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MMG receives AIPM award for Century concentrate storage shed refurbishment

MMG Century has been commended for its three-year project to refurbish the mine’s concentrate storage shed in Karumba.

Century was recognised by the Australian Institute of Project Management (AIPM) over the weekend, receiving a High Commendation Award for management of a project of up to A$100 million in expenditure.

The project involved replacing more than 11 kilometres of purlins and 300 roof bracing members in the concentrate storage shed. MMG made upgrading the shed a priority when it acquired Century in 2009, with the three-year project commencing in 2010.

As severe weather conditions are common in the Gulf over the summer months, work was only conducted during the dry season to minimise risk to the environment and community.

MMG General Manager Queensland Operations Mark Adams said a number of significant challenges had been overcome to deliver the project safely, on time and within budget.

“This was a complex project to deliver, with challenges including all work conducted at height, high humidity and temperatures during summer months, the need for the shed to remain in use throughout the works and the site’s remote location.

“I am pleased that the judges recognised the innovative way our team worked to overcome a range of safety, operational and other challenges and deliver the project on time and within budget, while restoring the shed’s Category 4 Cyclone rating.

“I would also like to recognise the dedication of the Dawsons Engineering and Dempsey Cranes who provided significant assistance throughout the project.”

Mr Adams said the award confirmed MMG had taken the right approach when deciding to manage the project in-house with support from contract partners.

“While many companies might choose to outsource the management of such projects, we felt that an owner-operator management model was the safest and most-cost effective approach.

“This recognition by the broader project management industry reinforces that this approach was the right choice for the project.”

Century’s concentrate storage shed in Karumba is used to stockpile zinc and lead concentrates prior to transfer to export ships anchored in the Gulf of Carpentaria. The concentrates are then shipped to smelters in Australia, Asia and Europe.

Century is Australia’s largest zinc mine and is expected to produce between 480,000 –490,000 tonnes of zinc in zinc concentrate in 2013.