exports in 2015 as miners ramp up productivity creating a surge in volume. According to industry analysts, by 2018 over 900 million wet tonnes of iron ore will be produced thanks to expansions of existing Australian iron ore mines and new mining projects such as Roy Hill that are now coming online.
As many WA mining projects in the Pilbara region move from construction to a heavy production phase they are likely to allow for huge increases in volumes. Rio Tinto,BHP and Fortescue are tipped to increase their production in coming years.
In the next year these will allow for supply growth of up to 130 million tonnes which, according to The Australian, will be worth around $103 billion if sold at the current prices of $US131.10 at an exchange rate of US$0.94.
WA Jobs – Finding a FIFO job in the booming iron ore mining industry
Top tips for people looking for WA jobs in mining
- Do your research on NRW Holdings. The first thing you can do is to read the NRW 2013 Annual Report here. It contains information you need to know if you’re looking for WA jobs in mining with NRW.
- Often the best way to get a start in the WA mining industry is to go direct to the mining companies or recruiters.
- Another successful strategy is to look at moving to one of the regional mining centres in WA like Port Hedland, where a lot of mining activity is situated.
- Relocating to a regional town close to mining operations is a great way for inexperienced people to find WA jobs.
- You can also start applying for WA fly in fly out (FIFO) mining jobs, as this is a more frequent method of getting to a mine site given the remote location of mining sites like Roy Hill.
- A mining induction course is a step in the right direction when applying for a mining job. Safety training is a high priority in the WA mining industry, so you’re best to equip yourself with the right training.
- If you want to drive a dump truck on a mine site, then a HR-X licence (truck licence) and a current drivers licence are often required.
- The Pre-Employment Medical consists of questions that determine your medical condition and fitness to undertake mining work. In WA this is a hearing and lung function test and everyone in the Western Australian mining industry is required to have one.
The medical examination is conducted by a medical clinic and may be arranged by your employer company upon successful job offer, or in most cases you may have to arrange your own prior to applying for jobs.
This is a good course of action as it shows you are ready to start work immediately. You may also be required to undergo a drug and alcohol test.
- Do a 4 wheel drive course because you’ll be spending a bit of time out there in remote locations and if you’ve got a qualification that tells a mining company you’re a safe driver, this is a big plus!
- It’s always a good idea to see what types of mining courses you can do to make yourself more employable in the mines, especially if you are a new starter in the industry.
- You may need a security clearance or police check. Some WA mining companies may insist on you passing a pre-employment security check based on the type of mineral (gold and diamonds for instance) they are mining. For instance mine sites mining gold will require a WA Police – Gold Stealing Detection Unit (GSDU) clearance. Ask the WA Police Authority how to get one.
- Always review your resume and take the time to make your job application relevant to the job being advertised. You’d be amazed at just how many people take the ‘shotgun’ approach and adopt a ‘one job fits all’ approach when they send out resumes.
We recommend reviewing if it’s worth your while to have a professional mining resume created for you – it may just make a difference to getting that interview.
- As always when you’re applying for any type of mining job, keep focused, be patient, keep trying and keep your mining knowledge up to date.
- Get organised before other people realise there are more WA mining jobs on the horizon. If you go in to the mines at an entry level, you may earn less yes -† but once you’re in, you’re in and then you have choices.
Keep doing your research. If you know someone in Western Australia, or even better someone who is currently living near Port Hedland say, and ask them if they know anyone who works in mining.
Try to get their bosses mobile number, call them, get more numbers and keep calling them until you break through.
Know your mining stuff. Employers get hundreds of calls every day from hopefulls who think they can just waltz into a $100,000 a year job. Stand out from the crowd.
Contact the drilling companies directly, contact the mining contractors and tier 3 companies who supply services to the mines – they’re often a good way to get into an entry level mining job.
Reference: NRW Secures $620m Roy Hill Rail Deal | WA jobs in Mining | Pilbara jobs