Balla Balla work to be­gin in 2017

Pilbara News - - Pilibra Business - Ali­cia Perera

The Balla Balla iron ore pro­ject planned for Whim Creek is go­ing ahead and will be­gin con­struc­tion early next year, its oper­a­tors re­port.

Vice-pres­i­dents of the Balla Balla In­fra­struc­ture Group, the new in­car­na­tion of Ru­tila Re­sources cre­ated to run the pro­ject, pre­sented an up­date on the pro­posed multi-user port, rail and mine fa­cil­ity at a Kar­ratha and Dis­tricts Cham­ber of Com­merce and In­dus­try event last Wed­nes­day.

They said the com­pany was on track to es­tab­lish a tran­ship­ment shal­low port near the old Balla Balla har­bour and a 160km rail line con­nect­ing to the Flin­ders mine.

Con­struc­tion is ex­pected to take be­tween two-and-a-half and three years. BBI Group vice-pres­i­dent of com­mu­nity, govern­ment re­la­tions and en­vi­ron­ment An­gela John­son said the group en­vi­sioned the pro­ject would open up ac­cess to the cen­tral Pil­bara area.

“There is a lot of iron ore re­source po­ten­tial there, but they’re stranded as­sets,” she said.

“Largely the cen­tral Pil­bara is un­touched be­cause they haven’t had an in­fra­struc­ture so­lu­tion.

“Balla Balla is a multi-user in­fra­struc­ture fa­cil­ity, rail and port.

“Any com­pany can come on board.”

The pro­ject has been in the works for sev­eral years and the com­pany ac­quired it in Au­gust.

Ms John­son said en­vi­ron­men­tal agree­ments and na­tive ti­tle claims with three tra­di­tional owner groups had been set­tled.

Im­ple­men­ta­tion is sched­uled for the start of next year pend­ing Govern­ment ap­provals and fi­nan­cial close.

BBI Group vice-pres­i­dent of en­gi­neer­ing Peter Jones said the group was glad to be go­ing ahead with the pro­ject.

“It is a highly com­pet­i­tive iron ore mar­ket out there at the mo­ment, but what we have is a very low (cap­i­tal ex­pen­di­ture) pro­ject,” he said.

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