A new $250 million port facility has been proposed to be built on the site of Flinders Power’s old Port Augusta coal-fired power station in the Spencer Gulf of South Australia after the site was acquired by CU-River Mining.
CU-River Mining is planning to transform the 1,068 hectare site with a new bulk commodity and transhipment port facility that will have an initial capacity of approximately 15Mtpa and increased to more than 50Mtpa in the future through a multi-stage development.
“The purchase of the site is a significant, strategic decision that allows CU-River to secure a direct export pathway for the 15 million tonnes of high-grade iron ore magnetite it plans to mine each year from 2026.
“However, it is our intention to develop the port as a multi-user facility, providing Spencer Gulf and far-north industry with further export opportunities,” CU-River’s External Affairs Manager Shelaye Boothey said.
The new port facility will be able to handle iron ore, grain as well as other commodities. The products are going to be loaded onto barges at the port and then sailed to deeper waters of the Spencer Gulf to be unloaded on to bigger vessels with an approximate capacity of 175,000 tonnes.
The project site is in close proximity to a 5-kilometre rail loop and unloading systems, which makes it an ideal location for the new port facility.
Construction is anticipated to commence once the feasibility study is completed and all approvals have been granted. CU-River Mining is expecting to begin operations a the facility in two years’ time.
Over 150 people are expected to be employed during peak construction and a further 100 jobs to be supported once the facility is up and running.
Due to the size of the project site, CU-River Mining is also planning to develop other commercial-use facilities at the location.
“We will be examining the feasibility of constructing a large-scale solar farm. However, we will be exploring every option to ensure the site’s commercial potential is maximised.
“Further development of the site will result in more jobs for Port Augusta, making this an exciting prospect,” Ms Boothey said.
The sale of the site is expected to be finalised in early April 2019 following the completion of remediation.
As part of the acquisition, CU-River Mining will also continue with Flinders Power’s successful Community Reference Group (CRG) which will help provide stakeholders the opportunity to work collaboratively with CU-River Mining as well as to contribute to future planning for the project site.
Since operations have been halted in May 2016, Flinders Power has been undertaking decommissioning and demolition works on the old power station together with the rehabilitation of the site.
“Rehabilitation and remediation are core to our agreed plan.
“We are focused on a successful transition to a new and exciting future for this significant infrastructure site. I believe the transition of the site into a port facility is an outstanding opportunity for Port Augusta and the region,” Flinders Power Chief Executive Officer Peter Georgaris said.
Once the new port facility has been completed, the region will see the return of commercial shipping to Port Augusta for the first time in more than 50 years.
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