Balla Balla a boost to city
The Balla Balla iron ore project has been in the news lately with the announcement of the signing of a memorandum of understanding with a Chinese company to build the port and rail component.
The project is worth nearly $6 billion in value and involves the Flinders Mines resource, just west of the Karratha-Tom Price Road, a 160km railway line to the coast and a port at Balla Balla.
The project will be developed into a mine, initially producing 10 mtpa, but is forecast to soon expand to 50 mtpa.
The port will be a transhipment facility — a jetty will extend out far enough to accept flat-bottomed self-unloading transhipment vessels, which will take the product out to a ship moored in deep water.
Citic has a similar system at its port at Cape Preston.
The new Balla Balla port is along the coast from the old, historic port and town of the same name, which once served to offload copper from the nearby Whim Creek mine, discovered in 1872.
The project will generate 3300 construction and 900 permanent jobs.
The City is hoping to have the next 50km of the Tom Price Road sealed, which would enable a drive-in/drive-out workforce based in Karratha.
If this is achieved, there will be a massive boost to the City of more than $1 billion a year.
While all approvals have been received, the due diligence process is now happening.
A final decision is to be made in December this year.
Former Premier Colin Barnett, here with BBI Group chief executive Nicholas Curtis, chairman Jon Young and Minister Bill Marmion, signs a State agreement in January.