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Case Study

BHP Group Ltd.

Young Project

Location: Saskatchewan, Canada
Commodity: Potash
Project Phases: Basic Engineering

Client Overview

BHP, a multinational company headquartered in Melbourne, Australia, is a prominent player in the extraction and processing of minerals, oil, and gas. With mining operations spanning across Australia, North America, and South America, BHP is a leading force in the industry.

Client Needs

The BHP Young Project emerged on the horizon with a vision that echoed the grandeur of its predecessor, the Jansen Project. BHP, a global heavyweight in the extraction and processing of minerals, oil, and gas, set its sights on expanding its presence in the potash mining sector. With a reputation for mining excellence and a legacy of successful endeavors, BHP embarked on the Young Project with ambitious aspirations.

  • Mirroring the Jansen Project: The foundation of the Young Project was built upon a deliberate emulation of the Jansen Project’s scale and design. The Jansen Project had earned its place in history as one of the world’s largest potash mines, setting new standards in the industry. Recognizing the achievements and valuable insights garnered from the Jansen Project, BHP sought to replicate its success in the Young Project.
  • Building Upon Lessons Learned: The Jansen Project, while groundbreaking and monumental, was not without its share of challenges and lessons. BHP approached the Young Project with a keen understanding of the invaluable knowledge acquired during the execution of the Jansen Project. These lessons covered various aspects, from engineering intricacies to operational efficiencies and project management intricacies.
  • Aim for Further Optimization: With the Jansen Project as a benchmark, the primary aim of the Young Project was to push the boundaries of optimization even further. BHP envisioned a facility that not only matched the Jansen Project’s scale but also excelled in terms of design and operation. The goal was to leverage the insights gained from the Jansen Project to create a facility that was even more efficient, cost-effective, and sustainable.
  • Design and Operational Excellence: Central to the vision of the Young Project was the pursuit of design and operational excellence. BHP aimed to refine the facility’s layout, streamline its processes, and enhance its overall operability. By incorporating the lessons learned from the Jansen Project, BHP sought to minimize potential pitfalls and maximize the project’s chances of success.
  • A Commitment to Continuous Improvement: The conception of the BHP Young Project was not merely a reflection of ambition; it was a testament to BHP’s unwavering commitment to continuous improvement. By acknowledging that even a highly successful project like the Jansen Project could be further enhanced, BHP demonstrated its dedication to pushing the boundaries of what was possible in the potash mining industry.

In essence, the BHP Young Project was more than a replication of past achievements; it was a bold statement of intent. It underscored BHP’s determination to lead the way in potash mining by building upon its own legacy, learning from the past, and striving for excellence in every facet of the project’s design and operation.

Services Provided by TMG

TMG played a pivotal role in supporting the BHP Young Project by providing a range of engineering and design services aimed at optimizing the facility:

  • Plant Layout Optimization – Enhancing Operational Efficiency and Cost-Effectiveness: The heart of any industrial project lies in its physical layout, a meticulously designed orchestration of machinery, systems, and infrastructure. For the BHP Young Project, plant layout optimization was not just a task on the checklist; it was a strategic endeavor that promised to revolutionize the facility’s operational efficiency and cost-effectiveness.
  • Enhancing Maintenance and Operability Access: At the core of the plant layout optimization initiative was the unwavering commitment to enhance maintenance and operability access throughout the entire facility. This goal was not merely about aesthetics or convenience; it was a fundamental element in ensuring that the Young Project would run like a well-oiled machine, day in and day out.
  • Maintenance Excellence: By meticulously planning the placement of equipment, machinery, and infrastructure, TMG aimed to create an environment where maintenance crews could perform their tasks efficiently and safely. Easy access to critical components meant quicker response times to maintenance needs, reducing downtime and production disruptions.
  • Operability Access: Operational staff were a vital part of the equation. The optimized layout provided them with clear, unobstructed pathways to navigate the facility. This meant that operators could seamlessly carry out their responsibilities, whether it was monitoring processes, adjusting parameters, or responding to unforeseen events.
  • Reducing the Equipment List – Lowering CAPEX: In the world of large-scale industrial projects, capital expenditure (CAPEX) can be a significant determining factor in a project’s overall feasibility. Recognizing this, TMG set out to achieve a dual objective – to optimize the plant layout in a way that not only improved operations but also had the potential to reduce the equipment list, thus lowering CAPEX.
  • Space Efficiency: A well-thought-out layout could minimize wasted space, ensuring that every square meter of the facility was utilized efficiently. This space efficiency had a direct impact on the number of equipment units required. By making the most of available space, TMG aimed to reduce redundancy and eliminate the need for unnecessary equipment.
  • Streamlined Processes: The layout optimization was not just about rearranging physical elements but also about streamlining processes. By creating a logical flow within the facility, certain processes that might have required dedicated equipment could potentially share resources, reducing the number of individual components needed.
  • Cost Savings: The reduction in the equipment list was not only a matter of operational efficiency but also a financial benefit. Fewer pieces of equipment meant lower procurement costs, reduced maintenance expenses, and decreased ongoing operational expenses.

In summary, the plant layout optimization for the BHP Young Project was a multifaceted initiative with profound implications. It wasn’t just about reorganizing physical elements; it was about enhancing operational efficiency, improving maintenance practices, and strategically reducing CAPEX. TMG’s dedication to creating a facility that was not only efficient but also cost-effective was a testament to their commitment to excellence and their contribution to the success of the Young Project. This optimization effort was more than a technical task; it was a strategic decision that would reverberate throughout the project’s lifecycle, ensuring its competitiveness and sustainability in the industry.


The BHP Young Project, although initially met with a challenge, ultimately yielded a highly positive outcome, thanks in large part to TMG’s proactive involvement. The journey of the Young Project was marked by a strategic deferral that not only showcased BHP’s unwavering commitment to excellence but also underscored the pivotal role played by TMG in guiding the project towards future success.

  • Ongoing Design and Construction Challenges: Early in its development, the Young Project faced the daunting prospect of deferral, a decision driven by the persistence of design and construction challenges experienced by the Jansen Project. These hurdles presented formidable obstacles to the implementation of planned optimizations for the Young Project. The complexity and scale of the Jansen Project had exposed certain intricacies and issues that required careful attention and resolution.
  • TMG’s Proactive Involvement: Amidst these challenges, TMG’s presence during the early engineering stages of the Young Project became instrumental. TMG exhibited a proactive approach, focusing on refining the project’s design and operability. This proactive engagement demonstrated TMG’s commitment to ensuring that the Young Project would not merely replicate past endeavors but surpass them in terms of efficiency, sustainability, and success.
  • Strategic Deferral for Enhanced Optimization: The decision to defer the Young Project was not a setback but a strategic maneuver. It exemplified BHP’s dedication to continuous improvement and optimization. By choosing to address the issues encountered by the Jansen Project before proceeding with the Young Project, BHP showcased its commitment to learning from past experiences and applying those lessons to future endeavors.
  • Lessons Learned and Design Optimizations: The deferral period became a valuable window of opportunity. It allowed the project team to closely examine the lessons learned from the Jansen Project, identify areas for improvement, and fine-tune the Young Project’s design and operational strategies. TMG played a pivotal role in facilitating this process, leveraging its expertise to drive enhancements and efficiencies throughout the project.
  • Reinforcing BHP’s Dedication to Excellence: In the end, the deferral decision underscored BHP’s unwavering dedication to excellence in the mining industry. It showcased BHP’s commitment to delivering not just successful projects but industry-leading ones. TMG’s contribution, marked by its proactive involvement and dedication to refining project design and operability, played a vital role in shaping the project’s trajectory towards future success.

Overall, the deferral of the BHP Young Project was not a setback but a strategic recalibration, driven by TMG’s proactive input and BHP’s commitment to continuous improvement. This deferral ensured that the project would not only learn from the past but also apply those insights to create a brighter and more efficient future for potash mining. The outcome was a testament to TMG’s ability to drive positive change and innovation in the mining industry.