MCA Engineering’s recent refurbishment of the Crude Ore Bin (COB) for Mount Isa Mines entailed removing an existing array of rail steel panels and replacing them with a unique steel panel frame system inside a 60m x 20m x 25m steel silo during an ongoing mining environment.

While this innovative construction method was testament to the ingenuity of the MCA Engineering, the use of high quality Australian-made rectangular hollow section (RHS) steel tubing from BlueScope Distribution ensured the project was both a success for the mine project, and a winner of the Australian Steel Institute ‘Steel Excellence in Engineering – Queensland’ award.

Requiring the safe installation of RHS all the way up the 25m walls of the COB in a frame-like configuration and then attaching steel plates to the frame, overall some 400 tonnes of high-quality RHS from BlueScope Distribution was used in configurations of 300mm x 300mm, 250mm x 150mm, 100mm x 100mm and 200mm x 200mm.

These vertically segmental steel frames were 3100mm high and 3000mm wide, and were designed to stack on top of each other, with a plate crucifix at one end that would receive the next panel above laterally.

Engineered to be interlocked Lego-style with no bolting or welding, the steel frames were kept aligned by the standoff and crucifix system that also provided quick installation once the standoff’s and bottom frames were in place.

Tony Fenwick, Manager of BlueScope Distribution and Metalcorp Steel Dubbo said the MCA Engineering job has become a template for partnering with other potential customers. “We won the job entirely on our very responsive customer service, exceptional delivery capability, and on our superior steel product offering,” said Tony. “This included being able to stagger our deliveries to match MCA Engineering’s installation schedule – basically aligning our production processes to suit their workflow.”

“MCA Engineering had very tight requirements on their delivery times, so we fully understood that each delivery needed to be on time, every time and had to carry the exact stock they ordered.” “Basically, we had to be totally bullet proof when it came to our deliveries.” “We didn’t just talk the talk, we actually delivered on every single promise – quality, service, and of course capability.”

“It was a real team effort and a coming together of all the facets of BlueScope Distribution from around the country.” Andrew Rice, NSW Works Manager for MCA Engineering who was responsible for installing the RHS steel frames, pointed out that the service he received from BlueScope Distribution was simply brilliant. “I could not have asked for better service,” said Andrew.

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