Stockyard and Port operation

The magnetite concentrate is exported to China from a purpose-built port at Cape Preston. From the stockyard, the product is transported to the barge loading berth at the breakwater through the 4.4km conveyor belt.

Port Preston is the Pilbara’s first greenfield port to be built in more than 40 years in. Unlike traditional iron ore ports which require deepwater channels to accommodate the massive tidal movements of the region, we currently use a transhipment method. A first in Western Australia, transhipment sees the product first loaded onto barges or a Transhipment Shuttle Self-unloading Vessel (TSV) at the loading berth along the breakwater. The barges are then towed offshore where a transhipper loads product onto larger ocean-going vessels (OGVs). The TSV is a self-propelled built-for-purpose vessel which uses a gravity reclaiming system and a single point loading system to load the OGVs.

Facts and figures

  • The stockyard is approximately 1.1km long and 250m wide.
  • The two stackers each have a capacity of 4,000 tonnes of concentrate per hour. 
  • The reclaimer has a nominal concentrate reclaim rate of 8,100 tonnes per hour and a peak claim rate of 10,500 tonnes per hour. 
  • The breakwater itself is 3.1km long.
  • Approximately 10,500 Core-Loc units are individually placed around the breakwater, which is designed to be able to refract the wave energy generated by a one in 100-year cyclone event.
  • Four barges are used, with carrying capacity ranging from 12,000 to 14,000 tonnes each. 
  • Four tugs are used, with bollard pull of 72 tonnes each. 
  • The transhipper and TSV have a concentrate outload capacity of 3,000 to 3,800 tonnes per hour each. 
  • 12 CITIC purpose-built vessels, with a capacity of 115,000 tonnes each, transport the concentrate to China.



Project Milestones