MINING company Iron Road are pushing ahead with their ‘Central Eyre Iron Project’ near Wudinna, with many hoping it will lead to increased development in the region.
The Central Eyre Iron Project involves a collection of iron occurrences at Warramboo, Kopi and Hambidge, and is considered an ideal location due to good options for power and associated infrastructure.
These infrastructure changes include transforming Eyre Peninsula’s electricity, access to desalinated water, a standardised train line and proposed port precinct south of Port Neill.
Iron Road is currently going through a feasibility study, which will determine if the mining project will commence in the region or not.
If it does go ahead, then this would become the biggest mining operation on the Eyre Peninsula.
Regional Development Australia Whyalla and Eyre Peninsula CEO Mark Cant said there is a lot of potential for the region to benefit from this mining project.
“For every job in mining, there are three jobs created as a direct result in support industries,” he said.
“We’re looking at what infrastructure is available for miners, and developing a plan for the region.”
Iron Road recently gained a major figure in the Central Eyre region, when Wudinna District Council Chairman Tim Scholz joined the company after 10 years with the Council.
The council had been working with the mining company since 2008 when they were carrying out exploration in the area, and then through all the stages up to the current feasibility study.
Mr Scholz said in an interview with the ABC he applied for the position when it became available, and now he is on board he is hoping to protect the community’s interests.
“I’m hoping to play a part in this process, keep the community in the loop and certainly work with the farmers if they choose this,” he said.
“I will make sure their voices are heard.”
Mr Scholz’s role of Principal Advisor – Stakeholder Engagement will be to communicate with the local community, including local farmers, of Iron Road’s activities, while bringing back any concerns they have back to the company.
Iron Road General Manager Larry Ingle said for this role they were looking for someone with a strong understanding and affiliation with the Eyre Peninsula, appreciation for community aspirations, long term history with agriculture and an understanding of the possible impacts.
“An overwhelming number of potential candidates applied for the role, but it was upon receiving the application from Tim Scholz where not only the essential skills and experience were apparent, but Iron Road had the opportunity to work with a respected community leader,” he said.
“Iron Road has a strong desire to build on relationships within the community, gain better appreciation of their values and the aspirations of various businesses in the area.”
Despite this, there have been concerns from the local community of whether the community will benefit from this mining project and how it will affect local farmers.
Wudinna District Council has been working with Iron Road to ensure effective communication was established between Iron Road and the local community, including farmers who have land, which could be potentially mined.
Iron Road are pushing ahead with their Eyre Iron Project.
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