PERTH (miningweekly.com) - The Western Australian Environment Minister Bill Marmion has conditionally approved ASX-listed Aquila Resources’ West Pilbara iron-ore project.
Marmion’s conditional approval for the construction and operation of the West Pilbara site followed shortly after the federal Department of Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities conditionally approved the project.
Aquila said on Monday that the two approvals allowed the various decision making authorities within the Western Australian government to consider, and if deemed appropriate, approve submissions for the development and operation of the facilities for the mine site and the proposed 282 km railway line to Anketell port.
Aquila has previously warned that the construction costs for the West Pilbara project, in which it holds a 50% shareholding, were likely to increase.
The project would see the first stage of development constructing a 30-million-ton-a-year mining operation and a 282 km rail network connecting the mine with the Anketell Point port.
The project’s scoping study in July last year estimated a capital expenditure of A$5.77-billion would be required to fund the development of the project, with operating costs amounting to around A$19.48/t.
Aquila recently revealed plans to increase the proposed port size to host an initial capacity of around 100-million tons a year, as opposed to the previously proposed 30-million to 40-million-ton-a-year capacity.
The final approval for the Anketell port was expected in the second quarter of next year.