BHP Billiton Mitsubishi Alliance (BMA) has awarded a $58 million contract to Whittens as part of the $270m Caval Ridge Southern Circuit project.
Initial project works start next month as part of the construction of an 11km overland conveyor system, which will transport coal from Peak Downs Mine to the Coal Handling Preparation Plant (CHPP) at the nearby Caval Ridge Mine in the Bowen Basin.
Whittens will carry out earthworks, construction of access roads and pavements, drainage and in-ground water and electrical services, structural concrete construction, foundations for the conveyor and tie-in infrastructure, and a run-of-mine (ROM) pad.
BMA asset president Rag Udd said the project would unlock significant productivity improvements by utilising latent equipment capacity at low cost.
“This project will allow us to increase production of some of the highest quality metallurgical coal in the world at Peak Downs Mine, and get it to market more efficiently by building the new linking infrastructure that will take advantage of latent processing capacity at the neighbouring Caval Ridge Mine,’’ Mr Udd said.
“Whittens will recruit additional personnel to bolster their operator workforce and deliver the integral early stage civil works for this project. There are great opportunities for skilled operators from across the Bowen Basin to be involved.’’
Whittens previously delivered civil and concreting works as a sub-contractor during construction of the Caval Ridge Mine CHPP in 2012 and 2013, and has worked across a range of earthworks and construction projects in the region.
The entire CRSC project is expected to create up to 400 new construction jobs and secure about 200 ongoing operational roles.
It will result in the Caval Ridge preparation plant increasing its throughput to reach its capacity of 10 million tonnes per year.
Construction of CRSC is scheduled for completion in late-2018.
In addition to the new conveyor and associated tie-ins, the project will also mean a new stockpile pad and ROM station at Peak Downs.
At Caval Ridge the existing CHPP and stockyard will be upgraded. BMA will also invest in a new mining fleet, including excavators, and trucks.