Roy Hill mine villages plan to accommodate 4600 people

Plans are underway to build mining camps to accommodate Gina Rinehart's Hancock Prospecting Roy Hill iron ore mine workers in Western Australia.

Roy Hill chief executive officer Darryl Hockey said the company is preparing to house 4600 people in four villages, one at South Hedland and three more along the railway line that will connect the mine to the port, The Australian reports.

Brookfield Multiplex was last year awarded a $190 million contract to build a 2,000 person camp to accommodate Roy Hill mine workers, about one third of the construction works have been completed to date.

The contract for the South Hedland village, which will house 1200 employees, has since been awarded to Compass.

Each of the three railway village developments will accommodate 400 people and is still under tender.

Hockey said the extra mining villages will provide quality accommodation for workers at Roy Hill and will include sporting and entertainment facilities.

"We prefer to use the word village because we like to think that what we're building is much better than mining camps at other mines," Hockey said.

"If we want to attract the best people to our mine then we need to have the best village. It's hot and dusty work and people need a place to unwind."

The state government has also approved a $1.5 billion Pilbara housing project which will be completed under a joint venture agreement between Mirvac and Land Corp.

Urban Development Institute of Australia (WA) chief executive Debra Goostrey said the projects will make housing costs more sustainable.

"Some of the heat has gone out of the market, but that's not a bad thing. We were in a situation where growth in land and house prices and growth in rents had reached unsustainable levels," he said.

Brookfield Multiplex has also been awarded a $70 million contract to develop non-processing infrastructure at the Roy Hill site.

In a statement Brookfield last month said initial design work on the infrastructure – including workshops, admin buildings, and other on-site structures – will commence immediately and is slated for completion by 2014. 

“The quality of work we have completed in the accommodation village boosted our credentials for the contract, and we are thrilled to now be working on multiple components of the Roy Hill project,” Brookfield WA managing director Chris Palandri said.

Roy Hill is scheduled to ship its first iron ore load by 2015.

To keep up to date with Australian Mining, subscribe to our free email newsletters delivered straight to your inbox. Click here.