Todd Corporation-controlled BBI Group has signed an agreement with a Chinese firm for construction of the $6 billion Balla Balla iron ore project in the Pilbara.
BBI Group signed a memorandum of understanding with China State Construction Engineering Corporation for the construction of the project at a ceremony in Canberra today, which was attended by Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull and Chinese Premier Li Keqiang.
BBI, which is majority owned by New Zealand family business Todd Corp (with former Rutila Resources chairman Nicholas Curtis owning the rest), said a key component of the deal was that CSCEC would source “Pilbara-experienced” subcontractors for all of the on-the-ground delivery of the project.
“The cost to build the BBI project and a foundation customer mine in the Pilbara region of WA is expected to be approximately $6 billion,” BBI said in a statement.
“The project and foundation customer mine are anticipated to require a 3,300-strong workforce during construction and will generate 900 permanent jobs once operations commence.”
The project, which will also include construction of a 160-kilometre railway to link the mine to a new transhipment port, is expected to generate between 6 million and 10 million tonnes of iron ore per annum.
BBI chairman Jon Young said the partnership with CSCEC was a significant milestone for the project and a step towards the company reaching a final investment decision and a start on construction next year.
“We are pleased to have secured the confidence and support of China State Construction Engineering Corporation, an internationally significant construction partner who possesses world class experience in the delivery of large scale infrastructure projects, including port and rail infrastructure,” Mr Young said.
“The MOU notes the potential for Flinders Mines’ Pilbara iron ore project to be a foundation customer mine for the BBI project.”
Todd holds a 52.6 per cent stake in Flinders.