15/05/2015 - 14:58

Charges lowered at Utah Point

15/05/2015 - 14:58

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The state government has announced a $40 million package to reduce charges at the Utah Point bulk handling facility by up to $2.50 per tonne, in an effort to help junior miners continue to export iron ore.

The Utah Point multi-user bulk export facility at Port Hedland.

The state government has announced a $40 million package to reduce charges at the Utah Point bulk handling facility by up to $2.50 per tonne, in an effort to help junior miners continue to export iron ore.

Transport Minister Dean Nalder said the decision to lower port charges for 12 months would help companies such as Atlas Iron and Mineral Resources preserve employment for their workers, contractors and suppliers.

“This announcement will provide important interim support for both major Utah Point users, as well as helping maintain throughput at the facility,” he said.

The package relief also includes a 12-month deferral of $12 million in haulage fees for the trucking of ore to the port.

Mineral Resources managing director Chris Ellison has previously criticised the state government and port authorities over charges for the use of Utah Point and the Kwinana Bulk Terminal 2, where its Yilgarn and Pilbara operations export from.

Finance Minister Bill Marmion said the package was about doing the best for Western Australian workers and their families, by providing measured support for smaller companies.

The $2.50 port charge discount is conditional on the iron ore price staying below $80 a tonne.

The discount will reduce and be phased out when the iron ore price hits $90/t.

The package is on top of the state government’s royalty relief program it announced in December last year, where iron ore miners could apply for a 50 per cent rebate on royalties for up to 12 months, while the price of the commodity is below $90/t.

The port charge discount will apply to iron ore shipped between July 1 and the end of June next year.

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