The Western Australian Government has announced it has granted approval for the $1.8 billion proposal by Rio Tinto to increase and extend the life of its Yandicoogina Iron Ore project in the Pilbara.


The Yandi Sustaining Project includes upgrades of major infrastructure, additional workforce accommodation and development of the Junction South West deposit as a new mining operation.


Premier Colin Barnett said the approval of the extension was evidence of the State’s confidence in the future of the sector.


“The iron ore industry will remain a major driver of investment and employment in WA into the future,” Mr Barnett said.


“As well as creating hundreds of construction jobs, this proposal will add eight years to the life of the Yandicoogina project, providing continued employment for about 1,000 people.


“It will also see production expand from 55 to 60 million tonnes per annum (Mtpa), adding to the State’s royalty income.”