Koolan Island has been flagged for establishment of a new logistics base to service the oil and gas industry in Western Australia.
Mount Gibson Iron announced this morning it entered an agreement with logistics and infrastructure provider Qube Holdings to progress plans for the Koolan Island Logistics Base (KILB), an enterprise which would generate a long term income stream for the troubled mining operation.
The iron ore miner was forced to suspend operations in the main pit at the Koolan Island mine due to pit wall instability identified in October last year, which led to a collapse of the seawall and subsequent flooding of the pit.
Development of the proposed facility would include a helicopter refuelling and maintenance station, air search and rescue base, an all-weather runway, deep water marine terminal and accommodation.
Mount Gibson noted that the KILB development would not restrict repairs to the Main Pit seawall or resumption of iron ore production “should a technically and economically robust solution be identified”.
The Koolan Island site was considered a “highly favourable” location thanks to its proximity to oil and gas developments in the Browse Basin, and existing infrastructure on the island which would minimise the need for environmental disturbance.
Mount Gibson said the project would provide an opportunity for further collaboration with the Dambimangari Traditional Owners, continuing their decade long relationship.
“In addition to delivering improved air safety and rescue capability and material operating cost savings to oil and gas operators in the Browse Basin, development of the KILB also has the potential to support the further economic development of Derby as a major regional centre and the West Kimberly generally,” the company said.
Commencement of helicopter and other aircraft services are expected to be possible within 12 months of a decision to proceed with the project, dependant on feasibility work and regulatory approvals.
Mount Gibson said preliminary discussions with key stakeholders had been positive, which included local and state government and prospective end users.