The Sea Swift barge the Biquele Bay departing Gladstone carrying $8.5 million of earthmoving equipment weighing 350 tonne to a McCosker Contracting job at Gove for Rio Tinto. Picture: Rodney Stevens
The Sea Swift barge the Biquele Bay departing Gladstone carrying $8.5 million of earthmoving equipment weighing 350 tonne to a McCosker Contracting job at Gove for Rio Tinto. Picture: Rodney Stevens

Barge carrying 350 tonne of excavation equipment bound for Gove

THE SPECTACULAR sight of $8.5 million worth of earthmoving equipment weighing 350 tonnes exiting Gladstone Harbour on a barge bound for Gove greeted locals just after noon.

The cargo on the Sea Swift owned barge the Biquele Bay was bound for the Northern Territory mining town on a seven day journey where McCosker Contracting are doing remediation early works for Rio Tinto.

Loaded next to the Curtis Ferries terminal in Gladstone Harbour, Project Manager Chris Williams said a crew of 16 staff will be engaged in the construction of 8km of haul and access roads.

“We’ve got a crew of 16 people going up including 6 Gladstone locals and they’re on a three and one rotating roster,” he said.

“They will be operating various machinery to build the roads.

“There are about 8km of haul roads, access roads and culvert works.”

McCosker Contracting Maintenance Manager Paul Brien, Sea Swift Chartering Manager John Rogers and McCosker’s Project Manager Chris Williams farewell the barge from Auckland Point. Picture: Rodney Stevens
McCosker Contracting Maintenance Manager Paul Brien, Sea Swift Chartering Manager John Rogers and McCosker’s Project Manager Chris Williams farewell the barge from Auckland Point. Picture: Rodney Stevens

Mr Williams said the preliminary road works supported a larger project of works with Rio Tinto, for the tailings dam remediation on the Gove Bauxite mining facility.

“The larger project requires in excess of 80 personnel and will be a welcome injection into the local community and economy.” Mr Williams said.

The valuable cargo will be unloaded at the Sea Swift facility at Gove where it will be put to work by the six locals, one Cairns based employee with the rest of the staff based in Darwin.

Gove bauxite is shipped internationally as well as domestically to supply Queensland Alumina Limited and Yarwun refineries in Gladstone.

Bauxite mining operations in the Gove Peninsula are expected to cease in 2030 and Rio Tinto are doing significant work to support closure of the operation.

This includes shutting down the bauxite processing facility and remediation of tailings dams on the site.

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