BBIG a step closer to Balla Balla project

Pilbara News - - News - Stu­art McKin­non

BBI Group has put an­other piece of the puz­zle in place for its pro­posed $6 bil­lion Balla Balla iron ore port and rail project in the Pil­bara.

The com­pany, jointly owned by New Zealand’s Todd Cor­po­ra­tion and Nic Cur­tis’ Nyco, an­nounced last week an op­tion agree­ment with Min­eral Re­sources to ac­quire its Weelu­murra iron ore as­set in the Cen­tral Pil­bara.

MinRes picked up the as­set in its 2009 takeover of Po­laris Met­als.

The project is about 15km south of BBIG’s pro­posed rail head and stock­yards. The com­pany be­lieves Weelu­murra hosts about 200 mil­lion tonnes-plus ex­plo­ration po­ten­tial.

BBIG chief ex­ec­u­tive Nic Cur­tis said se­cur­ing Weelu­murra was an im­por­tant step in the com­pany’s ef­forts to progress the project to a fi­nal in­vest­ment de­ci­sion.

BBIG is also plan­ning an ex­plo­ration pro­gram at its Cen­tral Pil­bara Hay Stack Flat ten­e­ment ap­pli­ca­tion at the south­ern bor­der of the Mill­stream Chich­ester Na­tional Park.

The com­pany be­lieves it has po­ten­tial for iron min­er­al­i­sa­tion of up to 400 mil­lion tonnes.

The com­pany is plan­ning a 50Mtpa op­er­a­tion com­pris­ing a 162km rail­way link­ing stranded iron ore de­posits and a port be­tween Kar­ratha and Port Hed­land.

The project will gen­er­ate 3300 con­struc­tion and 900 per­ma­nent jobs. Last year, Todd took over iron ore hope­ful Ru­tila Re­sources and se­cured a ma­jor­ity stake in Flin­ders Mines, which owns the Pil­bara Iron Ore Project, as part of its broader plan for Balla Balla.

Ear­lier this year, BBIG signed a State Agree­ment with the pre­vi­ous Bar­nett Gov­ern­ment and it has also signed a mem­o­ran­dum of un­der­stand­ing with China State Con­struc­tion Engi­neer­ing Cor­po­ra­tion to build the port and rail com­po­nent of the project.

How­ever, BBI is yet to se­cure fi­nanc­ing for the project.

Pic­ture: Tom Zaun­mayr

The com­pany has an op­tion agree­ment with MinRes to ac­quire Weelu­murra.

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