Diversified mining services company Mineral Resources (MRL) has joined PHIC.

MRL is an innovative and leading provider of mining services throughout Western Australia with a growing world-class portfolio of mining operations across multiple commodities, including iron ore and lithium.

MRL currently exports about 8 million tonnes of iron ore a year from its Iron Valley site in the Pilbara, shipping product through Utah Point.

The company’s recently appointed Head of Communities and Stakeholder Engagement, Ben Bryant, is familiar with Port Hedland and the Pilbara having worked for 12 years with gold miner Newcrest, which has operations at Telfer.

Telfer may be 450km east of Port Hedland but in Pilbara terms that’s a short drive to the shop, and Ben has been a frequent traveller to the town.

He took his first FIFO job when his eldest son was just 9 months old. The idea was to give it a year: his son is now 13, he has another son aged 11 and a daughter aged seven, and he has only just left FIFO life.

Ben has been with MRL for three months — which have been a whirlwind of meetings and planning.

“It’s an extremely busy, fast-paced environment but also very positive and exciting.” Ben says.

“The position at MinRes was one that was too good to pass up. It’s an opportunity to deal in different commodities and different locations and have a positive impact.

“The team is really supportive, proactive and growing because the company is looking to expand a lot of its activities.

“It’s a newly created role so shows the importance that MinRes places on building positive relationships with communities and other stakeholders and ensuring we have the opportunity to contribute and build those relationships as the company grows.

“As a significant contributor to the Western Australian economy, we are pleased to have joined PHIC.

“We are looking forward to working with PHIC and their members to address industry issues in Port Hedland and enable growth within the region to provide opportunities for the wider Port Hedland community.”

Ben’s background is in Indigenous affairs, in particular sport and recreation programs, which was demonstrated in his first FIFO job where he was involved in helping establish an Indigenous sporting program. During  the 12 years, Ben was with the company, the program evolved into the award-winning Ngurra Kujungka Westerm Desert sports program.

Ben is based in Perth and plans to travel to Port Hedland once a month.