The McGowan Government has welcomed Chinese company Ningxia Tianyuan Manganese Industry’s (TMI) decision to restart the Woodie Woodie mine in the Pilbara.
TMI will invest $30 million to bring the manganese mine back to life, located 400 kilometres south-east of Port Hedland, and is targeting production of 1.3 to 1.5 million tonnes per annum.
The mine was placed on care and maintenance due to historically low manganese prices in February 2016.
An initial 115 jobs have been secured to commence the restart and 300 people will be required at full-scale operation in October 2017.
TMI purchased ConsMin, which is one of the four biggest manganese ore producers in the world, in May 2017.
Manganese is used in the steel industry to make high-strength alloys in construction materials.
Mines and Petroleum Minister Bill Johnston said the reopening of Woodie Woodie is fantastic news for the Western Australian economy and a positive sign for the future of the mining sector.
“The McGowan Government welcomes ConsMin’s significant investment that will provide long-term economic benefits for the State. We are committed to supporting Western Australia’s mining sector and creating jobs.”
ConsMin chief executive officer Oleg Sheyko said It was a very tough decision to close Woodie Woodie, but at the time it was simply unviable.
“We are now confident in the manganese market outlook and with an exploration investment can see Woodie Woodie continuing into the future. This is a great outcome for ConsMin, the Pilbara region and Western Australia.”