— By Peter Long (City of Karratha Mayor)
Welcome to this ancient land, trod by Aboriginal peoples for tens of thousands of years.
Welcome to the incredible Pilbara where the earliest evidence of life on Earth occurs in 3.5 billion-year-old rocks and modern machinery extracts nearly half the nation’s export income.
Here in the Pilbara is a wealth of mineral deposits and petroleum resources formed during the 4.4 billion year geological history of Western Australia, making it the richest mineral province in the world.
And here also is the magnificent scenery of Murujuga, Millstream and Karijini National Parks – amazing places with ragged mountain ranges, ancient Aboriginal engravings, dramatic plunging gorges, wide horizons, beautiful pools and even waterfalls. Right on our doorstep in Yaburarra country on Murujuga is the song-line, which joins this far-western point of the continent with Uluru in the nation’s centre.
The Pilbara exports major quantities of iron ore, LNG, natural gas, LPG, condensate, ammonia, salt, copper, lithium, ammonium nitrate and manganese. We are the cornucopia – Aladdin’s Cave of mineral wealth, which the nation now depends on.
And now this region is ready to explode again with renewable energy, carbon capture, new agriculture and aquaculture, rare earth developments, huge new hydrocarbon projects, renewable hydrogen production and export facilities.
Urea and Potash projects are progressing to boost the world’s food supplies. Trucked LNG will reduce our dependence on imported fuels. We will be 100% recycling old facilities, extracting magnesium from seawater and growing sea-weed to slow global warming – all here in Karratha.
We are now planning for one of the world’s first renewable ammonia projects, huge algae developments, vertical farming, hydrogen industry training and research.
And of course, the Pilbara is a world leader in industrial automation with Rio running fully autonomous trains and haul trucks from its NASA-like control room in Perth.
There is so much to see at Pilbara 2022.