01/03/2012 - 10:38

Government approves Hancock/Rio rail plan

01/03/2012 - 10:38

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Existing infrastructure at the Hope Downs 1 mine will be linked to Hope Downs 4.

Gina Rinehart’s Hancock Prospecting and mining giant Rio Tinto have gained state government approval to build a 53 kilometre railway and 220 kilovolt powerline for the Hope Downs 4 iron ore mine in the Pilbara.

The project, estimated to be cost $400 million and create up to 600 jobs, will connect the planned Hope Downs 4 mine to existing infrastructure at Hope Downs 1.

Premier Colin Barnett today granted a special railway licence for the 53km line and approved the construction of the power transmission infrastructure.

“These approvals are the final step for development of the 15 million tonnes per annum Hope Downs 4 iron ore mine, at an estimated cost of more than $1.2 billion,” Mr Barnett said.

“The new mine will create about 1,500 new jobs and Rio Tinto expects first production to commence in the second quarter of 2013.”

Environmental approval for the mine was granted in January.

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