BHP’s development of the South Flank iron ore project in the Pilbara, Western Australia has taken a major step forward with the first blast at the site.
The miner, which posted a video of the blast on its Linkedin page (see below), approved development of the $US3.4 billion ($4.5 billion) project in June. The blast milestone follows BHP turning the first sod at the project site in July.
BHP’s Western Australian Iron Ore (WAIO) business unit is developing South Flank to replace production from the ageing Yandi mine.
It is targeting first production at the site in 2021, with an initial mine life of at least 25 years.
The operation will provide an increase in WAIO’s average iron ore grade from 61 per cent to 62 per cent. It will also improve the proportion of lump from 25 per cent to about 35 per cent.
South Flank is expected to create more than 3000 jobs and provide significant opportunities for Australian contractors and businesses.
BHP owns 85 per cent of the project, with the remaining interest split between Mitsui and ITOCHU.
Source: BHP (via LinkedIn)