Work is set to begin on a multi-million dollar upgrade of the Burnie port ahead of increased traffic from proposed north-west mines.

West Australian mining company Venture Minerals has three proposed mines in Tasmania's Tarkine region.

It has state-approved mining leases for its two smaller projects, Riley Creek and Livingstone but still needs Federal approval.

The Resources Minister, Bryan Green, said Venture will start on the Riley Creek mine mid-year if it gets the final tick.

He says Venture will ship more than a million tonnes of iron ore through the Burnie port from the mine, tripling bulk mineral exports through there.

Work on improving access and logistics at the port will start soon, using four million dollars of the Federal funding assistance package for exporters.

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