Stage 2 nod for Eliwana

Alexander ScottPilbara News
Greg Lilleyman, Elizabeth Gaines, Andrew Forrest, Mark McGowan and Chief Financial officer Ian Wells at the sod-turning Fortescue Metals Group's Eliwana iron ore project.
Camera IconGreg Lilleyman, Elizabeth Gaines, Andrew Forrest, Mark McGowan and Chief Financial officer Ian Wells at the sod-turning Fortescue Metals Group's Eliwana iron ore project. Credit: supplied

A billion-dollar mining project in the heart of the Pilbara has moved closer to completion with the State Government approving the next stage of its development.

The $1.7 billion Eliwana Mine and Railway Project by Fortescue Metals Group is located 90km north-west of Tom Price and will use 143km of railway to connect the Western Hub mining area to the Solomon Hub.

Last week during a visit to Pacific Industrial Company Naval Base in Kwinana, Premier Mark McGowan announced the approval for stage two of the railway component, as well as granting approval of a special rail licence for the project to allow FMG to hire up to 720 people immediately.

Construction began in July last year and the project would include a new dry ore processing facility that can process 30 million tonnes per annum and related infrastructure, including camps.

The railway will feature a standard gauge heavy haul railway, two bridge railway crossings, and an underpass for the Karratha to Tom Price Road.

Kwinana-based Pacific Industrial Company is manufacturing the rail and road bridge girder modules for Eliwana. FMG chief executive Elizabeth Gaines said the company was pleased to provide opportunities for local small and medium-sized businesses and drive economic growth and employment across the State.

“We would like to thank the WA Government for its support of this important project, which will create jobs and make a significant contribution to the State and nation’s economy,” she said.

PIC managing director Marco Mosole said the road and rail bridge girders were the biggest and heaviest ever constructed in WA.

“With all the steel manufactured and fabricated in Australia, it has enabled the industry to demonstrate the capacity and capability that exist here to undertake these sizeable projects,” he said.

Premier Mark McGowan said the project was another sign that confidence is returning to the State’s economy. “Eliwana is a huge project not only for Fortescue but for a lot of small to medium enterprises in Western Australia and for the 2400 workers in total who are expected to get jobs out of it,” he said.

The project is expected to be completed in December, with an initial capacity of 30 million tonnes a year.

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