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Jobs in the pipeline

By Sarah Brookes UNEMPLOYED fly-in fly-out workers and local service and supply businesses may benefit if plans to develop an open cut bauxite mine on private farmland along the Darling Scarp gets the green light. Bauxite Alumina Joint Ventures (BAJV), a partnership of Bauxite Resources and Yankuang Resources, said the Felicitas Resource, located in the Shire of Toodyay and parts of the shires of Northam and Mundaring, was expected to generate 230 million tonnes of ore, run for at least 25 years and inject around $3 billion into the WA economy. The Resources Hub recruitment specialist Dani Tamati said the impact of the current round of redundancies within the resources sector was far-reaching. “Not only the employees but the families affected is immense within our industry,” she said. “But a few new projects in the pipeline, including the proposal by BAJV, will provide a positive in the current market.” Mrs Tamati said BAJV had been speaking with local businesses regarding employment and services. “Having been in the industry for quite some time, I only heard about the BAJV proposal at a recent Gidgegannup show. “I was so impressed to find out that their aim is to employ local people and additionally with a dedicated office in Toodyay. “This will provide a fabulous opportunity for not only local people but also those within the Perth metro area as it really is on our doorstep and is a perfect opportunity for drive-in drive-out “And with the talent pool in this climate, there will be opportunities for those with experience and qualifications to apply. “It will also be very beneficial to local businesses as well – service and supply companies in particular.” BAJV chief executive officer Bill Moss said a formal assessment would be conducted into the feasibility of building a refinery next to the proposed bauxite mine, which could create 500 direct full-time jobs. “Development of the refinery project will depend on work which is currently underway or planned for the mine such as mine planning work which will provide more accurate forecasts of bauxite grades and the preparation of representative samples for further laboratory characterisation work,” he said. “We don’t believe there are any suitable sites for a refinery close to the mine and will conduct a formal site selection study as part of the refinery feasibility study at the appropriate time.” Mr Moss said BAJV intended to refer the project to the Environmental Protection Authority mid-year. “We anticipate the approval process will take 18 to 24 months, with a further 12 months for construction,” he said. “In the meantime, we are undertaking a range of engineering and environmental studies that cover environmental and social impacts, economic viability, engineering, mine planning, logistics and infrastructure options.” Mr Moss said the mine operation would create approximately 120 full time jobs. “We expect that most of these positions will be filled by individuals who are already living and raising their families in the region,” he said. “Although we are not recruiting yet, we have had many experienced locals contact us with interest for employment and as the project progresses, we will publish more information on our Facebook page.” City of Swan chief executive officer Mike Foley said there was a range of businesses within the city which service existing mining industries. “So there is the potential for this proposal to provide new opportunities for local businesses,” he said. However Morangup resident Brian Dale, a member of the Avon and Hills Mining Awareness Group, said while he understood the need for responsible mining he did not support a mine on his doorstep. “We have all spent hundreds of thousands of dollars on our lifestyle properties and they are not cheap to maintain, but we do it as a labour of love, not only for our lifestyles, but the nature and wildlife that we share our lives with,” he said. “If we had thought for a second that one day down the track a company would come into our part of the world and announce that they had plans to mine a 65 square km open-cut bauxite mine, we never would have invested our life savings here.”

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