Green steel manufacturing businesses in WA among recipients of $1 million worth of local contracts

Image credit: Western Australian Government

Construction on the Western Range Pilbara iron ore mine has commenced with $1 billion in local contracts handed to Western Australian businesses, including firms focused on green steel manufacturing. 

In a media statement, the government said the Western Range project reached a significant milestone this week, following the release of a new report outlining WA’s potential to join the fast-increasing global green steelmaking value chain. 

In particular, the report fulfils a key electoral promise of green jobs and green steel manufacturing

Western Range will support 1,600 construction jobs and 800 operational jobs, supplementing output from Rio Tinto’s current Paraburdoo mining centre, which includes the construction of a primary crusher and an 18-kilometre conveyor system connecting it to the existing Paraburdoo processing plant.

According to the government, the mine, which is planned to open in 2025, will have an annual capacity of 25 million tonnes of iron ore.

Premier Roger Cook described the Pilbara as a region that continues to boom as the “engine room” of the country’s economy.

“It’s significant projects like the Western Range that [reinforce] Western Australia as an attractive and secure destination for business and investment,” Cook said. 

He remarked, “I commend Rio Tinto and Baowu Steel on this latest project milestone which has resulted in numerous Western Australian businesses benefiting from construction contracts worth millions of dollars.”

As for the iron ore industry, which is the state’s economic engine, Mines and Petroleum Minister Bill Johnston said it was great to see WA industries reap the rewards of yet another major investment.

“This long-term investment by Rio Tinto and Baowu Steel highlights the confidence the joint venture partners have in WA as a safe, secure and stable mining jurisdiction,” noted Minister Johnston.

According to Pilbara MLA Kevin Michel, businesses operating in the area must continue to invest in expanding opportunities for the benefit of local residents and workers in Western Australia.