Balla Balla work to begin in 2017
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.