Pannawonica is one of the many iron ore mining towns built within the Pilbara to house workers who operate nearby open cut iron ore mines. It is a ‘closed town’. This does not mean that you can not visit. The term ‘closed town’ is used by mining companies to describe towns where there are limited facilities for visitors, and the accommodation is reserved for mining company staff. Visitor accommodation is available at the Pannawonica tavern
The iron ore from the town is transported to the coast by a private railway owned by Robe River Associates. It is shipped overseas and to the rest of Australia from the railhead at Cape Lambert.
Pannawonica is home to more than 800 people, comprised Robe and Pilbara Iron employee families and staff on fly-in fly-out roster from Perth, and those involved in support services.
The town’s facilities include a post office, supermarket, milk-bar, tavern, a public swimming pool, sports fields, police station, petrol station, and a free drive-in cinema, that shows movies on Friday and Sunday nights. The police officers based at Pannawonica supervise an area of approximately 33,800 square kilometres.