BHP Billiton has announced plans to develop the South Flank iron ore project in the central Pilbara region of Western Australia and has awarded a contract worth about $260 million to CPB Contractors for construction of bulk earthworks, concrete and underground services at the project.

BHP has an 85% interest in Mining Area C, where the South Flank project is located, with Itochu Minerals and Energy of Australia Pty and Mitsui Iron Ore Corp. collectively owning the remaining 15%. Total capital expenditure to develop the project is estimated at $3.4 billion, with BHP’s share being $2.9 billion.

The South Flank project will replace production from the 80-million-metric-ton-per-year (mt/y) Yandi mine, which is reaching the end of its economic life.
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