Christmas Island Asbestos Removal & Reinstatement

Project Overview

This project took place on the remote Christmas Island, situated 3,385km away from central Australia. Christmas Island is a territory of Australia in the Indian Ocean, with a population of 2,072 residents who live in a number of “settlement areas” on the northern tip of the island.

Christmas Island Phosphates (CIP) mines and exports approximately 650,000 tonnes of bulk phosphate rock and 72,000 tonnes of bagged phosphate per annum. The project involved the removal of friable and non-friable asbestos from several areas of CIP’s full operational mining plant.

The scope of works were as follows:

  • Mobilisation of equipment and materials – this was done via ship from Fremantle to Christmas Island
  • Removal of asbestos roof and wall sheeting from Drumsite Warehouse and Workshops
  • Recladding of roof and wall sheeting on Drumsite Warehouse and Workshops, approximately 6000m2
  • Removal of asbestos contained redundant fuel oil heater systems in Dryers main building
  • Asbestos removal and reinstatement of roofing and wall sheeting in Dryers main building, approximately 1500m2
  • Asbestos removal from Magnet Shed, PS1 and PS2 Conveyor buildings
  • Reinstatement of roofing and wall sheeting on Magnet Shed, PS1 and PS2 Conveyor buildings, approximately 900m2

The logistics of the project were a challenge for the team, but were overcome with extensive pre-planning including shipping of materials and organisation of the personnel from mainland Australia. The majority of works were scheduled during the dry season on Christmas Island, however due to being awarded several variation orders, the project extended into the island’s wet season. Which meant the team were present during the annual red crab mass migration, where the crabs migrate from the jungle to the sea to spawn. The annual crab migration takes place around October/November and can last for several weeks, making traveling around the island difficult due to the sheer numbers of crabs on the road. Many roads around the island are closed off for the preservation of crab numbers during the crab migration.

The ability to deliver this project utilising our own in-house divisions provided a seamless delivery with excellent feedback from the client, which in turn, resulted in McMahon Services being contracted for another project in collaboration with CIP on the island.

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