Roy Hill is an Iron Ore mine situated approximately 115 kilometres north of Newman.
Broken Hill has relied on the Menindee Lakes as the town’s main water supply since the 1960’s. The Menindee Lakes is a chain of shallow ephemeral freshwater lakes connected to the Darling River to form a storage system.
In late 2015, due to the drought conditions in the Darling system the capacity of the lake system was close to empty.
This not only limits supply of water but also impact on the quality of water which deteriorates (salinity increases) due to the high evaporation rate. Under these conditions, Broken Hill’s Water Treatment Plant, designed to remove turbidity and organic matter using conventional filtration process, requires an upgrade with the reverse osmosis process to remove the excess salinity.
Therefore the requirement for an RO plant arose, which required completion in a very short time frame - 12 weeks, very careful installation and integration with the continuously operating upstream water filtration plant, along with numerous procedures and measures to comply with from the NSW Public Works who managed the overall project on behalf of Essential Water, the owner and operator of the Broken Hill WTP.
The new RO plant was required to be integrated with the existing water treatment facility on site - successful integration would require close management of the equipment interfaces.
With a 12 week time frame, the project was completed in a very short time frame to all required standards set out by the NSW Public Works.
Roy Hill is an Iron Ore mine situated approximately 115 kilometres north of Newman, in the Pilbara region and is the only independent iron ore project with West Australian majority ownership.
“Osmoflo will provide a critical and secure water source for our Roy Hill mine, ensuring operations can continue well into the future” Senior Project Manager, Jim Turner at Roy Hill
With its integrated Mine, Rail and Port facilities, Roy Hill has the capacity to deliver 55Mt of iron ore per annum. This must meet stringent quality standards and in particular the ore must be washed to remove chloride based salts before shipment. The water available to the project is suitable only for the first 4 years of mine life and is predicted to deteriorate over time with increasing chloride based salt levels. Because of this, Roy Hill require a water treatment solution to remove some of the chloride from the water coming from the aquifer to enable final ore washing.
The EPC contract involved the delivery of a desalination and blended water treatment plant at the Roy Hill mine site, with a capacity up to 20 MLD. The plant treats water on site to ensure it is suitable for use in mining processes. The project also included the installation of a 4.3km pipeline that is used to pump the brine from the plant to a managed aquifer recharge system.In addition, Osmoflo will provide the subsequent operations and maintenance of the plant for the life of the mine, which is expected to be in excess of 20 years.
Fabrication of the 20 MLD brackish water reverse osmosis plant and associated equipment for Roy Hill will took place at Osmoflo’s manufacturing facility in Burton, South Australia. The plant was then transported over 3,400km to the Roy Hill site and ‘Practical Completion’ was achieved in July 2019. More than one hundred personnel will be utilised around Australia for the combined EPC and operation & maintenance contracts.