Recently BHP Billiton announced it would not be going ahead with their proposed expansion of the Outer Harbour project at Port Headland, citing the adjustment of iron ore prices as one of the reasons. However, just when everyone was ready to cry in their beer, BHP has now confirmed it will proceed with the $20b expansion plans. This is good news for the mining and resource industry and will create hundreds of new mining and construction jobs in the Pilbara port.
BHP’s head of iron ore Jimmy Wilson said that the Outer Harbour project continues to be an important part of BHP Billiton’s long-term strategy to become a major force in the iron ore production and rapid export business.
“Its initial development would mean dredging of a shipping channel and turning basin, as well as building a four kilometre long jetty with stockyards and car dumpers at Boodarie”, Mr Wilson said.
BHP also secured an approval from the Port Hedland Port Authority and Western Australia’s Minister for Transport to develop two additional berths in the Inner Harbour. The opportunity and granting of permission to develop the berths combined with efforts to ease congestion in the Inner Harbour is expected to boost the port’s capacity at a lower cost, Wilson added.