John Holland is going to conclude the Eliwana Mine and Rail Project – laying the final piece of 143km of heavy haul rail track in Western Australia’s Pilbara region.
The track works are part of a $130 million contract with Fortescue Metals Group which will also see an extension to the existing signaling and train control systems and a traffic capacity upgrade to communication infrastructure.
When completed, the remote greenfield project will connect the new Eliwana iron ore mine to the existing Fortescue Hammersley Line.
The John Holland team will now focus on final destressing works for 130km of the track, siding extension works, final grinding and correction. Final ballasting and tamping work for about 60km of the track are on schedule. All remaining track works to be completed by June 2021. The Signalling and Communication works are well ahead of schedule to be delivered by the end of 2021.
John Holland Rail Delivery Manager, John Ma, said the team had worked hard to ensure the project progressed despite weather and access challenges throughout the course of construction. He said:
“The safe unloading of the last long weld rail off the final rail train on the Eliwana project was a significant moment for us.”
“It’s a huge undertaking – more than 240,000 sleepers were laid as well as 400,000 tonnes of ballast dropped with more than 12,000 welds joining the tracks together.”
“Working in a remote and often volatile environment has its challenges, but I am proud that the team were able to demonstrate our capability to manage complex logistics and high-production welding facilities while enabling efficient project delivery.”
“This remarkable achievement was only possible due to the strong work ethic of all involved and we now focus our attention on delivering the remaining key objectives for the project.”
The remaining track work is scheduled to be completed by late June while signaling construction will be complete by the end of August. Testing and integration of the track will be finalised in December.
Located 90km west of Tom Price, the Eliwana mine celebrated the production of its first ore in December 2020. At full capacity, the mine will produce 30 million tonnes per annum. Mr Ma said:
“It’s no secret that the mining and construction industry is playing a big role in boosting Western Australia’s economy and we are pleased to partner with Fortescue to deliver this world-class iron ore project.”