BHP is looking at expanding its Port Hedland export capacity.

Reports say the company is exploring options to increase iron ore export capacity from Port Hedland to over 290 million tonnes a year.

“BHP is committed to the long-term sustainable future of the Pilbara as an economic powerhouse, both during and post the COVID-19 recovery,” BHP acting asset president Western Australian Iron Ore Tim Day said this week.

“Any increase in our production has the potential to deliver flow-on benefits for local jobs, local businesses and additional royalty revenues for the state and we want to ensure we remain open and transparent about our planned footprint in Western Australia.

“Any future increase to licensed throughput would be submitted to the Department of Water and Environmental Regulation for approval.”

BHP also says it will invest $300 million over the next five years to improve air quality and dust emissions across its Pilbara operations.

The Pilbara region, where Port Hedland is located, is home to many of BHP’s largest projects including the Newman, Mining Area C, Yandi and Jimblebar sites.

“The planned investment signals BHP’s strong commitment to the Pilbara, particularly to the revitalisation of the West End into a vibrant commercial hub,” BHP general manager port Nilson Davila said.

“In consultation with the community we want to ensure we help to improve local amenities, while also continuing to provide jobs and economic opportunity for the region.”