Project Status

After commencing the environmental assessment process in September 2013, the Minister for Environment approved the Blue Hills Mungada East Expansion Project by issuing Ministerial Statement 1071 (MS-1071) in late December 2017. In 2018 SMG submitted all of the required mining and environmental plans to the relevant government agencies for assessment.

“SMG 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.

The Ministerial Statement (MS-1071) has 9 conditions and 42 sub-conditions, many of which must be met prior to SMG commencing ground disturbance (i.e. implementing the proposal to recommence mining). These include multiple mining and environmental plans that require advice and approval by numerous government agencies including EPA Services within the Department of Water and Environmental Regulation (DWER), Parks and Wildlife Service within the Department of Biodiversity, Conservation and Attractions (DBCA) and the Department of Mines, Industry Regulation and Safety (DMIRS).

Throughout 2018 & 2019, SMG has been working with DMIRS, DWER, DBCA and other government agencies to draft our mining and environmental plans, which has required numerous versions to work through each subsequent round of comments from each government agency.  The plans requiring approval are as follows:

  1. Mining Proposal
  2. Mine Closure Plan
  3. Flora and Vegetation and Terrestrial Fauna Environmental Management Plan
  4. Threatened and priority One Flora Offsets Plan (Lepidosperma Blue Hills & Acacia Woodmaniorum)
  5. Offsets Strategy
  6. Offset Research Plans
  7. Blue Hill Mungada East Expansion Project Compliance Assessment Plan

Work completed to date includes:

  • Geological resource modelling (completed August 2018)
  • Mine planning work and detailed economics
  • Submitted all mining and environmental plans that require DWER & DMIRS approvals

About the project


About the project

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

SMG’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 SMG has mined over 4Mt of high grade iron ore. The current DSO resource is 7Mt.

SMG 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, SMG has committed to a further five year restoration project with the ARC Industrial Transformation Training Centre for Mine Site Restoration (CMSR) 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.
  • SMG 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.

View Environmental Science

Perth FC: The Robert Wiley Foundation

Supportive Initiatives

  • SMG 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.
  • SMG 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.
  • SMG 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.

  • >$300m operating expenditure
  • >130 direct jobs
  • $100mplus additional supply chain purchases supporting…
  • 1,000+…new jobs in the WA region

Stage 3: Weld Range Project Stats

  • 25+ Years
  • 300mt Resource
  • State Environmental Approval
  • Native Title Mining Agreement