BHP ramps up Jimblebar safety following injuries

BHP's Jimblebar operation in Western Australia has mobilised a fully-autonomous truck fleet since 2017. Image: BHP

BHP has temporarily paused operations at its Jimblebar iron ore mine in Western Australia to reinforce safety requirements after a number of “low-level injuries” at the site.

A BHP spokesperson said the company’s general manager made the decision to temporarily pause operations to re-establish and reinforce safety requirements with all teams.

“The safety of our people is our first priority,” the spokesperson said. “Operations recommenced after several hours and there was no impact to production.”

The Jimblebar iron ore mine is one of seven iron ore mines the company operates in the Pilbara. BHP has 85 per cent interest in the mine, with the remaining 15 per cent interest shared equally by its joint venture partners, Mitsui and ITOCHU.

Ore is crushed, beneficiated and blended at Jimblebar to create high-grade hematite lump and fines products. Iron ore products are then transported to the Finucane Island and Port Hedland in Western Australia.

BHP employs more than 800 people at Jimblebar, while running a fully autonomous fleet of trucks and drills on site.

BHP achieved a record production of 58.5 million tonnes at Jimblebar in the 2019 financial year, up from 55.8 million tonnes in the previous year.

Jimblebar’s fines iron grade improved during the March 2020 quarter and BHP expects the typical specification to return to above 60 per cent in the June 2020 quarter.