Grange Resources has received environmental approval from the Western Australian Environmental Protection Authority (EPA) for its Albany Port Expansion project, the company announced yesterday.
The company has welcomed the news as a major step forward for its Southdown iron ore project near Albany.
Planned in partnership with the Albany Port Authority, the expansion project will allow the port to receive cape size vessels, supporting Grange’s plans to ship major quantities of iron ore concentrate from Southdown.
“The use of the larger cape size vessels will contribute to shipping and operational efficiencies, as well as reducing by two thirds the shipping movements required in the Albany harbour compared to the current smaller vessels,” Grange said in its statement.
The expansion plan involves the removal of sand to create a new berth at the port and widening and deepening of the entrance channel.
Grange said it expects to employ a construction workforce of around 1000 people, with 600 permanent positions to be created from the project.
According to the company, with EPA approval now in place the final hurdle is the approval of Western Australian Environment Minister Donna Faragher.
Grange managing director Russell Clark said he is happy with the work that was undertaken in receiving environmental approval for the port expansion.
“We have undertaken significant scientific studies to give the EPA the high degree of confidence it requires to recommend approval of the expansion and related channel deepening,” he said.