Gas boost for Eastern Goldfields energy supply

Minister Marmion was joined at the official opening by representatives from AGA Group and Tropicana.
Date: Thursday, 11 February 2016

Mines and Petroleum Minister Bill Marmion has praised the lead agency role of the Department of Mines and Petroleum (DMP) in the approvals process for the 292km extension of the Eastern Goldfields pipeline.

The Minister said the pipeline was a great example of how lead agency work by DMP and industry collaboration could drive down costs and deliver infrastructure ahead of schedule.  It was completed in less than 12 months.

The APA Group’s $140 million extension of the pipeline, which will eventually service a number of mines in the region, was officially opened by Minister Marmion yesterday at the Tropicana Gold Mine, located 330km north-east of Kalgoorlie.

The pipeline will extend from the current Murrin Murrin/Yarraloola terminus to AngloGold Ashanti’s Sunrise Dam Gold Mine and on to Tropicana.

“The two mines will use natural gas for local power generation, displacing diesel fuel and liquefied natural gas transported by road,” Mr Marmion said.

“Utilising gas as feedstock is not only cheaper, but also reduces truck movements on access roads.”

He said he expected the pipeline to be further expanded to service other mines in the region in addition to the initial contracts, with eight proposed or potential mining projects in the region.

“Only last month Dacian Gold said it would make a final investment decision on its Mt Morgan project, which neighbours the Granny Smith operations. The pipeline is only 16km from the Red October project,” Mr Marmion said.

“There is also the potential for future gas supply to prospective uranium and rare earth projects with Mulga Rock, the second largest uranium resource in WA, only 83km south of the pipeline and the Mt Weld rare earth mine only 21km north.”

Minister Marmion said the growth of the Eastern Goldfields had been assisted by the State Government’s Exploration Incentive Scheme (EIS) with funding of a deep seismic survey and an airborne geophysical survey of the area.

“This data is giving us a better understanding of the region’s geological structures at depth and prospectivity, with Tropicana representing the most significant gold find in Australia in the past decade, and more recently Gruyere,” he said.

He congratulated the pipeline proponents’ commitment to consultation with pastoralists and the local shires of Laverton and Menzies.

“Early consultation with stakeholders is now a fundamental part of doing business in Western Australia,” he said.

Fact File

  • The 292km Eastern Goldfields pipeline comprises 16,500, 18m lengths of pipe
  • Primary gas customers will be the Tropicana and Sunrise Dam Gold Mine operations, run by AngloGold Ashanti
  • The pipeline is being developed by the APA Group
  • The new pipeline will extend the Goldfields gas system to almost 1,800km
  • WA's Department of Mines and Petroleum played the lead agency role in the approvals process
  • Potential for future gas supply to uranium and rare earth projects
  • Natural gas to replace diesel and LNG currently transported by road
  • $140 million project completed ahead of schedule
Minister Marmion at the official opening with representatives from AGA Group and Tropicana.