The McGowan Government’s approval of a 50-100-year strategic mining proposal for BHP is great news for Western Australians, with tens of thousands of jobs set to be created over the next 50 to 100 years.
The Chamber of Minerals and Energy of Western Australia (CME) Chief Executive Paul Everingham said BHP had reaffirmed its strong commitment to the State through its Pilbara Expansion Strategic Proposal, which outlines its long-term environmental framework for potential future Pilbara-based iron ore operations.
Mr Everingham said the Minister’s approval of the strategic proposal was expected to reduce subsequent approval timeframes for these assessed operations by up to 50 per cent.
“This proposal and resulting approval will be a game-changer in the Western Australian resources sector,” he said.
“Under BHP’s proposal, we are potentially looking at another 11 new iron ore projects in the Pilbara, which will significantly improve our economy and enhance local communities.
“Importantly, the aggregation of these projects through a strategic assessment allowed the Environmental Protection Authority to assess cumulative, long-term environmental impacts rather than assessing these projects one at a time over the next 50 to 100 years.
“BHP already has a rich history of more than 50 years in the Pilbara and I congratulate them for taking the bold step of committing to Western Australia for the next century.
“I also thank the State Government for its willingness to work with the resources sector to facilitate this strategic approach and in turn, secure the long term economic future of WA.
“CME has consistently called for the need to reduce unnecessary red tape and streamline approval processes to allow resources companies to create more jobs for Western Australians and boost investor confidence in this State.
“I am confident today’s announcement will reinforce the State’s position as a world-leader in resources and will support the industry’s efforts to create significant economic and social benefits for the Western Australian community for generations to come.”