Mining booming across central and western Australia

15 January 2018

Mining booming across central and western Australia

Australia’s mining boom is far from over with no less than three major projects planned across three states – BHP’s South Flank Iron Ore project in WA, Carapateena Copper Mine in SA and the $300 million proposed Amaroo Phosphate Mine in the NT.

Not only are the projects proof that the mining industry is alive and well, they are also expected to generate hundreds – if not thousands – of regional jobs in the construction phase as well as ongoing.

The South Flank Iron Ore project is expected to create several hundred Pilbara construction jobs ahead of this year’s full go-ahead for the $3 to $4 billion iron ore development. BHP Minerals Australia is keen to engage with local suppliers who could offer ‘true value-add’ to the company’s iron ore business.

Initial funding of $244 million for South Flank is to be used primarily for the expansion of accommodation facilities to support current and future workforce requirements.

In SA, construction on one of the country’s largest undeveloped copper deposits is well underway 160 km north of Port Augusta. About 1,000 jobs are expected to be created from construction through to production, with owner OZ Minerals prioritising sustainable local procurement and local employment. According to the Carrapateena project website, ‘OZ Minerals is focused on opportunities for South Australians with particular attention on the Upper Spencer Gulf and Outback Communities.’

Meanwhile, Verdant Minerals is in the initial planning stages for the mooted $300m Amaroo Phosphate mine, 200kms south east of Tennant Creek, and has recognised the need for early engagement of local contractors and businesses.

All three of these major projects have engaged relevant state ICN offices and are taking advantage of ICN consultants’ deep understanding of the capability and capacity of regional companies.

‘ICNWA has been working with the South Flank project team since February last year, assisting the procurement teams to develop the initial work scope documents to publish on ICN Gateway and providing advice on Australian capability on early works packages,’ ICNL Executive Director Derek Lark said.

‘Forty work packages have now been listed on Gateway, receiving more than 300 registrations of interest from Australian suppliers.’

The OZ Minerals’ Carrapateena project is using ICN SA as its key platform to connect lead contractors with local suppliers.

‘The project has the potential to inject major investment into the region, and would provide exciting opportunities for local companies,’ Derek said.

‘OZ Minerals and its lead contractors are seeking expressions of interest in a number of engineering, procurement and construction work packages to gauge local capacity and capability. This is a great opportunity for small regional businesses to be noticed by a large, international mining company.’

And while the Amaroo Phosphate Mine is in very early planning stages, with Bankable Feasibility Studies, Environmental Impact Statements and Native Title Agreements still to be finalised, Verdant has recognised the important of early engagement for such a large project.

‘This development could represent the first step in developing over time, a long-term fertiliser production industry in Central Australia, one of the few parts of the world where all the ingredients exist close to each other and markets, including the Australian market,’ Derek said.

‘ICN is working with Verdant Minerals to help identify local capabilities, with an investment decision expected by mid-2018 for an 18-month construction project, before commencing production in late 2019 or early 2020.’

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Publish Date: 
Monday, January 15, 2018 - 10:15
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