The Coffey Testing – Port Hedland Team are conducting a test that consists of a 3.6km rail spur, which will allow the twin access to the MAC train load out.

  • Client: Austral Construction, on behalf of BHP Iron Ore
  • Duration: Approximately 12 months
  • Location: Port Hedland, WA

More Info

BHP Iron Ore is currently investigating initiatives through the Western Australia rail network to increase the annual iron ore output from 287 million tonnes per annum to 290+ million.

This will be facilitated through the process of renewing, rationalising, upgrading and/or relocating rail infrastructure, to increase its current capacity. The collective program of works is known as 290 Mtpa, of which the Yeerabiddy Siding Project forms part of.

The key objectives of the Yeerabiddy Siding Project are:

  • To increase the supply chain capacity from the company’s Mining Area C (MAC) site, also known as South Flank,
  • Optimise the operational flexibility of the company through increasing and reconfiguring the infrastructure,
  • Reduce the amount of headway through the increase of current block sections and then spacing them as far as it is practical, and
  • To provide a reliable foundation for the implementation of future, known or unknown, technology or expansion projects to build upon.

Our Coffey Testing – WA Team was contracted to the NHP Iron Ore site in November 2023, with the initial project completion date being June 2024, however we have been advised that the project has been extended to October to cover additional tracks and drainage works.

The team are conducting a test that consists of a 3.6km rail spur, which will allow the twin access to the MAC train load out. We are conducting the following tests to suit:

  • Nuclear Density Meter (NDM) testing,
  • Moisture Content (MC) testing,
  • Plate Load Testing,
  • Maximum Dry Density (MDD) testing,
  • Particle Size Distribution (PSD),
  • Atterberg Limits (PI), and
  • California Bearing Ratio (CBR) testing on site.

The Coffey Testing – WA team are an integral part of facilitating this project, as we are currently set up in a compound with the full works crew. This includes the client, lead contractor, surveyor, track maintenance crew, geotechnical engineers, and rail service crews. As the rail spur is being surface mined and then built from its foundations to track level, Coffey Testing’s full responsibility is analysing if the surface mined materials can be repurposed as construction material, which not only removes the need to open new borrow pits, but it will also save money, time, and energy on the project.