Authors: Joanna Winters, Grant Lindner, and Jade Fairweather

The Amrun Project encompasses the engineering, procurement, and construction management (EPCM) of a range of infrastructure required to support a new bauxite mine on part of Rio Tinto’s existing lease, south of the Embley River, between Weipa and Aurukun on the Western Cape York Peninsular, Queensland, Australia. This includes the construction of a bauxite mine, accommodation, processing plant, dam, tailings storage facility, roads, export wharf, and ferry terminals to transport workers from Weipa to the mine. At the request of the local Aboriginal Traditional Owners, the project is known as Amrun—the Wik-Waya name for the area.

Amrun is a tier-one investment opportunity for Rio Tinto, with a planned initial output of 22.8 million tonnes per annum and options to expand up to 50 million tonnes. The Amrun resource will replace production from Rio Tinto Weipa’s East Weipa mine and increase annual bauxite exports from Cape York.

Bechtel is the EPCM Contractor for Rio Tinto and is working with capable and experienced design and construction organizations to deliver a world-class facility. The construction period is expected to take three years, with first shipment in H1 2019. The construction workforce will peak in mid-2017.

As part of the delivery of the Amrun Project, Bechtel is delivering or implementing a range of innovative technological programs, including a self-operated drone program, a Virtual Reality tool for community engagement, and a mobile phone application for workforce engagement.

Using modern technology for traditional construction and engagement activities has, and is, proving to be an effective tool on the Amrun Project.

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