BHP Iron Ore has submitted a further proposal to increase the rate of production from 10 MTPA to 15 MTPA. This increase would require the following modifications to the present operation, approved under Ministerial Statement 29 as amended by Ministerial Statement 259:
- minor modifications to the existing processing plant to increase its capacity to 11 MTPA;
- the construction of additional processing facilities, as required, to increase capacity to 15MTPA;
- a gradual increase in mobile mining equipment; and
- a gradual increase in the workforce, requiring some additional facilities at the mine site village.
The remainder of the ore processing facilities, infrastructure and the final pit limits will not change. The increased mining rate will mean the ore body will notionally be mined out over 12 years rather than 16 years as previously envisaged at the 10 MTPA production rate.