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Jimblebar iron ore mine officially opened in Pilbarra

Colin Barnett image

Premier and State Development Minister Colin Barnett officially opened the BHP Billiton Jimblebar mine and processing hub east of Newman in the Pilbara on 23rd April. Mr. Barnett congratulated BHP Billiton on its commitment to Western Australia, and thanked its partners ITOCHU Corporation and Mitsui for their continued investment in the State. ITOCHU has an 8 per cent stake in the mine, and Mitsui has a 7 per cent stake.

“This project demonstrates BHP Billiton’s ongoing confidence in the strength of WA’s iron ore industry,” the Premier said. The $US3.6billion project achieved first production six months ahead of schedule and will deliver 35 million tonnes per annum (mtpa) of iron ore by the end of FY2015, with the capacity to expand to 55mtpa in the future. The new mine will increase total BHP production capacity in Western Australia to over 220 mtpa.

Mr. Barnett said as part of BHP Billiton’s agreement with the Nyiyaparli people, the traditional owners of the land on which Jimblebar was located, the company would also provide training, employment and contracting opportunities for Aboriginal people. “The construction workforce for this project peaked at almost 2,500 people and ongoing operations will generate another 1,000 jobs,” he said.

WA exported 513 million tonnes of iron ore in 2012-13, up 12 per cent on the previous year. The $56.4billion industry delivered about $3.65billion in royalties.

The Jimblebar project includes a new fleet of earthmoving equipment, the duplication of the rail line from the main line to the Jimblebar hub, a new stockyard with four million tonne capacity, a new primary crusher and a new ore handling plant.

The Premier said the State Government had worked closely with BHP Billiton to support the mine development and ensure all necessary approvals were in place.