Australia-based gas infrastructure business APA Group has opened the new $140m Eastern Goldfields Pipeline (EGP), which will serve AngloGold Ashanti mines Sunrise Dam and Tropicana.
The 293km pipeline would extend its interconnected gas system to almost 1,800km.
Opening the EGP, Western Australia mines and petroleum minister Bill Marmion said that the pipeline will bolster the development of new mining projects.
Marmion: "This is a game-changer for the area, with eight operational or proposed projects in line to benefit, potentially employing 3,000 people.
"While Sunrise Dam and Tropicana gold mines will reap the rewards of dependable, cleaner fuel, some of the state's most exciting new gold, uranium and rare earths ventures are now within reach of the gas network."
The pipeline is expected to support up to 330 jobs during construction.
EGP extends from the existing Murrin Murrin/Yarraloola terminus of the main Goldfields Gas Transmission Pipeline to AngloGold Ashanti's mines.
AngloGold modified the power stations at its two mines to run on natural gas. Diesel at these mines would be used as a backup facility.
Marmion added: "Replacing diesel and LNG for power generation by piping in natural gas at Sunrise Dam and Tropicana will slash fuel truck movements by 1,450 per year, a huge benefit to graziers and other local road users."
The pipeline is made up of 16,700, 18m lengths of line pipe and the extensions could also supply the proposed Mount Morgan and Gruyere gold projects as well as the Mulga Rock uranium project.
Image: The mills at Sunrise Dam Gold Mine, Australia. Photo: courtesy of Calistemon.