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Horizon 1

Atlas Iron Limited (Atlas) has increased its hematite iron ore production (direct shipped ore, or DSO) in the Pilbara region in Australia from 6 million metric tons per year to 12 million metric tons per year in 2013. This required developing one existing and two new mines and the supporting haulage and port infrastructure to deliver product to port facilities at Port Hedland.

Atlas engaged WSP | Parsons Brinckerhoff to deliver the Horizon 1 projects (capex around AU $260M) as the program management consultant for mine and infrastructure components to be delivered under an engineering, procurement and construction contracting model. Horizon 1 projects incorporate Pardoo, Mt Dove, Wodgina, and Abydos mines.

Horizon 1 -710

A critical issue for Atlas was to have strong values and cultural alignment between the company and consultant so the integrated team would have the greatest chance of success. Our approach, therefore, was to provide key people with mining experience immediately into Atlas supported by a recruitment program to deliver additional personnel as required, depending on the type and scope of the development.

Atlas wanted an innovative, cost-effective and fit-for-purpose approach suited to the program work and nature of operations. As a relatively new player in iron ore, WSP | Parsons Brinckerhoff could bring innovation into the project, based on mining experience gained across numerous projects in Australia and untainted by traditional iron ore experience gained by others working for the Tier 1 miners in Western Australia.

In cooperation with Atlas, WSP | Parsons Brinckerhoff has reduced the capital costs of the development program and improved the present value of the developments through reducing capital costs in areas such as haul road construction, crushing and screening, and materials handling. In addition, WSP | Parsons Brinckerhoff has been working closely with Atlas to improve its project management systems, procedures and organizational framework using its knowledge and experience of procurement and construction management systems and solutions to help Atlas establish effective delivery systems.