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October 1, 2013: Big plans in pipeline

BRAEMER Infrastructure is thinking big with its plans to build a 385-kilometre pipeline to transport iron ore to a floating facility off Myponie Point, near Wallaroo.

But with a $5billion price tag, is it just a big dream or could it become a reality?

Many people initially wrote Rex Minerals off as dreamers, a large mining operation which would surely not come to fruition.
But now this project is starting to shape into reality.

The Braemer announcement came somewhat out of the blue last week.

Sure there have been plenty of ideas thrown around before about building bigger and better ports and railways to transport and ship the state’s resources.

In May last year, the Country Times reported mining company Havilah Resources NL, based near Broken Hill, was investigating the feasibility of reopening the Snowtown to Wallaroo railway line to transport iron ore to be shipped from Wallaroo.

This idea seems to have gone off track, or at least very quiet. But the iron ore floating port is new news.

It is definitely exciting big infrastructure projects want to utilise Yorke Peninsula — there can be many advantages.

Again, employment could be a big plus, as long as employees are encouraged to live, work and play in the region.

But Braemer needs to find $2billion for stage one before anything can go ahead, not to mention passing the state government’s “most stringent environmental and economic assessment available”.

As with other major development projects proposed for Yorke Peninsula potential issues include: Aboriginal heritage, dust, environmental impact, noise and land access.

Braemer has already started to address these issues and would need to continue to do so during the development application process.

As exampled by Rex Minerals, community consultation is crucial; however, it won’t keep everyone happy.

The idea has been floated, we will have to wait and see if it sets sail.

Amie Price, Editor