Geotechnical investigation, analysis and monitoring – BHP Billiton Western Stockyard, Finucane Island, Port Hedland

Bradley Fuge

The BHP Billiton PACE Project comprises the construction of a new stockyard, shipping berth and ore handling facilities for BHP Billiton Iron Ore on Finucane Island near Port Hedland in Western Australia. This presentation focuses on the geotechnical work for the investigation and design of the new ore stockyard area on Finucane Island, known as the Western Stockyard.

Soil & Rock Engineering carried out the geotechnical investigation and design work on behalf of the BHP Billiton appointed project managers ‘Mine and Port Developments Joint Venture’ (MPD JV), a joint venture between Sinclair Knight Merz Pty Ltd and Fluor Australia Pty Ltd.

At the time of preparation of this presentation, the Western Stockyard facility is under construction. Bulk earthworks were completed between August 2002 and March 2003 and structural and rail construction is currently ongoing.

The new stockyard has a design capacity of 1,300,000 t of iron ore. Ore will be stored in stockpiles that are 19 m high and impart a ground pressure of around 500 kPa on to the underlying strata.