Jul 05, 2019 (Euclid Infotech Ltd via COMTEX) -- Premier Mark McGowan turned the first sod on Fortescue Metals Group's $1.7 billion Eliwana mine and rail project in the Pilbara region today, paving the way for up to 2,400 Western Australian jobs.
The Eliwana project, located 90 kilometres west-north-west of Tom Price, is a haematite iron ore mine and is scheduled to produce 30 million tonnes per annum.
The project includes 143 kilometres of associated rail, linking the Eliwana mine to Fortescue's existing railway and mining operations at Solomon.
Together, the mine and rail projects will create up to 1,900 jobs during construction and 500 full-time site positions over its more than 20 years of operation.
The project has strong local content, with $330 million spent on purchasing goods and services from 257 Australian entities to date, with almost 80 per cent to businesses from Western Australia. This includes 30 major contracts with a value of $1 million or above to Australian entities.
Subject to gaining approvals, more than $500 million in further contracts could be awarded by the end of September 2019.
Structural steel fabrication of the overland conveyor, stockyard and train loadout facility, and rail bridge girders will occur within WA. Further steel fabrication work may be awarded locally in coming months.
Key environmental approvals for the mine site and Stage 2 of the railway are being progressed, with first ore expected in late 2020.
Fortescue was a member of the Premier's steel fabrication roundtable, which was convened to create more opportunities for local steel fabricating businesses on major projects.