The Karara Iron Ore Project is an 8.0-million tons per annum (Mtpa) operation about 200 kilometers east of Geraldton in Western Australia. The stage 1 base plant was completed in 2013. Additional stages will be added, taking advantage of the existing infrastructure. The concept is to design a plant that is readily expandable in approximately four 7.4-Mtpa modules, with minimal interruption to the operating plant during construction, commissioning, and operation.

Karara Mining Limited Tetra Tech Proteus to undertake the definitive feasibility study for stage 2A of the project because of its expertise in designing large-scale iron ore processing operations for both magnetite and hematite ore bodies. Track record, design capability, systems, and ease of communication were all factors in the decision.

The project design incorporates the ability to expand production to more than 38 Mtpa. The stage 2A definitive feasibility study is a key step for furthering project development.

Tetra Tech Proteus’s principal objectives for the stage 2A definitive feasibility study were as follows:

  • Incorporate the design, construction, and commissioning experience gained from the base plant
  • Leverage off the base plant engineering design as far as practical
  • Evaluate, and incorporate where appropriate, value-adding engineering opportunities
  • Consider constructability issues during the early design phase

The study used Tetra Tech Proteus’s capabilities in the following areas:

  • High-pressure grinding rolls and screening
  • Primary, fine, and regrind
  • Magnetic separation
  • Flotation
  • Thickening and filtration
  • Concentrate stacking and reclaiming
  • Concentrate load-out facility
  • Hematite handling
  • Tails stacking
  • Infrastructure