With eventual capacity of 80 million tonnes per annum, the US$3.6 billion South Flank project is the largest iron ore and processing facility built in the Pilbara in more than 50 years of mining.
South Flank project director Simon Thomas, who was with the company during its rapid growth projects last decade, said the BHP had to approach this major project investment differently to avoid going into another boom.
"We've changed our model at BHP for Western Australian Iron Ore major projects," he told the WA Mining Club late last week.
"What we're doing with South Flank is all about bringing that operating model to life and setting us up for the future of projects."
Thomas said partnerships and integration were at the heart of the new model.