#Barry Fitzgerald#Roy Hill#Gina Rinehart#Pilbara#Gina Rin#Pilbara

First Iron Ore Output at Gina Rinehart's Roy Hill: What Lies Ahead?

Gina Rinehart's Roy Hill project has hit a milestone achievement: on Wednesday this week, the industry heiresss Pilbara, Western Australia-based min...

|May 5|magazine6 min read

Gina Rinehart's Roy Hill project has hit a milestone achievement: on Wednesday this week, the industry heiress’s Pilbara, Western Australia-based mine yielded its first output of high-grade iron ore.

It would be a cause for celebration for any mining project, but Roy Hill is a particularly big deal. With the aim to produce 55 million tons of iron ore per year, Roy Hill is currently the biggest mining project underway in Australia. Mining projects of that size require a lot of pre-planning – getting to this stage required pouring millions of dollars into development and two years of forging partnerships and financing deals to fund the project and put it in a position to move forward. Now, this full-on commencement of mining in earnest sets a positive tone that those investments are well on their way to being recouped.

The opportunities that stand to flow in from the progress of the Roy Hill project don’t end with its owners, either – there are jobs to be had at Roy Hill. In fact, as ABC reports, Roy Hill is one of only a few mining companies in Australia hiring on such a large scale and those jobs are well needed:

In an interview with the ABC, Roy Hill chief executive Barry Fitzgerald said there had been a lot of interest.

"We've had 600 applications for one particular class of job," he said. "We've had over 5,500 expressions of interest or direct applications since Christmas."

While Roy Hill already boasts 3,000 employees currently on board, the site aims to increase that to 4,000 construction workers along with 2,000 operational staff once the structure of the mine is in place.

This primary excavation doesn’t mean that all the challenges are over, especially for mining expansions:

Mr Fitzgerald said predictions that no more large resources projects would be built in Australia were premature. However, he said big, integrated mining projects may face problems getting approved.

"I think there will be significant difficulties in having projects as independent as ours and the size of ours," he said.

Fitzgerald also speculated that federal budget cuts could also make it difficult to approve large scale mines in the future. But for now at least, when it comes to Roy Hill, things are looking good. The first railway tracks are expected to be laid as soon as next month.