The World of Accommodation Villages

Sector: Mining
Client: BHP
Location: Western Australia, South Australia
Services Provided: Estimating, Scheduling



The author’s first experience of FIFO work was what we called the Leighton’s (now CPB) fortnight back in the early 1990s. It was called the Leighton’s fortnight because typically the commitment was to go to site for two weeks which inevitably became two years. In those days, construction camps (accommodation villages) were almost as uncomfortable as the typical four and one roster one had to endure while residing in one.

A focus in recent years has been to design and build accommodation villages that, amongst other things, encourage more people, and in particular females, into the workforce by promoting an atmosphere of safety and inclusion. Swimming pools, places of worship, gymnasiums and other recreational facilities have overtaken (but not replaced), the importance of the wet mess (bar area).

Safety and security are now key components of a well-considered design of an accommodation village. Responsible mining companies seek to improve the experience of individuals working in remote locations by introducing these cultural changes. In the early 1990s rationing of alcohol at an accommodation village would almost certainly have resulted in industrial action whereas today it is accepted as usual practice. Vending machines dispensing cigarettes have been replaced with those dispensing non-alcoholic beer and wine.


Cost Planning and Analysis

From a Cost Planning and Cost Analysis perspective, accommodation villages offer a great opportunity. Naturally, they all contain similar facilities to each-other, which can be easily categorised into standard sub-facilities. This allows the QS/Estimator to assign costs to each sub-facility and facility, which promotes cost analysis and benchmarking. Information gathered from the tender process in this structure can support the development of accurate early-stage estimates.


Our Experience

In MGA’s 25years of experience to date, we have contributed to the development of estimates and schedules for many accommodation villages. Our experience extends from New Facilities, to Expansions, Upgrades, Remediations, Refurbishments, Demolition, and Closure including the following:

  • Port Haven Village – Closure
  • Redmont Camp – Closure
  • Newman Camps – Remediation
  • Kurra Village – Demolition
  • Olympic Dam Accommodation Village – Expansion
  • Short Term Newman Accommodation Project – New Facility
  • Olympic Dam Village – Closure
  • Village Security Projects (Multiple) – Upgrades
  • Whaleback Village – Refurbishment
  • Ministers North Accommodation Village – New Facility
  • Mt Keith Village – Expansion
  • Yandi Village – Demolition
  • Redmont Village – Expansion
  • Jerriwah Camp – Expansion
  • Ti-Tree Village – Upgrade of Dry Mess