BHP Billiton has added a new power station and a new iron ore mine costing a combined US$1.42 billion to its suite of expansion projects in the Pilbara.
The mining giant has approved construction of the $US597 million Yarnima power station at Newman, to replace an existing power station.
It has also approved the US$822 million joint venture development of the Orebody 24 iron ore mine near Newman.
Product from Orebody 24 will be processed at the Newman Hub, which is currently fed by the Mt Whaleback, Orebody 18, Orebody 23/25, and Jimblebar Wheelarra 4 operations.
"Orebody 24 is a sustaining mine to maintain iron ore production output from the Newman Joint venture operations," BHP Billiton said in a statement.
The joint venture partners are Itochu Minerals & Energy, Mitsui-Itochu Iron and Mitsui Iron Ore.
The full development cost is $US822 million, with BHP Billiton's share being $US698 million.
The Orebody 24 operation will have a capacity of 17 million tonnes per annum and will include the construction of an ore crushing plant, train loadout facility, rail spur to an existing rail network and other associated support facilities.
Production at the new mine will start in the second half of calendar 2012.
BHP Billiton Iron Ore president Ian Ashby said the development highlighted the mining giant's ability to leverage existing infrastructure to sustain current production.
The company will build, own, and operate the combined cycle gas turbine (CCGT) Yarnima power station, which will deliver 190 megawatts to replace supply from the existing Newman power station.
The capital cost of the project is expected to be US$597 million (BHP share US$507 million).
The power station will include gas turbines equipped with heat recovery steam generators to
capture waste heat for the generation of additional power.
The company said this will minimise gas usage while increasing thermal efficiency and reducing carbon emissions. In the event of a gas service interruption, the plant has also been configured to allow normal operations to continue using diesel fuel.
Power supply from this project will be available in the first half of calendar year 2014.
Mr Ashby said Yarnima will power BHP’s existing operations and provide a platform for further mine development.