Earlier this month Australian officials announced that construction plans for the Roy Hill mine have been set into motion. The iron ore mine is expected to begin production in 2014 and will be located in the Chichester Range in the Pilbara region of Western Australia.
With an expected 2.4 billion tonnes of iron ore within the mining area, it is thought to be one of the biggest mines in Australian production history, creating more than 10,000 jobs. Experts predict that given the quantity of resources, the Roy Hill mine will produce around 65 million tonnes of iron ore per annum over an estimated 20 year period.
The mine, co-owned by Hancock Prospecting (85%) and POSCO (15%) will be employing locals were possible but due to the size of the mine, it is likely demand will exceed the number of available Australian skilled workers. Around 2000 Australians are intended to be recruited on a permanent basis, leaving an 8000 worker vacuum that will needed during the construction period.
This project is a "super opportunity for skilled trades-people and professionals in the UK seeking work, and for British on working holiday visas in Australia who need a job offer to get a visa to allow them to remain in Australia on a temporary basis” says Edwina Shanahan, marketing director of visafirst.com.
Although great news for any British nationals wanting to work in Australia, it is said that many Western Australian unions aren't as pleased. They argue that money should be spent on home grown workers. With unemployment so high, time should be spent training a workforce within Australia, ensuring future economic stability and growth.
Construction has already gotten underway, but due to the size of the development it will take some time before the mine will become operational. Construction will include dredging of over 7.5 million m3 of soil and rubble to 6 metres below the tide mark, two new shipping berths and a village to house 1,500 workers as well as a 342 kilometre railway. This railway will be used to transport five 232 wagon loads of 32,000 tonnes of ore each, per day to Port Hedland.
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