One of the worlds largest mine operators has added a new major project into its portfolio, as it confirms the capital investment assigned to the project.
BHP Billiton announced this week that it has approved $2.9 billion in capital expenditure for the South Flank project in central Pilbara, Western Australia.
Production at the project is expected to start in 2021, which will contribute to an increase in the company’s average quality of Western Australia Iron Ore (WAIO) upgrade to 62%.
The development will see the expansion of existing infrastructure and construction of an 80 Mtpa crushing and screening plant.
The recent approval follows from an announcement made in June 2017, in which BHP approved initial funding of $184 million.
BHP President Operations, Minerals Australia, Mike Henry, said the South Flank project will fully replace production from the 80 Mtpa (100 per cent basis) Yandi mine which is reaching the end of its economic life.
“South Flank is a capital efficient project which offers attractive returns, and which was approved following a thorough evaluation under BHP’s Capital Allocation Framework,” Mr Henry said. “The project will create around 2,500 construction jobs, more than 600 ongoing operational roles and generate many opportunities for Western Australian suppliers. It will enhance the average quality of BHP’s Western Australia Iron Ore (WAIO) production and will allow us to benefit from price premiums for higher-quality lump and fines products.”