Jobs still up for grabs as BHP opens its biggest Pilbara camp

Posted: 22nd Aug

One of the Pilbara’s biggest mining camps was officially opened on Friday, marking the next milestone in BHP’s US$3.6 billion South Flank iron ore project.

The camp, an expansion of an existing camp 130km north-west of Newman, can accommodate up to 2500 workers, making it the company’s biggest in the region.

BHP’s WA iron ore boss Edgar Basto described the project as "setting the new standard" for mining camps in the face of growing concerns about fly-in, fly-out workers' mental health.

It features a three-storey café, masterclass cooking demonstration kitchen, CrossFit gym, music stage, library and barbecue around every corner.

Mr Basto said the camp focused on health and wellbeing and was built as a drawcard to bring workers to South Flank.

“Health and wellbeing is seen as a prerequisite for safety and productivity,” he said.

“Our aim was to set a new standard for FIFO.”

South Flank will have created 9000 direct jobs during construction and over the course of its 25 year life.

After that it will have 600 ongoing roles, which the company is currently recruiting for, with the aim of achieving a 50/50 male and female workforce by 2025.

“We have probably 50 per cent of what we need, 40 per cent of which is female,” Mr Basto said.

Mines and Petroleum Minister Bill Johnston attended the opening and congratulated the company for its emphasis on mental health.

He said worker mental health was front of mind.

“There's no question that we need to pay attention to the mental health of fly-in, fly-out workers,” he said.

“That's why the government's working with industry to have standards to make sure that we have good outcomes for workers mental health."

Source: The Sydney Morning Herald - https://www.smh.com.au/business/companies/jobs-still-up-for-grabs-as-bhp-opens-its-biggest-pilbara-camp-20190816-p52hvv.html