Hamersley-Mt Bruce Road sealing on the cards for ore haulage

Alexander ScottPilbara News
Gina Rinehart on the family station at Mulga Downs, near Wittenoom Gorge.
Camera IconGina Rinehart on the family station at Mulga Downs, near Wittenoom Gorge. Credit: Kerry Edwards/WA News

The upgrade and sealing of a 30km stretch of road in the Pilbara to help a mining company haul one million tonnes of iron ore annually is a step closer.

The Hardey Mine is located 50km west north-west of Paraburdoo, with Hancock Prospecting looking to haul ore from the Hardey site to Mulga Downs from December 2023 to December 2025 through the Hamersley-Mt Bruce Road.

The proponent submitted a request to the Shire of Ashburton that a 30km stretch of the Hamersley-Mt Bruce Road be utilised for a period of two years to haul 1Mt a year and that during this time Hancock will provide road maintenance services such as grading and dust suppression.

At the August 9 meeting, councillors accepted an officers’ recommendation for the Shire of Ashburton president and chief executive officer to produce a road use agreement between the Shire and Hancock Prospecting for the Hammersley-Mt Bruce Road.

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As part of the recommendation, councillors asked the chief executive to advise Hancock Prospecting that should it wish to proceed with the proposed project it would be required to enter into a road use agreement with the Shire of Ashburton.

The council also requested the chief executive make an application to Pilbara Regional Roads Group for the road to be reclassified as a regional road.

A shire officers’ report stated the upgrade of the Hamersley-Mt Bruce Road for its entire length will be in excess of $30 million but all costs borne from the road user agreement would be the responsibility of Hancock Prospecting, for the life of the haulage operation.

Shire of Ashburton president Kerry White said the upgrade and use of this road would have minimal impact as the road is already built, however it would need to be sealed.

“The sealing of the Hamersley-Mt Bruce Road would provide for the safe operation of the proposed ore haulage operation, while taking into consideration the safety of other road users including tourist traffic,” she said.

“Should the proposed use of the road for ore haulage proceed, the proponent would be required to fully fund the required road upgrade as part of the road use agreement.”

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