Australia’s extensive population growth and rich natural resources have made the country home to numerous mega projects. From medical research complexes to mining facilities, these projects will support Australia’s continued reign as a global leader in many areas — including construction.
In this post, we’ll take a look at ten megaprojects in Australia identified as “economically significant” by the federal government. Formally known as ‘Major Project Status,’ this classification warrants more support from authorities than is typical.
10. Asterion Medicinal Cannabis Project
Photo courtesy of Asterion.
The Asterion Medicinal Cannabis Project is a $450 million research and production facility in Toowoomba, Queensland. It will consist of a 4.3 million square foot greenhouse. Asterion expects to complete the project in three phases: first, a 10-hectare facility followed by two more of the same size.
The federal government expects the facility’s construction to create roughly 800 jobs. Upon completion, they predict it will create 150 positions.
Part of its significance can be traced to the government’s keen interest in medical research. While much of the world remains politically undecided about cannabis, there are plenty of opportunities for Australia to seize.
Location: Toowoomba, Queensland
Major Project Status Granted and Expiry: April 2019-February 2022
9. Australian Vanadium Project
Photo courtesy of Australian Vanadium Project.
This mega construction project involves the creation of a vanadium mine south of Meekatharra in Western Australia. Australian Vanadium Limited projected in late 2018 that the completed mine will be one of the highest-grades of its kind in the world. The mine’s tenements will occupy 260 square kilometers.
The federal government expects the construction phase to provide 500 jobs, with the completed mine offering 240 ongoing positions. The minerals these ongoing workers mine will be used in the production of steel and alloys, along with energy storage.
Location: 43km South of Meekatharra, Western Australia
Major Project Status Granted and Expiry: August 2019-August 2022
8. Beyondie Sulphate of Potash Project
Photo courtesy of Kalium Lakes Limited.
The Beyondie Sulphate of Potash Project is another mega construction endeavor aimed at creating high-yield facilities that harvest Australia’s rich natural resources.
Sulphate is a premium fertilizer. Half of this project’s output is expected to stay within Australia, strengthening local supply and the country’s place within the market.
The project will generate about 80 jobs throughout construction and 50 ongoing roles upon completion.
Location: 160km Southeast of Newman, Western Australia
Major Project Status Granted and Expiry: August 2019-August 2022
7. Central Eyre Iron Project
Photo courtesy of Seeking Alpha.
With a projected cost of $4.5 billion and an expected nearly 2,000 construction jobs created, calling the Central Eyre Iron Project massive would be an understatement. The construction project, located in South Australia, is expected to produce 21.5 million tonnes of high-grade iron concentrate upon completion. The mine life is expected to be beyond 25 years, resulting in 700 ongoing jobs.
Location: Eyre Peninsula, South Australia
Major Project Status Granted and Expiry: Renewed November 2016, Expiry December 2019
6. Chandler Salt Mine and Storage Facility
Photo: Project Render of the Completed Facility.
Upon completion, this facility will both mine salt and store hazardous waste in the Central Australia desert. The Chandler Salt Mine and Storage Facility is one of only two similar projects awarded Major Project Status by the government, the other being the Sandy Ridge facility, managed by the same firm — Tellus.
The project is expected to create 540 jobs during the construction phase, with 216 ongoing roles upon completion. In addition to the mine and storage facilities themselves, workers will create power and rail infrastructure to render them accessible.
Location: Simpson Desert, Central Australia
Major Project Status Granted and Expiry: April 2017-December 2019
5. Hawsons Iron Project
The Hawsons Iron Project is a facility that will, based on Carpentaria’s pre-feasibility study, be one of the world’s foremost iron concentrate and pellet feed centers. Its location just south-west of Silver City will grant the completed facility access to the transportation infrastructure it needs to ensure wide distribution of its resources.
The $2.9 billion project will produce roughly 1,200 construction jobs. 500 ongoing roles will be available at the completed facility.
Location: Broken Hill, NSW
Major Project Status Granted and Expiry: March 2018-December 2020
4. Hughenden Beef Processing Plant
Image: Hughenden’s location in Australia
Construction on the Hughenden Beef Processing Plant is expected to begin in 2020 on a 900-hectare plot. It is a crucial project in part because the surrounding area’s livestock industry is in desperate need of revitalization.
Location: 5km West of Hughenden
Major Project Status Granted and Expiry: October 2017-August 2020
3. Ichthys LNG Project
Photo courtesy of KBR.
In addition to being one of Australia’s foremost major construction projects, the Ichthys LNG Project is a globally-crucial oil and gas pipeline. A wide range of construction experts will be employed on the project, which involves subsea, offshore, pipeline, and onshore development.
Construction job creation is pegged at 2,000 roles, while 1,000 ongoing positions will be available.
Location: Primarily off the Northwestern Coast of Australia
Major Project Status Granted and Expiry: December 2017-April 2021
2. Nolans Rare Earths Project
Workers drilling on the Nolans Rare Earths Project site (Photo courtesy of ABC)
The Nolans Rare Earths Project is another natural resource endeavor, this time located north of Alice Springs. North Territory authorities are hopeful that the project will increase investor confidence in local resource mining. The mine life will be within the ballpark of 30-35 years, with an expected output of 650,000 tonnes of ROM ore annually.
Construction is expected to generate 500 jobs, with 300 ongoing roles upon completion.
Location: North of Alice Springs in North Territory
Major Project Status Granted and Expiry: September 2016-December 2019
1.Perdaman Urea Plant
Last but certainly not least on our list of Major Project Status-adorned endeavors, we have the Perdaman Urea Plant. It will be a domestic facility in Karratha producing an expected two million tonnes of urea every year.
Projections peg the project’s cost at $4 billion, with 2,000 construction jobs and 200 permanent roles created.
Location: Karratha, Western Australia
Major Project Status Granted and Expiry: March 2019-December 2021