MinRes’ Onslow Iron project is set to redefine mining in Western Australia through world-first autonomous road trains, industry leading dust free transport and resort-style workforce accommodation.
The transformational Onslow Iron project is one of the largest iron ore projects currently under development in Australia. Located in the west Pilbara region, it will unlock billions of tonnes of stranded iron ore deposits.
Onslow Iron is being developed by MinRes, in a joint venture partnership with Red Hill Iron Joint Venture (RHIJV) partners Baowu, AMCI and POSCO.
MinRes will deliver all mining services and infrastructure for the project, including a crushing plant and haulage, port and transhipping services to facilitate the export of the product.
The project will have the shortest pit to port distance in the industry, with iron ore transported 150 kilometres from the mine site to the port. In a world first, the product will be transported by jumbo autonomous road trains via a dedicated fenced and sealed haulage road. Once the product reaches the Port of Ashburton, it will be shipped via fully enclosed transhippers to Capesize vessels anchored 40 kilometres off the coast.
The project is forecast to ship around 35 million tonnes of iron ore per year, with an expected mine life of 30 plus years.
Redefining Mining through innovation
The Onslow Iron project’s game-changing innovations – designed and developed by MinRes – will minimise the project’s environmental footprint and increase efficiencies. This includes:
- NextGen modular crushing plants that produce significantly lower dust and noise emissions than traditional crushers.
- World’s largest autonomous road trains that will enhance road safety and increase operational efficiencies.
- Transition of autonomous road trains from diesel to electric, reducing carbon emissions.
- Transhippers that enable MinRes to export iron ore from the Port of Ashburton without needing a deep-water port, significantly reducing the environmental impact and capital cost.
MinRes is committed to achieving net zero operational emissions by 2050.
At Onslow Iron, decarbonisation will focus on displacing diesel with alternative fuels, renewable solar power generation, energy storage and electrification of mobile equipment and transport. This includes road train batteries being charged with renewable solar and gas-fired energy while greener mining fleet options are investigated.
A new FIFO standard
Onslow Iron will set a new standard in accommodation for the resource industry, with resort-style villages aimed at changing the culture of FIFO living by encouraging more women and couples to live and work on site.
The apartment-like rooms – suitable for single and couples – will be three times the size of traditional FIFO accommodation and feature with a queen size bed, separate ensuite, laundry, big screen TV to stay in touch with family and a balcony with a barbeque.
Together with restaurants, a commercial gym, an Olympic sized swimming pool and a wellness centre, these facilities will help create a home-away-from-home experience like no other mining camp in Australia.
As part of the project, a 500-room village will be built at Ken’s Bore mine site and a 250-room village at Onslow. MinRes is also building 10 four-bedroom homes in Onslow to attract more families to relocate to the town and become part of the community.
Supporting Traditional Owners
MinRes is working closely with the Thalanyji People and Robe River Kuruma People to ensure the project provides long-term benefits to Traditional Owners.
One example of this is signing a 50-year agreement to lease land from the Buurabalyji Thalanyji Aboriginal Corporation (BTAC) for the Onslow resort, delivering benefits for the life of the project. At the end of mining operations, this world-class asset will be handed over to BTAC to ensure benefits are ongoing for the Thalanyji People.
Check out the latest news relating to the Onslow Iron project, highlighting it’s progress so far:
- Swans in Onslow partnership helping young people thrive
- MinRes and Hexagon join forces for world-first fully autonomous road trains
- MinRes unveils prototype resort pod
- Onslow Iron’s first transhipper launched
- MinRes to set a new benchmark for FIFO life with resort-style accommodation
- Positive Final Investment Decision reached for Onslow Iron
- Onslow Iron project set to redefine mining in WA
- Pioneering autonomous road trains achieve world first
- Mineral Resources introduces Ashburton Community Fund
- Mineral Resources adds world-first automated road trains to its haulage fleet