It’s common knowledge that the WA mining and resources industry has been working to make remote accommodation facilities as close to a home-away-from home as they can be. 

A holistic focus on wellness over the past decade has led to improved eating options (in terms of both healthiness and variety of food), more in-camp recreational activities (including sports and social events), better connectivity with family and friends at home and, in many cases, far more comfortable accommodation. 

But one WA mining company is taking that last part of the equation to another level. 

Leading iron ore and lithium miner Mineral Resources announced recently that it would roll out two “resort-style” accommodation villages for its Onslow Iron project in the Pilbara. 

While the combination of “resort” and FIFO might previously have seemed a contradiction in terms, village rooms will be three times the size of traditional remote accommodation and equipped with queen size beds, laundry facilities (washer and dryer), lounges, big-screen TVs and balconies. 

An artists’ rendition of the proposed accomodation for the Onslow Iron project.

Outside of the rooms, the list of village amenities sounds more like an advertisement for an Aussie Club Med than working quarters in the Outback: an Olympic-sized swimming pool, a café with a barista, a recreational building that includes a cinema and golf simulators, a football oval with goal posts, cricket nets, multi-purpose sports courts and a fitness park with outdoor gym facilities. 

But the most popular feature may well turn out to be a restaurant with an al a carte menu and alfresco dining. 

“As the race to attract and retain the best talent intensifies, we know our focus on workplace wellness will help set us apart,” the company’s Chief People and Shared Services Officer, Bronwyn Grieve said. 

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“The accommodation and amenities at Onslow Iron will set a new standard, helping to change the FIFO culture and contribute to the project’s success.” 

Dining with a view is on the cards for Mineral Resources workers.

The Onslow Iron project is forecast to ship around 35 million tonnes of iron ore per year from mid-2024. 

Attracting and retaining more women and couples to work at Mineral Resources is a major factor behind the new accommodation ventures. 

Construction of the 500-room Ken’s Bore Resort is expected to start in the first half of this year and then continue in the second half at the 250-room Onslow Resort. 

Mineral Resources then plans to introduce resort-style living and working at other projects, starting with the Mt Marion lithium operation. 

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Mineral Resources created headlines last year with its new Perth headquarters, designed by Milieu Creative – which will also be behind the design of the resorts. 

The Osborne Park building boasts a subsidised restaurant and café, 1000-square metre fitness centre, wellness centre and creche.