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Karara Mining locality spend (July 2008 - January 2013)

Locals win most of Karara’s $3bn spend

THE Karara iron ore project has confirmed the high local content that can be achieved on major resources developments, with more than 90 per cent of total spending awarded to Australian suppliers.

The $3 billion project, to be officially opened next week, made a particular effort to include suppliers based in the Mid West.

It awarded contracts worth $308 million to 340 suppliers in towns such as Geraldton, Perenjori, Morawa and Kalbarri.

A joint venture between Perth company Gindalbie Metals and China’s Ansteel, Karara is the first large-scale iron ore project to be developed in the Mid West.

It is also the first magnetite project to go into production in Western Australia, in contrast to the Pilbara mines that extract hematite ore.

Of the $3.03 billion spent on construction and development, 91.5 per cent was awarded to Australian suppliers.

By comparison, other iron ore expansion projects typically have local content in the mid to high 80 per cent range, while liquefied natural gas (LNG) construction projects have only about 50 per cent local content.

Karara Mining chief executive Steve Murdoch said the company was extremely proud of its achievements in the Mid West.

“As a large business in the area, we have a lot of responsibility,” Mr Murdoch told WA Business News.

Mr Murdoch said Karara made a special effort to help small businesses, which would not normally qualify for work on mining projects.

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