Home / World News / BHP announce new $four.7 billion iron ore mine in the Pilbara highlighting jobs growth in WA

BHP announce new $four.7 billion iron ore mine in the Pilbara highlighting jobs growth in WA

Resources giant BHP last night pressed the button on a new $4.7 billion iron ore mine in the Pilbara which it says will employ 2500 people during construction and 600 when operational.

The announcement came as further evidence emerged that the WA jobs market is finally starting to stir, with the strongest growth in new positions in five years and signs more people are looking for work and taking on extra hours.

BHP’s $US3.6 billion South Flank project will operate for 25 years and will replace production from the 80 million-tonne-a-year Yandi mine, which is almost exhausted.

“The project will create around 2500 construction jobs, more than 600 ongoing operational roles and generate many opportunities for Western Australian suppliers,” the miner’s head of Minerals Australia, Mike Henry, said.

Major construction work is expected to start next month, depending on when State Government approval are granted.

New train-loading facilities, a crushing and screening plant and an overland conveyor system need to be built and the company is aiming to have first ore to market in 2021.

Last night’s news will be welcomed by WA Treasurer Ben Wyatt, who is increasingly confident about the State economy after figures from the Australian Bureau of Statistics showed a further increase in the number of people holding full-time jobs.

The ABS reported WA’s jobless rate last month edged down to 6.4 per cent, its lowest point since February.

It also noted that full-time employment was more than 900,000 — the biggest number of West Australians with a full-time pay packet since the end of last year.

And total hours worked improved again while at the national level they fell 1.4 per cent.

All of this occurred as the WA participation rate, which measures those with a job and those looking for work, remained at the highest level of any State. Over the past year, the participation rate has climbed by a full percentage point.

The increase is being driven by the healthcare sector, which now employs almost 171,000 West Australians, a jump of 16 per cent over the past year.

Another area showing strength is manufacturing, which seems to have arrested years of decline.

Mr Wyatt said the figures showed annual average jobs growth had reached 2.3 per cent, its highest level since August 2013 when WA was still in the midst of the mining boom.

“This is the largest monthly increase in full-time employment since May 2015,” Mr Wyatt said.

“While these figures can be volatile on a month-to-month basis, there can be no doubt these are very positive signs for the WA economy.”

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