BHP Billiton (NYE & ASX:BHP) will begin working on its ambitious Port Hedland outer harbour project this Friday, the first step of Western Australia’s biggest dredging plan, reports The West Australian.
With an investment of at least $10 billion, BHP’s massive iron ore outer harbour will comprise eight berths on a two-kilometre wharf, a four-kilometre jetty and a 34-kilometre shipping channel.
The two-month operation will install three test piles along the route of the proposed outer harbour jetty. Five other steel piles will be installed to support survey equipment, with the entire project working between 1.7km and 31.5km off the Pilbara coast.
Earlier this year the BHP approved close to $1 billion in pre-commitment funding for the Outer Harbour and revised plans for a fly-in fly-out camp to house construction workers.
The company initially proposed a 6,000-person camp but after its rejection the number was revised to 2,000 with the option to add a further 2,000.
BHP's board is expected to give total approval to the Outer Harbour Development later this year. According to the company’s web site, it should be ready to start operating by the first half of 2016.