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Major action planned in Goldfields

ONE of the biggest infrastructure proposals to be put before the WA Government is expected to progress to the next stage in July.

Anaconda Nickel’s Kick-starting the New Millennium submission to both the WA and Federal governments in December helped to initiate the process.

The Anaconda submission used government surveys as its base research.

Anaconda government advisor Bronwyn Barnes said the most recent of the surveys was conducted in 1996, before two nickel laterite projects were off the ground.

“The infrastructure suggested in that survey was not sufficient for the nickel laterite projects that have since started,” Ms Barnes said.

In January, a government taskforce was formed to conduct an independent infrastructure survey for the area.

The survey found maintaining the regional road network in the north-eastern Goldfields, cut almost annually by cyclonic flooding, to be a high priority.

Also considered in the survey is the feasibility of extending the regional rail network to Leinster and Laverton.

Ms Barnes said the Anaconda survey also considered port options for goods from the Northern Goldfields.

“We found there is need for further upgrades at Esperance port,” she said.

“The next stage is a cost benefit analysis for all infrastructure items suggested to see if they will be viable and can be supported by industry later on.”

The need for infrastructure development has also been the driving force behind the establishment of a heavy industrial estate specifically designed for downstream processing of local resources and associated industry.

Mungari Heavy Industry Park, just 15 minutes drive from Kalgoorlie, is the first purpose-designed resource processing estate in the eastern Goldfields and has been established by LandCorp to promote the downstream processing of products mined or produced in the area.

It has been developed for the long-term processing needs of the area’s raw materials, chemical production and other heavy

industries.

The 735 hectare Mungari park is surrounded by a one kilometre industry buffer zone.

Planned lots range from one to 96 hectares and there is capacity for rail-serviced sites.

The transcontinental railway runs along the northern boundary and Great Eastern Highway.

Road and standard gauge rail link the park to the deep-water port of Esperance, 395 kilometres to the south.

The park is also next to the Goldfields water supply pipeline and two major power lines.

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