In Resources

Western Australia Premier Colin Barnett

Western Australia Minister for State Development Colin Barnett

Cape Lambert Port B Expansion Approved

Victor P Taffa

  • Project will increase WA’s annual iron ore export capacity by 133 Million tonnes
  • WA Government conditionally approved project in advance of the board’s Financial Investment Decision

Premier and State Development Minister Colin Barnett has welcomed today’s announcement by Rio Tinto’s board that it will fund the completion of a major expansion of Rio Tinto’s iron ore port at Cape Lambert, worth more than $2 Billion.

The funding is part of more than $5 Billion that Rio and its joint venture partners will spend expanding its Pilbara iron ore operations over the next four years

Premier Barnett said the State Government had conditionally approved the Cape Lambert expansion project in advance of the board’s Final Investment Decision.

“Investment on this scale in key port infrastructure is excellent news for the Pilbara and for Western Australia.” Premier Barnett said.

“It underlines the increasingly significant role that expanded iron ore production and a dynamic Pilbara are having in shaping the economic and social future of our State.”

The port construction workforce is expected to peak at more than 1,700 employees, with the finished facility adding about 100 full-time jobs to Rio’s operational workforce.

“Construction workers will be accommodated on site, and Rio’s more than $300 Million plan to expand the nearby Wickham township will provide housing for the operational workforce.” the Premier said.

“The three-year project, and the expanded residential workforce, will create many additional opportunities, both in the Pilbara and across WA for businesses and employment.”

“Resources investment projects like this will sustain the growth of regional communities, offering quality living and help realise the Liberal-National Government’s Pilbara Cities vision.”

“We do acknowledge projects like this put additional pressure on housing in the Pilbara and the Government is looking at ways of addressing this.”

The Cape Lambert Port B project received environmental approval in 2010 and the Government approved the first phase of the project earlier this year.

Fact File

  • Cape Lambert Port B project was approved under the Iron Ore (Robe River) Agreement Act 1964 (Robe Agreement), which is managed by the Department of State Development
  • Last year, iron ore producers contributed almost $3.8 B in royalty payments to the WA Government
  • In March 2012, there were resources projects worth $167 B under construction, or committed, in WA and a further $151 B under consideration
  • BHP Billiton Iron Ore & Rio Tinto spent a combined $9.1 B on Australian goods and services for existing operations in 2010-11 ($7B in WA), as well as an additional $6.5 B to date on expansion projects in Australia ($5.9 B in WA)
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