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Schneider Electric to deliver resource-to-market simulation and optimisation to Roy Hill Iron Ore

Schneider Electric has signed a contract with Roy Hill Iron Ore to provide a comprehensive Demand Chain Planning and Scheduling (DCPS) system for its iron ore project in WA.

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 centre (ROC) in Perth.

Located approximately 280 kilometres 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 ship loader operating out of a tidal and capacity constrained port) requires RHIO to be able to optimise from resource-to-market.

This is achieved through the development of completely integrated operating philosophies underpinned by world-class optimisation technology.

Schneider Electric's StruxureWare Supply Chain Operation Advanced Planning & 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 organisation 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 utilising Schneider Electric's 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," says Lomman.

"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 centre (ROC) is the collaboration facility where we plan, schedule, execute, measure and improve the entire Roy Hill operations. Linking the parts of our value chain that connect operations to our customers, the ore body and our suppliers," he adds.

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."

[Image courtesy Roy Hill.]

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