BHP Billiton Iron Ore has strengthened its long-term support for Western Australia with the announcement of a A$30 million investment for a new retail facility in the town of Newman, to be developed as part of an innovative community partnership with St Bartholomew’s House (St Bart’s).
Newman, located around 1,200 kilometres north of Perth, is a community of approximately 7,000 people and home to Mt Whaleback – BHP Billiton’s biggest iron ore mine.
The new retail facility will provide residents with a range of retail and dining options which may include a supermarket, discount department store and cafe.
BHP Billiton Iron Ore President, Jimmy Wilson, said the Company had a long history in Newman dating back to 1966 – the year construction of the Newman township began.
“Since then, we have continued to maintain a strong commitment to Newman through a range of community investments and key infrastructure and accommodation developments,” he said.
“The investment announced today is the largest the Company has made in Australia and will see BHP Billiton partner with respected not-for-profit organisation, St Bart’s, to build and manage the new facility.
“Under a unique partnership model, St Bart’s will use profits from the retail facility to provide ongoing support to the Newman community as well as create a Community Trust that will provide small grants for local community projects.
“This innovative model sets a new standard in corporate philanthropy and ensures that our bricks and mortar investment translates into positive, long-lasting economic and social benefits for the local community.”
Mr Wilson said the mining industry has made, and continues to make a significant contribution to regional communities in Western Australia.
“Despite current market conditions, we remain committed to supporting our local communities and to our presence in the Pilbara for decades to come.”
The new facility will complement works being undertaken by the Western Australian Government and the Shire of East Pilbara to develop a new Town Square, the design of which was unveiled at an event in Newman with WA Minister for Regional Development and Lands, the Hon. Terry Redman MLA.
The new retail facility will be located in the new Town Centre and will include 4,500 square metres of retail space. Construction of the new retail facility is due to commence in the middle of this year.
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