Providing reliable water supplies

Sino Iron Project Desalination Plant
Pilbara Region, Western Australia
2007 - 2011
CITIC Pacific Mining
Industry Sector
Minerals & Metals
Iron Ore
Service Area
Environment & Sustainability; Process Plants; Project Delivery
Water Resources; Copper & Mineral Processing Plants; Water Supply; EPC/EPCM Contracting; Construction Management

CITIC Pacific Mining’s greenfield magnetite mine demanded 51 GL of water annually to process iron ore concentrate.

The operation, located in Western Australia’s Pilbara Region, includes an open pit mine, 6 AG mills and associated process plant, 450 MW combined cycle natural gas fired power plant, 26 km slurry pipeline, stockyards, port breakwater, and barge loaders. A 140,000 m3/d (51 GL/y) seawater desalination plant provides water for the process operations.

Ausenco provided management of Engineering, Procurement, and Construction (EPC) services for the desalination plant, including preparation of plant performance specifications, preparation of construction packages, management of design and procurement activities, site selection, intake and outfall location selection and brine dispersion modelling for environmental permits.

The management team coordinated the services of multiple engineering consultants and contractors who provided complete plant design and construction.

The desalination plant incorporates an intake pump well with 2 stage screening, a 2.5 km intake pipeline, 4 stage pretreatment plant, reverse osmosis plant, energy recovery system, post treatment water stabilisation plant, and a 3 km outfall pipeline and diffuser.