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  • Resource-to-market simulation and optimization for Roy Hill Iron Ore

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Aerial view of the Mankarlyirrakura Camp 3D animation of the control room of the remote operations center.

The Roy Hill Iron Ore (RHIO) project includes a new greenfield iron ore mine, a mine process plant, a heavy haul railway system from mine to port, new port facilities, and a remote operations center (ROC) in Perth.

Located approximately 150 miles due south of Port Hedland, the RHIO deposit has more than 2.4 billion tonnes of proven iron ore resource. At full capacity, Roy Hill will be mining almost 350Mtpa total movement; requiring 14 mining fleets. The ore will be transferred via Roy Hill’s dedicated rail line to port where they have an allocation to ship 55Mtpa from Port Hedland.

The high throughput projection and linear nature of the demand chain (a single mine, process plant, rail track, car dumper, and shiploader operating out of a tidal and capacity constrained port) requires RHIO to be able to optimize from resource to market. This is achieved through the development of completely integrated operating philosophies underpinned by world-class optimization technology.

Schneider Electric StruxureWare™ Supply Chain Operation Advanced Planning and Scheduling (APS) software — previously SolveIT software — will address the demand planning and scheduling complexities inherent at RHIO. While the demand chain model is configured for future steady state production planning and scheduling, it also includes simulation analysis that allows Roy Hill to test sensitivities around demand chain performance, prior to capital investment.

Says Mike Lomman, general manager, Demand Chain, Roy Hill: “We have little room for error. The Demand Chain team has been designed to look at the business holistically, to mitigate risk, and to respond to unforeseen events when they occur – all before the mine is built. We have spent a lot of time planning an organization that values integrated operations knowledge and how we can then apply that knowledge to rapidly drive innovation – not only in how we operate but the technology that we use.”

“We are utilizing Schneider Electric sophisticated APS modelling approach to help us predict how each entity in the demand chain will operate (mine, plant, rail, and port), not as discrete components, but as a single system that is operating with unified objectives and associated KPIs,” Mike said. “This has allowed us to gain visibility, before any CapEx has been spent, on where we expect system constraints. We can continually test operating scenarios and see potential impact on both throughput and grade variability across the entire demand chain.”

“From the operations strategy, determined through StruxureWare APS simulation, the remote operations center (ROC) is the collaboration facility where we plan, schedule, execute, measure, and improve the entire Roy Hill operation. Linking the parts of our value chain that connect operations to our customers, the ore body, and our suppliers,” he continues.

James Balzary, director of natural resources at Schneider Electric, states “This is a world-leading application of an integrated operating philosophy that removes traditional decoupled mine, plant, and outbound logistics processes. The RHIO Demand Chain team can determine optimal ore extraction sequences that ensure product quality and tonnage targets are met in the most efficient manner. The utilization of Schneider Electric next generation optimization approaches facilitates rapid decision support over long, medium, short term and execution horizons in one system.” This partnership will be underpinned by software, consulting, and implementation services.

As experts in Mining, Minerals and Metals, Schneider Electric provides solutions to maximize production, increasing overall efficiency and optimizing asset utilization.
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