Project Status

After 4 years in the environmental assessment process, the Minister for Environment has approved the Blue Hills Mungada East Expansion project. SMC will now progress with the work required to recommence mining operations at Blue Hills, this includes complying with the environment conditions set by the Minister in the approval.

“SMC would like to thank all those who have supported the proposal to recommence mining at Blue Hills and we look forward to again having a significant presence in the local communities” Stuart Griffiths Executive General Manager.

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About the project

SMC’s Blue Hills mine is located 84km east of Morawa and 225km east of Geraldton.

SMC’s Blue Hills (Mungada) Direct Shipping Iron Ore (DSO) Project commenced operations in April 2013 and went into care and maintenance in May 2015 due to delays in receiving environmental approval to mine an extension of the resource.

The project involves mining, crushing, screening and transport of iron ore from two open pits at Blue Hills. Ore is transported via rail and exported through the port of Geraldton, so far SMC has mined over 4Mt of high grade iron ore. The current DSO resource is 7Mt.

SMC has completed a 5 year rehabilitation project with Botanic Parks and Gardens Authority, Kings Park Science Division; to develop best practice mine rehabilitation procedures. With this Blue Hills extension proposal, SMC has committed to a further five year restoration project with the Australian Research Council to ensure world’s best practice mine site restoration is continued.

Article reproduced with permission from Kings Park and Botanic Garden. Previously published in “For People and Plants” – Friends of Kings Park Quarterly Magazine, issue 94.

Key Stats

Self-sustaining Regrowth
Acacia woodmaniorum is regrowing, flowering and seeding

Environmental Impact Assessment

  • Surveys conducted on Mungada Ridge over unrehabilitated and rehabilitated areas in the past eight (8) years show that rare flora (Acacia woodmaniorum) can not only grow, but can reproduce to establish new plants i.e. it is self- sustaining.
  • SMC has focused on mitigating environmental impacts as much as possible.
  • A 30% reduction in the size of the expansion pit and pit abandonment bund has resulted in a 17% reduction in the area of impact to Mungada Ridge.
  • 98% of the Mungada Ridge would not be permanently impacted by mining.

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Perth FC: The Robert Wiley Foundation

Supportive Initiatives

  • SMC invested and contributed in excess of $30 million to the Mid West region on local facilities, sports, infrastructure, farm improvement programs, education and medical services.
  • SMC founded a $1.2M Morawa Sinosteel Community Fund
  • We have sponsored a number of local sporting clubs in the Mid West including the Morawa Tigers and the Geraldton Rovers. We also sponsored the West Australian Symphony Orchestra’s touring and training activities in the Mid West region, among other community activities.
  • SMC currently provides $100,000 per year to a Wajarri Yamatji Education, Employment and Training Fund.

Supporting the Local Area

Read on to discover more about the jobs and social advantages provided by the proposed Blue Hills expansion project

Project Stats To Date

direct and indirect jobs


in community funded projects

What the Stage 2 extension will provide

The Blue Hills Expansion Project will continue to bring a significant number of jobs and business opportunities to the Mid West Region; and

The future development of the Weld Range Project will bring very significant benefits to the Mid West and State in terms of jobs, contracting opportunities and royalties.

operating expenditure

plus additional supply chain purchases supporting…

direct jobs

…new jobs in the WA region

Stage 3: Weld Range Project Stats

25+ Years


State Environmental Approval


300mt Resource


Native Title Mining Agreement


$1.7 billion


>6000 Jobs

900 construction, 700 operations and >5,000 indirect

>$4 billion

Project CAPEX mine / rail / port

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