Gas Development the Key to West Kimberley's Future

The Australian and Western Australian Governments have released a blueprint of the infrastructure investment required to underpin development of the West Kimberley region's huge resource potential.

Developing the West Kimberley's Resources is a product of the Australian Government's Regional Minerals Program.

Australian Resources Minister Ian Macfarlane said the study highlighted the huge potential for resource development of the West Kimberley, especially the Browse Basin gas fields.

"The West Kimberley region holds gas and bauxite resources that are significant by world standards, as well as sizeable deposits of other mineral and energy sources such as diamonds, iron ore, zinc, uranium, coal and on-shore petroleum," said Mr Macfarlane.

"Development of the gas fields would stimulate not only development of the significant mineral wealth of the region but also downstream processing.

"This would create enormous economic and social development opportunities on a local, state and national level.

"But it must be recognised that the region is a remote area, sparsely populated in the main and with underdeveloped infrastructure.

"Any large projects will require major new investment in both hard and soft infrastructure, such as road, port, power, water and telecommunications facilities," he said.

The study highlights that resource development will ultimately be dictated by:

  • The market for the West Kimberley's commodities
  • Continued exploration success for zinc and diamonds
  • Cooperative arrangements with traditional owners regarding land access
  • The economics of project development

"The Australian Government will continue to work with the West Australian Government and industry groups in the region to ensure that the West Kimberley benefits from realising the huge potential of its mining and mineral processing industries."