Flinders Logistics teamed up with OZ Minerals in 2012 when we worked together to improve the pit-to-port supply chain for copper concentrates from OZ Minerals’ Prominent Hill mine.
In reviewing their transport requirements for copper concentrates, OZ Minerals aimed to:
- Implement an efficient transport system from the operation to port
- Reduce double handling of concentrates
- Bypass a concentrates shed and traditional loading facilities
- Maintain a high environmental standard in shipping, storage and ship loading, including effective control measures to minimise potential dust emissions.
“The implementation of the container loading operations from Berth 29 could not have been implemented as smoothly as it was without the expertise of the Flinders Logistics team.”
Steve Day, Concentrate Logistics Manager, OZ Minerals
Flinders Logistics consulted closely with OZ Minerals and completed a detailed analysis of the export supply chain options from pit-to-port for OZ Minerals’ copper concentrates. We considered various combinations of road and rail transport and compared conventional bulk transport and storage with containerised bulk options.
Supply chain analysis
To achieve OZ Minerals’ goal to have the highest possible standards in shipping, storage and ship loading, we developed a transport and storage solution using containers called the Enclosed Bulk System. Under this Enclosed Bulk System copper concentrates would be loaded into special containers at Prominent Hill. These containers featuring lockable lids would then be moved by road to a rail head and transported by train to the Berth 29 Bulk Handling Facility.
This Enclosed Bulk System offered a number of environmental and safety benefits:
- Using containers to store and transport the copper concentrates would reduce handling of the product and the number of ‘transfer points’ along the supply chain.
- Cutting the number of ‘transfer points’ when copper concentrates could be disturbed and escape into the environment would reduce the risk of pollution.
- OZ Minerals’ containers would feature gravity locks to ensure a fail-safe locking mechanism and robust security. This would safeguard against accidental spills on land transport and during storage.
- Rail is more environmentally efficient than road because it can move higher volumes of cargo.
Pictured: OZ Minerals’ copper concentrate being loaded onto a ship at Port Adelaide
Flinders Logistics pioneered the use of a crane with a Rotating Container Tippler to load iron-ore from containers inside a ship’s hold. To combat fugitive dust we developed our DF MISTING® dust suppression system which successfully prevented iron-ore dust from escaping into the environment.
Improved dust suppression
As part of the new supply chain for OZ Minerals, we assessed whether DF MISTING® could be used to suppress dust from copper concentrates. Our review found that the DF MISTING® system could be adapted to match the particle sizes and hatch conditions that occur when loading copper concentrates from containers into a vessel. OZ Minerals chose Flinders Logistics’ Enclosed Bulk System and the modified DF MISTING® as their preferred supply chain for copper concentrates because of the high environmental and safety standards.
Flinders Logistics worked closely with container supplier, Intermodal Solutions, to customise containers for OZ Minerals so these could interface with a rotating container tippler during ship loading. OZ Minerals’ containers have been designed with a smooth inner lining which makes discharging copper concentrates from the container easier during the tippling process. Flinders Logistics also liaised with Giacci and Genesee & Wyoming so that OZ Minerals’ new containers could be successfully integrated into the road and rail stages of the supply chain. Ahead of OZ Minerals’ first consignment of copper concentrates, a new rail spur was built at Berth 29 Port Adelaide, linking the Bulk Handling Facility to the Australian rail network.
By reducing transfer points and developing highly effective dust suppression, Flinders Logistics offers some of the highest standards of environmental and safety management for stevedoring bulk minerals in Australia. Today the Enclosed Bulk System and DF MISTING® technology is used by other mining companies that export their commodities in containers with Flinders Logistics.