BBI Group (BBIG) has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with China State Construction Engineering Corporation (CSCEC) to build the Balla Balla Infrastructure iron ore project in Western Australia.

The MoU was signed in the presence of Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull and Chinese Premier Li Keqiang.

Construction of the BBI project and a foundation customer mine to be developed in the Pilbara region of Western Australia will cost approximately A$6bn ($4.57bn).

During construction phase, the project along with the foundation customer mine will employ 3,300 workers. Once the operations begin, it will generate 900 permanent jobs. 

Under the MoU, BBIG and CSCEC will work together to ensure that delivery of ground project services are undertaken by qualified contractors and as per the local industry and other stakeholder participation requirements.

BBIG claimed that the agreement confirms its commitment to increase work opportunities for the local businesses and workforce.

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In January, the company signed a state agreement for the Project Railway with the Western Australian government.

BBIG chair Jon Young said: "The formalisation of the partnership with China State Construction Engineering Corporation is a very important milestone for BBIG.

"It advances the project delivery strategy and enables BBIG to mature the project funding.

"Partnering with China State Construction Engineering Corporation provides BBIG the opportunity to access CSCEC's large-scale infrastructure delivery capabilities and allows CSCEC the opportunity to showcase these capabilities on a large-scale project in Australia.

"It advances the project delivery strategy and enables BBIG to mature the project funding."

"The MoU notes the potential for Flinders Mines’ Pilbara Iron Ore Project to be a foundation customer mine for the BBI Project."

BBIG has already secured iron ore resources from the Central Pilbara region.

BBIG is currently engaged with a number of potential Chinese iron ore offtake customers.

One of the largest construction companies in the world, CSCEC operates in more than 20 countries worldwide.

Image: BBI's proposed train loop facility. Photo: courtesy of BBI Group.