Up to 1900 construction jobs are set to be created as construction begins on Fortescue Metals Group’s Eliwana mine and rail project.
Western Australian Premier Mark McGowan turned the first sod on the $1.7 billion project, located 90 kilometres west-north-west of Tom Price, in the Pilbara.
The project is a haematite iron ore mine, which is scheduled to produce 30 million tonnes per annum.
Its scope of works includes 143 kilometres of associated rail to link the mine with Fortescue’s existing railway and mining operations at Solomon.
The mine will create around 500 ongoing full-time jobs over is 20-year lifespan.
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Local contractors have won big, with almost $330 million spent on purchasing goods and services from 256 Australian entities to date, with almost 80 per cent of these being businesses from Western Australia. This includes 30 major contracts worth more than a million dollars.
More than $500 million in further contracts are expected to be awarded by the end of September 2019, subject to gaining approvals.
Structural steel fabrication of the overland conveyor, stockyard and train loadout facility, and rail bridge girders will occur in WA, with further steel work to be awarded in the coming months.
Environmental approvals for the mine site and the second stage of the railway are underway, with the first ore expected in late 2020.
McGowan has congratulated Fortescue on the start of its project.
“It’s great to see a strong local content component, with many Western Australian companies awarded contracts to carry out important works, including steel fabrication,” he said.
“Eliwana is one of a number of large projects we expect will come online in the next few years, which points to confidence returning to our state’s economy.
“The WA Government is working to ensure projects like Eliwana create more opportunities for Western Australian businesses and more jobs for local workers.”