PERTH (miningweekly.com) – The federal government has confirmed that ASX-listed BCI Minerals' Mardie salt and potash project, in Western Australia, has been approved for a A$450-million from the the Northern Australia Infrastructure Facility (NAIF).
BCI in December last year announced that the loan for the A$498-million project had been approved.
The Mardie project, which was granted Major Project status by the Australian government in August of last year, is expected to produce more than four-million tonnes of high purity salt and 100 000 t/y of sulphate of potash (SoP) fertilizer.
Minister for Resources, Water and Northern Australia Keith Pitt said the project would create hundreds of jobs and boost economic growth in the Pilbara.
“The NAIF loan will fund building of ponds, two processing plants, port facilities and other infrastructure for the project, which is forecast to produce more than four-million tonnes of high purity salt and 100 000 t of potash fertiliser a year,” Pitt said.
“Importantly, this exciting project is forecast to directly support around 450 jobs during construction, and around 200 jobs during its operational life.
“The multi-user port facility will facilitate growth in other industries in the region by unlocking stranded assets and providing an efficient freight and supply chain channel.
“The project will also have significant benefits for the Karratha, Dampier and Onslow communities by creating opportunities in line with the government’s programme to foster jobs and growth across northern Australia.”
Pitt said the project was awarded Major Project status in recognition of its significance to the economy, helping to steer the project through regulatory approvals. NAIF and the project proponents will now work on final contractual arrangements for the loan.
Assistant Minister for Northern Australia Michelle Landry said the project was a strong fit for the government agenda to encourage economic development and opportunities in the north.
“A new transhipment port on Pilbara coast will enable exports from the Mardie project, and will be available for other developments in the region,” Landry said.
“The Australian government is continuing to support development across northern Australia, to promote economic and population growth and to underpin northern Australia’s reputation as a great place to live, work and invest.”