PHIC members Roy Hill, Fortescue and BHP delivered presentations to the recent CIF meeting, outlining their work with vulnerable communities during the COVID-19 crisis, contributions to the community and commitments around dust mitigation.

The May meeting heard from Mark Komene, Fortescue General Manger of Hedland Operations; Nilson Davila, BHP General Manager of Port; and Simone Willshire, Roy Hill, General Manager of Port and Rail Operations.

Ms Wilshire said activities were underway at Roy Hill to increase shipping sustainably to 60Mtpa run rate by end of FY20, and she provided an overview of the introduction of autonomous haul trucks.

The Roy Hill Community Development Team has been working with local communities and Foodbank WA to support the needs of community and Traditional Owners during the COVID-19 crisis, with custom-made care packs delivered to six Pilbara communities in the Roy Hill footprint, including Port Hedland.

Mr Komene provided an overview of Fortescue’s Eliwana and Iron Bridge projects and said Fortescue had provided $145,000 to 79 Pilbara community groups in FY19, and $1 million to assist the Royal Flying Doctor Service.

Mr Davila, in the BHP presentation, outlined discussions with stakeholders for potential future options to increase licensed export capacity beyond 290Mtpa, saying a licence amendment highlighted the positive future BHP saw for iron ore which would support the economy and local community.

He said BHP contributed $277 million towards community infrastructure and social investment programs in the Pilbara in FY19.

The presentation included details on a range of dust mitigation measures, including wind fences and vegetation barriers, with Mr Davila saying BHP would reduce its contribution to dust levels in the West End.

PHIC Chief Executive Kirsty Danby told the meeting an independent assessment of Ecotech, the company managing the Port Hedland Ambient Air Quality Monitoring Network, had found that it met and sometimes exceeded Australian Standards.

PHIC commissioned GHD to undertake the independent assessment after inconsistent readings for PM10, were confirmed at the Taplin Street monitoring station on 23 January 2020.

GHD examined the installation and calibration across all three units at Taplin Street, and Ecotech’s asset management system from July 2018 to January 2020.

Kirsty said draft reports from GHD confirmed Ecotech had met or exceeded Australian Standards.

Three independent investigations suggest the inconsistencies at Taplin Street monitoring site began in late April 2018, but not detected until January 2020.

The meeting was told that Network transfer to the Department of Water and Environmental Regulation was waiting on a Memorandum of Understanding from DWER and other contractual arrangements.

Responding to CIF concerns over transparency and open communications when DWER takes over the Network, the department said it had consulted with the community and was committed to being open and transparent.

The meeting was given a preview of findings from the PHIC-commissioned report, The Economic Significance of the Port of Port Hedland.

Click on the button below to view the complete presentations for Roy Hill, Fortescue, BHP, and PHIC, and the minutes of the CIF.

View the presentations