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Indigenous business awarded contract for landmark Pilbara FIFO resort

David Prestipino -

An Indigenous business has been contracted to help Mineral Resources deliver industry-leading, resort-style accommodation for its employees at the Perth-based company's flagship Onslow Iron project in the Pilbara.

BriJarCass Security Pty Ltd's four-year contract will initially see it providing utilities at MinRes' luxurious 500-room Ken's Bore Resort in the Ashburton region.

MinRes purchased 10 lots at Barrada Estate in Onslow, each spanning at least 600 square metres, as part of its landmark project, which is scheduled to begin shipping iron ore mid-year.

Construction of the 500-room Ken's Bore Resort and 250-room Onslow Resort has begun, with MinRes hopeful the new level of quality accommodation will set a new benchmark for the FIFO lifestyle.

The company wants more families to relocate to the coastal town and greater diverse across its workforce, and hopes accommodation three times bigger than traditional FIFO pods and industry-leading amenities like Olympic-size pools and sport and wellness offerings will aid that.

Onslow-based BriJarCass, which has provided employment for Indigenous people since 2010, with a particular focus on the Thalanyji people, said the four-year contract would accelerate the company's growth, with at least nine new roles already required via the contract.

BriJarCass project manager Hayley Hayes said further opportunities would arise from its work on Australia's newest iron project, a joint venture between MinRes and Red Hill Iron Joint Venture partners Baowu, AMCI and POSCO.

"We are looking forward to expanding and can't wait for the future, which is looking really bright," Ms Hayes said.

"We are currently recruiting for people to join our team to provide utility services at Ken's Bore mine site and strongly encourage Indigenous people to apply."

MinRes communities and heritage general manager Heath Nelson said the company would continue to engage Indigenous businesses.

"MinRes is committed to supporting Indigenous companies and building long-term relationships with tangible outcomes," he said.

MinRes hopes its investment in the groundbreaking resort pods, fabricated in Perth by remote housing specialists The Complete Group, will encourage Onslow Iron employees, particularly those with young families, to relocate to the area and become active members of the coastal town.

There will also be multi-purpose sports facilities, mini golf and golf simulator, fitness park with outdoor gym facilities and a wellness loop with running track, and an al a carte restaurant.

MinRes is also building 10 four-bedroom homes to entice bigger families to relocate and enrich the community, with the spacious properties featuring an outdoor kitchen, swimming pool, boat storage area and waterwise garden.

MinRes' Onslow Iron project is set to redefine mining in WA through world-first autonomous road trains, industry-leading dust free transport and the resort-style workforce accommodation sites, which should both be fully built by year's end.

Located in the west Pilbara region, the transformational project will unlock billions of tonnes of stranded iron ore deposits, with forecast shipments of around 35 million tonnes of iron ore per year, and an expected mine life of at least 30 years.

Iron ore will be transported just 150km from the mine site to the Port of Ashburton, and transported by jumbo autonomous road trains via a dedicated fenced and sealed haulage road.

In October MinRes awarded a $24 million contract to local Indigenous-owned business Djeleanna on the Onslow Iron project.

The four-year contract is for exploration earthworks at the Ken's Bore mine site, and the first contract award for Djeleanna, a Robe River Kuruma business, and the largest MinRes contract for an Indigenous business.

The Robe River Kuruma people are the traditional owners of the land on which the Ken's Bore mine site is located.

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