New Zealand company on track to develop Pilbara mine

A new $5 billion iron ore project is on the cards for the Pilbara, set to create more than 12,000 jobs for the region.

Todd Corporation, one of New Zealand’s largest private companies, is set to develop the Balla Balla project between Port Hedland and Karratha, if it signs a state agreement with the Western Australian Government, The West reports.

The project will involve the development of a 6-10 million tonne per annum iron ore mine and if given the green light, could create 3000 jobs during construction and 900 during production.

It is understood the project would require prices to remain above the projected US$50 a tonne, with prices at $US80.41 last Friday.

One of the key aspects of the project is the railway and port, which would enable discoveries of other iron ore deposits deeper within the state.

Companies at neighbouring deposits also believe the railway will be used by other miners, reducing Rio Tinto, Fortescue, and BHP’s transportation monopoly.

Todd Corporation comprises a range of other businesses across the mining, energy, and healthcare sectors. It has been developing resources in the Pilbara for a number of years, recently acquiring a majority stake in Flinders Mines.

State development minister Bill Marmion welcomed the potential new project as it would boost jobs in the region.

“This project shows that there is still great interest and investment opportunities in the WA resources sector and the Barnett Government is best placed to facilitate opportunities such as this,” he said.

Upon news of the state agreement, shares in Flinders Mines rose 12 per cent.