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Australia’s biggest mining projects

Posted by: Fay Solomon

Western Australia currently leads the way with the highest number of mining projects committed to or at the feasibility stage. Another region set for expansion is Queensland, with upcoming developments in a diverse range of commodities including coal, copper and gold.

Here, WRS looks at the major mining projects that are set to make a huge impact on the mining landscape in the years to come.

BHP South Flank Iron Ore Project, Western Australia

BHP’s South Flank project will replace production from the 80 million tonnes per annum Yandi mine which is now nearing the end of its mine life. The existing infrastructure at Mining Area C will also be expanded, including construction of an 80 million tonnes per year crushing and screening plant, an overland conveyor system, stockyard, train loading facilities and much more. The first ore from the South Flank project is expected in 2021. BHP’s South Flank Iron Ore plant will be a conventional open-cut mining operation involving drilling, blasting and hauling.

Rio Tinto’s Koodaideri, Iron Ore, Western Australia

This mining site is located 35km from Rio Tinto’s Yandicoorgina iron ore site. It will have an estimated capacity of 43 million tonnes a year and is set to become Rio Tinto’s major Rilbara hug. Koodaideri will integrate automation and digitization tech. The site will create a lot of job opportunities with over 2000 construction jobs and over 600 operational jobs over the course of its 30-year mine lifespan. Production is set to start in 2021. Rio Tinto are one of WRS’s minings key clients and we have a number of opportunities with them for experienced professionals we are happy to discuss.

St Barbara, Gwalia extension, Western Australia, gold

Approval for project was granted in March 2017, the project extends the life of the Gwalia Gold Mine to at least 2000 meters below the surface. The project is expected to cost $100 million and is expected to produce 290,000 ounces of gold per annum by the end of 2022. The upgrade project consists of two components, a paste aggregate fill and a ventilation upgrade.

Fortescue Iron Bridge, Western Australia

Located 145km south of Port Hedland, this mining project is a joint venture between Fortescue’s subsidiary FMG Iron Bridge and Formosa Steel IB. Boasteel also has an interest in the mining project, as a minority shareholder of FMG Iron Bridge.

The project is currently under development and will cost $2.6 billion, it is expected to deliver 22mtpa of high grade 67% Fe magnetite concentrate product. Work on the mine started in 2020 and is scheduled to be completed in 2021. The site will create 3000 construction jobs and 900 permanent operational jobs during over the course of the project’s lifespan.

Evolution Mining, Mt Carlton, Queensland, gold

In 2018 Evolution Mining approved a $60 million investment for three projects at the Mt Carlton mine. The projects include plant modifications, a stage four pit cut back and an underground development. Iron ore is expected to be produced from the underground operation during the 2021.

Isaac Downs project, Queensland – Coal mine

Located in the Bowen Basin coal field, 145km south-west of Mackay and 10km south-east of Moranbah. The mine site will be an open cut metallurgical coal mine and is expected to produce 35Mt of ROM coal over a 16-year period.

During the construction phase the mining site will employ approximately 250 people and around 300 people during operations. In addition to this, there will be many opportunities for local employment in the supply of goods and services, transport, and construction.

Subject to all required approvals, construction and mining operations are expected to commence in 2021.

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