17/08/1999 - 22:00

Anaconda stamps place in history books

17/08/1999 - 22:00

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ONE of Australia’s largest and most technologically advanced downstream processing projects, the Murrin Murrin nickel/cobalt project developed by Anaconda Nickel Limited, has placed its stamp on resource history.

Anaconda stamps place in history books
ONE of Australia’s largest and most technologically advanced downstream processing projects, the Murrin Murrin nickel/cobalt project developed by Anaconda Nickel Limited, has placed its stamp on resource history.

More than $1.03 billion has been invested in stage one of the project, which will generate annual export revenue of $500 million and provide up to 500 jobs.

While Prime Minister John Howard recently officially opened stage one, Western Australian Premier Richard Court launched the stage two expansion project.

Mr Court said, as the largest of the new generation of nickel/cobalt projects in WA, Murrin Murrin will soon make the State one of the largest producers of nickel in the world.

“Projects of this scale provide an enormous boost to regional communities, with significant increased employment opportunities and demand for local products and services,” Mr Court said.

The first stage will have an annual production of 45,000 tonnes of nickel and 3,000t of cobalt – which equates to the output of the State’s entire nickel industry in 1992.

A further $1 billion will be invested in stage two to expand production capacity by 150 per cent to more than 100,000 tonnes per annum of nickel and 8,500 tpa of cobalt. It will utilise the infrastructure and critical mass of stage one, improving the overall efficiency of the project.

Anaconda Nickel CEO Andrew Forrest said the project will provide an “urgently required” boost to employment and business at a time of an inclement gold market.

“The opening of Murrin Murrin nickel/cobalt project is a landmark in the development of the Austra-lian resources sector,” he added.

When fully operational, the project will contribute $53 million annually to the State’s taxes and revenues. The expanded plant, when fully operational, will generate $30 billion in export earnings and more than $5 billion in revenue for the Federal and State governments based on a 30 year life.

Resource Development Minister Colin Barnett called it a milestone project which will impact right around the State, using North West Shelf gas, exporting through Fremantle and utilising Westrail’s transport network.

STANDING BY BUSINESS. TRUSTED BY BUSINESS.

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