PHIC members Mineral Resources and Pilbara Minerals have signed commitment agreements as the first customers for the new Lumsden Point General Cargo Facility.

The joint State and Federal funded facility will provide new multi-user facilities, including a general cargo berth and minerals export berth.

It will expand trade opportunities in the Pilbara, and support growing renewable industries around the world.

The agreements enable Pilbara Ports, the owner and operator of the facility, to progress securing tenure with Pilbara Minerals and with the joint venture between Mineral Resources and Albemarle.

Pilbara Minerals said finalising tenure arrangements with Pilbara Ports would clear the way for construction of export infrastructure.

It said the Lumsden Point development is critical to meet the growing export requirements to support its growth strategy.

A study compiled by ACIL Allen Consulting for PHIC released in April estimated Lumsden Point would add $22.6 billion to Australia’s GDP over the 10 years from 2023-24 and support economic diversification and decarbonisation in the Pilbara.

ACIL Allen said it would support a diverse range of projects across the Pilbara region, which are currently constrained in their access to international markets.

The study, the Economic Significance of the Port of Port Hedland, said that the combined Port Hedland Port and Lumsden Point Supply Chain is forecast to support more than 200,000 jobs nationally and deliver $851 billion in Gross Product during the 10 years to 2032-33.

Ports Minister David Michael said the Government was delivering on its commitment to diversify trade in the Pilbara by progressing the Lumsden Point project.

“The project has been progressing rapidly, with the seawalls at Lumsden Point nearing completion, enabling the next stages of the project to get underway, including dredging and causeway construction,” he said.

“It’s fantastic to see the first customers secured, a crucial step in the overall project.”

Further agreements are expected to be formalised in coming months with additional customers.

The State Government has contributed $129.1 million in funding. Funding from the Federal Government has come from an overall $565 million commitment for common user port upgrades in the Pilbara.

Pilbara Ports has recently awarded two major contracts for the construction of Lumsden Point.

The first was to Jan De Nul (Australia) Pty Ltd for dredging and land reclamation. This contract will create a new access channel in the port to enable vessels to safely berth at Lumsden Point, a swing basin and berth pockets suitable to accommodate non-tidally restricted vessels.

Work is expected to start in September 2024.

The second was to MGN Civil Pty Ltd for the construction of the causeway, which will connect the new wharf to the proposed logistics hub area.