MIB grader 475

MIB traffic smoothing the way at South Flank

While all the big equipment action may be in the pit, maintaining light vehicle access roads is crucial to keeping any mine running smoothly.

With the mine in ramp up, the LV network at South Flank is already extensive, and requires constant attention to maintain safe driving conditions. Since February 2022, Banjima-owned and controlled firm MIB traffic has been tending to job under a new $3 million contract that’s their first for BHP.

The MIB traffic team comprises six water cart operators, two grader operators and two supervisors, working three six-wheeler watercarts and a grader to build and maintain the site’s Southern Access Road, and the historic Terry Fox Run – main thoroughfares that allow rapid, safe and segregated access across the site.

As well as grading, MIB traffic is responsible for delineation and signage on the roads, and application of the dust control solution that builds over time to form a stable and durable driving surface.

Under the guidance of Mine Services Supervisor Brian Rogers and MIB traffic Supervisor Deanne Partington, the team has now settled into their roles, and are ready to make the next move – into the active pit areas.

“The whole team is passed out to work inside the pit at Grand Central and trained in how to use the Mobile Crash Awareness Systems needed for in-pit work,” says Deanne. “It’s been a journey, but we’re looking forward to getting into these new areas and working closer to the big machines.”

Good LV access not only benefits the mining operation: with exploration still underway ahead of and in support of mining, Geoscience Operations Supervisor Dan Weal says driving the maintained roads has been a joy. “We now have good, safe access for our teams and contractors looking after hydro and exploration geoscience projects – there’s way less dust than we’ve previously had to deal with.”

October was Indigenous Business Month: MIB traffic was established as a Banjima business in Port Hedland in 2012 and is one of a growing number of local indigenous businesses providing vital services to BHP across the Pilbara.