$140 million pipeline delivers jobs, efficiency and environmental benefits
Potential energy supply to new gold, uranium and rare earths ventures
The commissioning of the 293 kilometre Eastern Goldfields Pipeline will bolster the development of new mining projects and increase returns from existing operations in one of the State's most promising resources regions.
Officially turning on the gas at the Tropicana Gold Mine, Mines and Petroleum Minister Bill Marmion said the $140 million pipeline, constructed and owned by APA Group, would help energise the Eastern Goldfields.
"This is a game-changer for the area, with eight operational or proposed projects in line to benefit, potentially employing 3,000 people," Mr Marmion said.
"While Sunrise Dam and Tropicana gold mines will reap the rewards of dependable, cleaner fuel, some of the State's most exciting new gold, uranium and rare earths ventures are now within reach of the gas network.
"Not only did the pipeline support up to 330 jobs during construction, it will underpin even more jobs and opportunities in this rich and diverse mineral province."
The Minister said the pipeline was a great example of how lead agency work by the Department of Mines and Petroleum (DMP) and industry collaboration could drive down costs and deliver infrastructure ahead of schedule. It was completed in less than 12 months, extending from the existing Murrin Murrin/Yarraloola terminus of the main Goldfields Gas Transmission Pipeline to AngloGold Ashanti Australia Ltd's Sunrise Dam Gold Mine and on to Tropicana (AngloGold Ashanti Australia Ltd 70 per cent and manager, Independence Group NL 30 per cent).
"Replacing diesel and LNG for power generation by piping in natural gas at Sunrise Dam and Tropicana will slash fuel truck movements by 1,450 per year, a huge benefit to graziers and other local road users," he said.
Mr Marmion congratulated APA Group, AngloGold Ashanti Australia Ltd, local pastoralists, the shires of Laverton and Menzies, and the DMP for their collaborative approach.
"The pipeline is a major milestone but I believe even more discoveries will be made in the vicinity, with the State Government's successful Exploration Incentive Scheme helping fund deep drilling, plus seismic and airborne geophysical surveys," he said.
The pipeline, made up of 16,700, 18m lengths of line pipe, now extends the Goldfields gas system to almost 1,800km
Annual fuel truck movements at Tropicana and Sunrise Dam mines will drop from 1,900 to 450
DMP played the lead agency role in the approvals process
Extensions could see gas supplied to the Granny Smith gold, Gruyere gold, Mount Morgan gold, Red October gold, and Mount Weld rare earths operations
Pipeline extensions could also supply the proposed Mount Morgan and Gruyere gold projects and the Mulga Rock uranium project
Minister's office - 6552 6800