A new $5.6 billion Pilbara iron ore development in Western Australia could create more than 3,300 jobs.
Western Australia is on track to get a new $5.6 billion Pilbara iron ore mine after the State Government signed an agreement with the Balla Balla Infrastructure Group (BBIG), controlled by New Zealand's billion dollar company, the Todd Corporation.
Premier Colin Barnett said the BBIG would build the 6 to 10 million per annum new iron ore export facility at Balla Balla, near Whim Creek, on the Pilbara coast between Karratha and Port Hedland. The development will include a 162-kilometre railway linking it to iron ore deposits in central Pilbara. The new mine would facilitate further growth in the resources industry with construction to potentially begin as early as 2018.
"This State Agreement includes a requirement for local industry participation and community development plans to be submitted to the Government for approval, maximising the benefits of the project for West Australians," Mr Barnett said.
State Development Minister Bill Marmion said despite a downturn in the mining sector, there was still investment opportunities in Western Australia's resources sector.
State Agreements provide certainty for business, resulting in longer-term investment and advantages for the West Australian economy through jobs and community benefits," Mr Marmion said.
Since 2008, WA had climbed to number one in the Annual Fraser Institute Investment Attractiveness Index.
Western Australia is ranked as the best jurisdiction in the world for mining industry investment - this ranking is the direct result of the Liberal National Government providing the right environment to encourage the continued development of our resources industry," Mr Marmion said.
However, here are still a few hurdles ahead with the success of the project dependent on the Todd Corporation striking a deal with ASX-listed Flinders Mines, which owns and wants to develop the Flinders Pilbara iron ore project. Todd Corporation is Flinders' largest shareholder with a 53% stake.
Mr Barnett said WA contributed to about half of the international trade in iron ore and that meant there would always be new projects and new mines needed to replace and maintain existing rates.
To all those people willing to write off the resources sector in Western Australia, you're wrong," he said.
The project is expected to create 3,300 jobs during construction and 910 jobs once operational. The BBIG has expressed that it would like to employ a residential workforce rather than fly-in, fly-out workers. Great news for our Pilbara friends!
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