Rio Tinto will spend $1.5 billion in Queensland developing the Amrun bauxite project on Cape York.
Rio is delivering briefings around the far north and the Cairns event last night drew more than 230 representatives with a stake in the supply chain.
General manager of Amrun development Greg Rushford said the project underwrote the operational capacity for bauxite mining on Cape York for 40-50 years.
The company had a priority on local involvement, Mr Rushford said.
The local spend, primarily Weipa and Aurukun, would be $100 million while $300 million would be spent in the region, as in the area including Cairns as well as Cape York.
Around $1.5 billion inclusive would be spent in Queensland and $2 billion spent Australia-wide. The rest would be spent overseas, Mr Rushford said.
This year would see the upgrade of the link to Hey River terminal as well as earthworks including the tailings and water dams. Work on the access road had commenced, he said.
Mr Rushford said every package would be listed on the ICN website and he encouraged all to register.
Bechtel has been announced as the Engineering, Procurement and Construction Manager. While neither Bechtel nor Rio Tinto would manage individual parts of the project, the expressions of interest would be passed on to the successful bidder once the tier one contractor had been approved, Mr Rushford said.
There are 16 open full packages on the ICN gateway and two have been awarded, according to Amrun project commercial manager James Jacobsen. Goodline had been awarded the river facilities packages, he said. Thirty-three packages have closed.
Mr Rushford said there was a priority on Indigenous involvement.
“We are keen to make a difference where we can and we are working with local communities and contractor representatives to identify entry-level roles and candidates,” he said.
The project was renamed from South of Embley in respect of the wishes of traditional owners and has been earmarked for development for 10 years.