A Fortescue Metals Group subsidiary has filed for regulatory approval to build a new iron ore mine 80km north-west of Newman in WA.
The $US2 billion (A$3.1 billion) Nyidinghu mine will produce roughly 40 million tonnes of iron ore each year for 26 years, with a first ore train expected in 2028.
Chichester Metals, the subsidiary, has proposed a 92,301 hectare development envelope, which will include mine pits above and below the water table, an on-site ore processing from various sources, waste rock and tailings storage, an aerodrome, groundwater abstraction, surplus water management including aquifer recharge and other supporting infrastructure.
A separate Fortescue subsidiary called Pilbara Infrastructure filed a related proposal to WA authorities for the East Hamersley railway project, which will content Nyidinghu to existing operations.
Fortescue currently has a network on mine operations connected to Port Hedland by rail and energy lines, including Iron Bridge magnetite mine, and the Solomon, Western, and Chichester hubs.
“The East Hamersley railway project includes communications and signalling infrastructure, an ore loading facility, groundwater abstraction and discharge, borrow pits and quarries, culverts, bridges, diversion drains, pump station, construction camp, landfills and wastewater treatment plants, and other supporting infrastructure,” the filing said.
The proposal includes transport, electricity, and water pipeline infrastructure.
The development is an unexpected one for stakeholders. The deposit, first discovered in 2011, was not expected to be mined until after 2030, as Fortescue focused its exploration and development efforts on other iron ore assets already on its infrastructure line.
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