The Western Australian Government has confirmed that a state agreement has been signed with Balla Balla Infrastructure Group to develop a $5.6 billion integrated iron ore project in the Pilbara region.
Balla Balla, which is majority owned by New Zealand’s Todd Corporation, plans to construct a new iron ore facility on the Pilbara coast between Karratha and Port Hedland, with a 162km railway linking it to iron ore deposits in the region, according to WA premier Colin Barnett.
As reported in Australian Mining yesterday, it is understood the project will also involve the development of a 6-10 million tonne per annum mine.
“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,” Barnett said.
“While there are still a number of hurdles for the proponent, it’s estimated when it gets under way, the project will generate 3300 jobs during construction and 910 jobs once operational.
“The proposed export facility will use custom-built barges to transfer ore onto ships, reducing costs and environmental impacts.”
Other miners in the Pilbara would benefit from the railway and port, as the current transportation system in the region is dominated by Rio Tinto, BHP Billiton and Fortescue Metals Group.
Todd Corporation comprises a range of other businesses across the mining, energy and healthcare sectors. It has been developing resources in the Pilbara for several years, acquiring a majority stake in Flinders Mines in 2016.