Iron miners looking at 137,000 m³/d S Australia desalination plant

A series of iron ore mines to be sited at Broken Hill, South Australia, by the Braemar Iron Alliance is going to require a 137,000 m³/d desalination plant sited 300 km away on the Upper Spencer Gulf close to Port Germein, 220 km north of Adelaide.

This is the same area of sea that will be the site for the 250,000 m³/d desalination plant proposed by BHP Billiton for its Olympic Dam mine.

The Braemar announcement, at an investment conference on 8 July 2011, listed the desalination plant as part of a Aus$ 7 million (US$ 7.5 billion) infrastructure investment including generation of 500 MW of power, possibly geothermal. However, Braemar spokesman Andrew Woskett is quoted as saying the desalination plant would be 5-10 years away.

“A desalination plant would be the most technically and financially sensible option because it would avoid the need to draw down on the Great Artesian Basin,” he said.