Contractors building Gina Rinehart’s $10 billion Roy Hill project have been forced to send hundreds of workers to the Pilbara to try to avoid hefty penalty fees for delays finishing the project.
Head contractor Samsung C&T and its subcontractors have been racing to ensure they meet Roy Hill’s aggressive deadline to ship its first ore, which was slated for next month but now not expected until October.
If the first shipment does not sail by the end of October, Samsung faces penalty fees of almost $2 million for each day the project is late.
Sources said between 1000 and 1500 workers, unable to be accommodated at Roy Hill’s onsite accommodation, were being housed in various sites around the Pilbara town of Newman, about a three-hour round trip from Roy Hill.
A Roy Hill spokeswoman confirmed about 1100 workers were being housed in Newman “and have been for more than three months as part of Samsung’s efforts to meet schedule”.
Sources said sites housing the Roy Hill workers include Tribute Group’s Kalgan’s Rest and Whaleback Village.
Tribute Group declined to confirm if additional Roy Hill workers were staying on site, citing confidentiality agreements with contractors that use the accommodation.
More workers are understood to be housed in Port Hedland, five hours from the mine site.
Sources said hundreds of workers associated with the project were staying at various hotels, motels and caravan parks in Port Hedland.
This is on top of about 300 workers being accommodated in a recently built “overflow camp” at Roy Hill Station, near the project, which was erected over five weeks during March and April this year. This added to the existing 2000-bed onsite village at Roy Hill and a 1200-person offsite camp.
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