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The Mount Newman open cut mine in Western Australia, six kilometres from the mining town of Newman and often referred to as the Mount Whaleback Iron Ore Mine, is majority owned by BHP Billiton (85 percent), Itochu holds eight percent and Mitsui and Company Limited seven percent. BHP Billiton own six other iron ore mine in the Pilbara Region besides that of the Mount Newman Mine, as well as two port facilities, Finucane Island and Nelson Point at Port Hedland, plus at total of more than 1,000 kilometres of railway.

Mount Newman Mine Developed by Bechtel Pacific

The Mount Newman mine was opened in 1968 after being developed by North American company Bechtel Pacific. It is the largest open pit mine in the world measuring 1.5 kilometres wide by five kilometres long and is expected to reach a depth of half a kilometre. The project was so large it was essential that a new town of Newman be built to service the operation. The giant project also required the construction of its own railway line to take the iron ore 426 kilometres to Port Hedland for exporting overseas. The railway line is known as the Mount Newman Railway. The first train load of iron ore left Newman for the journey to Port Hedland on January 1, 1969 and the first export shipment of Mount Newman ore left Port Hedland on April 1, 1969 on board the ship 'Osumi Maru' to be taken to Japanese steel mills.

Open cut Mining in the Traditional Fashion

Open cut mining at Mount Newman is carried out in the traditional fashion with blasting of the rockface that allows to ore to be scooped up with power shovels and placed into giant haulage trucks that carry 240 tonnes with each load. These trucks take to ore to the crushers before it is loaded onto rail wagons for the trip to Port Hedland where it is further processed before being loaded onto ships.

Mount Newman Ongoing Expansion Plans

BHP Billiton Pilbara operations employ a total of over 13,000 people who have been regularly producing more than 124 million tonnes of iron ore a year that has been exported from Port Hedland to the company's overseas buyers. In February 2004, BHP Billiton completed an upgrading and expansion of its railway and port facilities that gave it a capacity to handle over100 million tonnes of iron ore annually. This expansion program is called PACE, a rapid growth program to be delivered in four stages so that the system is able to grow incrementally. This has already seen the company's Western Australian iron ore production reach 205 million tonnes in 2011. It is now on the way of increasing that to 300 million tonnes a year by 2015. It is estimated that the iron ore resource in the Newman Hamersley Range contains 33 billion tonnes.

Newman now a Thriving Mining Town

The town of Newman now has a population of 7,000 people who are mainly employed by the Mount Newman Mine, or one of the other smaller pits, either directly or indirectly. Another large workforce of about 4,000, made up of FIFO workers, is housed at Newman when on their work roster at the mine.

BHP Billiton

BHP Billiton have been in the industry for over 150 years & are among the largest producers of major commodities such as aluminium, copper, coal, iron ore, silver & branching out into oil & gas.They have over 100 locations throughout the world & employ more than 100,000 employees & more


BHP Billiton
171 Collins Street
Melbourne, VIC 3000


Phone13 0055 4757
fax03 9609 3015

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Following are the resources mined at Mount Newman

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