BHP, Iron ore, News, Project approval

BHP approves 25Mtpa Western Ridge Crusher project

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The BHP board has granted approval for the Western Ridge Crusher project (WRC) to progress to the next stage.

WRC is a sustaining tonnes proposal for BHP’s Newman iron ore operations. It is located about 21km southwest of Newman in Western Australia.

“We expect to award more than $US45 million (100 per cent basis) in contracts to local and Indigenous businesses – both via BHP direct and indirect engagements,” BHP WA Iron Ore (WAIO) asset president Tim Day said.

“This will achieve significant social value for the communities in which we operate.”

BHP expects a total investment of $US943 million for the WRC project, with first production anticipated for the first quarter of the 2026–27 financial year.

The project is expected to deliver an average of 25 million tonnes per annum (Mtpa) for about 12 years of WAIO products. WRC is intended to replace production from depleting orebodies around the Newman operations.

The project scope includes new ore processing and transportation infrastructure such as the construction of a new 30Mtpa primary crusher and a 12km overland conveyor to transport ore from the Mount Helen and Silver Knight iron ore deposits to the Newman West ore processing hub.

Board approval for the Western Ridge Crusher project follows on from BHP releasing its H1 FY24 report. With a 27 per cent increase in iron ore underlying EBITDA, BHP said it has maintained its lead as the lowest cost major iron ore producer globally.

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