The viability of the multi-day visit had been under pressure due to an unprecedented rise in travel costs during the past 12 months.

For almost 20 years, Leadership WA’s Programs have supported the personal and professional development of emerging and existing WA leaders, and network-building between not-for-profit, business and government sectors, with the overriding objective of making Western Australia a better place for all.

Today, Leadership WA (LWA) and CITIC Pacific Mining (CPM) announced extension of the company’s existing support for LWA’s Signature Program with a $20,000 contribution to help cover the cost of return flights to Karratha for this year’s 36-strong cohort and staff.

“The Pilbara Field Trip is a very important part of our Signature Leadership Program,” Leadership WA Chief Executive Officer Dominique Mecoy said.

“As a not-for-profit organisation with finite resources, the unexpected and significant increase in airfare prices, which fell outside our normal budget cycle, had posed a challenge.

“We’re delighted that CITIC Pacific Mining’s additional support means this year’s Field Trip is assured.

“Our Program participants, who are established WA leaders from all walks of life, can’t wait to head north.

“The Field Trip is a great opportunity to see how their regional counterparts are working to grow their communities and build socio-economic opportunities.”

Since 2020, CPM has partnered with LWA. Four company leaders are graduates of the 10-month Signature Program. CPM also hosts the cohort at its magnetite iron ore mining, beneficiation and export operation at Cape Preston, 100km south/south-west of Karratha, as part of the Pilbara Field Trip.

The Sino Iron project is Australia’s largest magnetite processing facility, transforming low grade magnetite ore into a high-grade feedstock for lower-emission steelmaking, Cape Preston Concentrate. With a 3000-strong workforce, CPM is regularly among Western Australia’s top ten exporters by value.

“We’re strong supporters of Leadership WA’s mission and objectives, which includes building the capacity of our State’s current and future leaders,” CPM Chairman and Chief Executive Chen Zeng said.

“We value the opportunity to have decision-makers head to the Pilbara, where they get an on-the-ground understanding of the people and processes behind major industries such as ours.

“While the cost and logistics associated with such initiatives might be significant, so too are the benefits. From CITIC Pacific Mining’s perspective, they are worth every cent,” Mr Zeng said.

“We’re proud to help out.”

Leadership WA and CITIC Pacific Mining look forward to further strengthening this partnership to promote exceptional leadership and showcase the role of the resources industry in WA.

In addition to the Sino Iron visit, the three-day Pilbara tour includes on-country meetings with Traditional Owner groups in Roebourne and on the Burrup, as well as local health and emergency service, local government leaders.