The Morrison Government is helping strengthen supply chains that will make Australian industry more resilient, with Major Project Status granted to a mineral processing facility in Western Australia that will create hundreds of jobs.
BCI Minerals’ Mardie Salt and Potash Project, located about 100km south-west of Karratha, is expected to produce more than 4 million tonnes of high purity salt and 100,000 tonnes of potash fertiliser a year.
Minister for Industry, Science and Technology Karen Andrews said the facilities would help secure domestic supply chains, while also creating export opportunities.
“The Morrison Government is pleased to support this project which has the potential to expand Australia’s vital chemical and agriculture industries,” Minister Andrews said.
“Not only will the development create about 450 jobs during construction and 200 jobs over its operating life, it will also support critical supply chains and deliver exciting export opportunities.
“Potash, for example, is essential for many of our farmers but currently it has to be imported, making our agriculture sector susceptible to supply chain disruptions like we’ve experienced with COVID-19.”
Minister for Resources, Water and Northern Australia Keith Pitt said the Karratha, Dampier and Onslow communities would reap significant economic benefits.
“Projects such as this are important to the economic health of regional communities in the north and complement the Australian Government’s efforts to develop northern Australia,” Minister Pitt said.
“The project will supply agricultural and chemical industries across Asia, bringing valuable export income.”
BCI’s Managing Director Alwyn Vorster said he is pleased Mardie has been recognised by the Australian Government with Major Project Status.
“Mardie is a Tier 1 project that can deliver significant stakeholder benefits to Australia and the Pilbara region over many decades. The Australian Government’s support will make a meaningful contribution to ensuring this can occur,” Mr Vorster said.
A new transhipment port within the Pilbara Ports Authority controlled Cape Preston West Port area, adjacent to the Mardie Project will enable exports from the facility. The port will also be available to others, potentially unlocking further deposits of iron ore and other minerals in the region.
Major Project Status is the Commonwealth Government’s recognition of the strategic significance of a project to Australia. It provides companies with extra support from the Major Projects Facilitation Agency, including a single entry point for Commonwealth Government approvals, project support and coordination, and help with state and territory approvals.