• From: The Advertiser
  • February 04, 20146:41PM

WORKERS and companies are lining up to join the Hillside mine nearArdrossan, Rex Minerals managing director Mark Parry said yesterday.

Speaking at the opening of Rex Minerals head office in Adelaide, MrParry said Rex was close to gaining approvals for the copper-gold project andexcitement was building.

"More than 1100 people have already expressed an interest inworking for Rex," Mr Parry said. "Over 400 of those currently live onthe Yorke Peninsula."

Interest from companies wanting to win work was also growing. Rex hashad to hire a bigger venue for a supplier information day because 80 ratherthan an expected 40 companies want to be there.

"Most of those are based in SA," Mr Parry said.

Rex, formerly headquartered in Ballarat, now has 20 people in theWaymouth St office and will double this to 40 plus visiting consultants.

At the mine, there will be 700 jobs in construction and 600 ongoing operationalroles.

Rex "didn't want a Taj Mahal" but it did want an office withsufficient presence to impress visitors from overseas who may invest or signofftake agreements, Mr Parry said.

"Rex is in the final stages of what will hopefully be a critical yearto get Hillside not only through the regulatory process but also funded,"he said.

"It's a project that will run for 15 plus years."

Rex expects to generate revenue of about $11 billion in its first tenyears of operation. It would pay more than $400 million in state royalties and$900 million in taxes.

Premier Jay Weatherill said the economic benefit would be welcomed,especially in a regional centre.

"It will allow us to attract and retain high quality workers,"he said. "This will be a deeply attractive workplace for many SouthAustralians who have gained their skills and capabilities but had to apply themelsewhere around the nation or the world."

Mr Weatherill added that having Rex's head office in Adelaide was goodfor the city.

"This will be a substantial presence which adds another dimensionto our city," he said.

Mr Parry said the mine also would underpin improvements in roads, port,water, electricity and telecommunications.

Rex aims to complete this week its responses to public submissions on theproject.

In an unusual move, the response document will be open to the public viathe DMITRE website and sent to interested parties before a mining lease isgranted.

Mr Weatherill praised Rex for its commitment to consultation with thelocal community, including landholders and traditional owner groups. "Thishas been one of the great distinguishing features of the SA mining industry hasgone about its work," he said.

A mining lease may be approved before the caretaker period prior to theelection.

Opposition mineral resources spokesman Martin Hamilton-Smith said theLiberal Party supported the project in principle and would honour anyapprovals.

"Our first priority is to protect the environment but as long asthe controls are first-class we look forward to the billion dollars ofinvestment which stand to benefit the people of Yorke Peninsula," he said.

SA Chamber of Mines and Energy chief executive Jason Kuchel was pleasedto see progress from a smaller company because collectively the juniors offeredenormous potential to SA.