BMA’s Caval Ridge open cut coal mine is expected to produce up to 5.5 million tonnes per annum and process an additional 2.5Mtpa from BMA’s adjacent Peak Downs mine.
The Thiess contract includes the construction of heavy haul roads, the early works for product stockpile and conveyor area, drainage infrastructure and creek diversions, and the handling of nearly 7 million cubic metres of material.
Thiess managing director Bruce Munro said the contract was testament to the company’s earthworks capability, which dates back more than 77 years.
“Thiess has a clear and demonstrated capability in mobilising a high-quality workforce within tight timeframes, ensuring certainty of delivery and quality outcomes for our clients,” Munro said.
Thiess Queensland general manager Jason Spears said good earthworks lay the foundation for a successful project.
“As a major construction and mining contractor we understand that precise and timely earthworks are critical to meeting project delivery milestones,” he said.
Caval Ridge is about 25km southeast of Moranbah in central Queensland’s northern Bowen Basin.
BHP Billiton approved the development of the Caval Ridge mine and expansion of the Peak Downs mine last November.
The expansion, timed to come online in 2014, will require additional mining equipment.
Of the development cost, BHP’s share equates to $2.1 billion and the life of the initial project is expected to be greater than 60 years.
The investment will include construction of a coal handling and preparation plant at Caval Ridge.
It will also process ore from the Peak Downs expansion, which will be fed into the plant via a conveyor.
Caval Ridge, which already has all the necessary regulatory approvals, will be an open cut dragline and truck and shovel operation, with coal railed to the BMA’s Hay Point coal terminal.