The BBI Project comprises an integrated port (Balla Balla) and rail infrastructure system that will create an independent gateway to the iron-ore rich province of the Central and Western Pilbara. It will allow independent producers of iron-ore access to essential infrastructure to enable the development of new projects, competing with the existing dominance of the iron-ore majors in the region.
CSCEC is one of the world’s largest construction companies and one of the biggest companies in China. It has capabilities in the delivery of large-scale projects, including port and rail infrastructure, and operates in 20 countries globally.
A key principle of the new agreement is that BBIG and CSCEC will work together to ensure that the delivery of the on the ground project services will be undertaken by suitably qualified, Pilbara experienced contractors in accordance with local industry and other stakeholder participation requirements.
The cost to build the BBI Project and a foundation customer mine is expected to be approximately AU$6 billion. Together, they will require a 3,300 strong workforce during construction and will generate 900 permanent jobs once operations commence.
The MOU signing follows the provision of formal support for the project from the Western Australian Government with the signing of a State Agreement for the Project Railway in January 2017.
BBIG has secured iron ore resources in the Central Pilbara region capable of utilising the project infrastructure. BBIG is currently engaged with a number of potential Chinese iron ore offtake customers.
BBIG Chair Jon Young said: “The formalisation of the partnership with CSCEC is a very important milestone for BBIG. It advances the project delivery strategy and enables BBIG to mature the project funding.
“The MOU notes the potential for Flinders Mines’ Pilbara iron-ore project to be a foundation customer mine for the BBI Project.”