The sod has officially been turned on BHP’s $4.88 billion South Flank Project in the Pilbara.
The ground breaking ceremony, which was attended by WA Premier Mark McGowan, marked the start of construction on what will become the single largest annual production iron ore mine that BHP has ever developed.
Premier Mark McGowan said the project will create thousands of direct and indirect jobs for Western Australians, with about 2,500 jobs during peak construction, as well as more than 600 new operational roles.
“This project is a positive injection into Western Australia in terms of improving business confidence and benefiting the State’s economy,” the Minister said.
“BHP’s decision, with its joint venture partners, to go ahead with the South Flank Project is testimony that Western Australia is a secure and attractive place to invest.”
The project involves the construction of an 80 Mtpa crushing and screening plant, an overland conveyor system, stockyard and train loading facilities, procurement of new mining fleet and substantial mine development and pre-strip work.
On completion, it is expected to contribute to an increase in BHP’s Western Australian Iron Ore operations’ average iron grade from 61% to 62%, and the overall proportion of lump from 25% to approximately 35%.
According to BHP, first ore from the South Flank project is targeted for the 2021 calendar year,