12/06/2009 - 15:34

Gindalbie, Asia Iron unfazed by port cap

12/06/2009 - 15:34

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Mid West iron ore hopefuls Gindalbie Metals and Asia Iron are not concerned by a cap on export volumes through Geraldton port, saying the limit only comes into place once the nearby Oakajee port is ready.

Gindalbie, Asia Iron unfazed by port cap

Mid West iron ore hopefuls Gindalbie Metals and Asia Iron are not concerned by a cap on export volumes through Geraldton port, saying the limit only comes into place once the nearby Oakajee port is ready.

Opposition infrastructure spokesperson Alannah MacTiernan today said iron ore miners in the region will face delays in start-up operations of at least three years due to an "arbitrary" iron ore export cap imposed by Premier Colin Barnett.

"While setting this cap, the Premier did not consult industry and was unable to give any credible explanation for the cap figure of 12 million tonnes per annum," Ms MacTiernan said.

"The Geraldton Port Authority told Parliament during Budget Estimates that at least one company ready to start iron ore shipments from Geraldton Port in the next two years will be denied access as a result of the cap added by Mr Barnett to the Oakajee deal."

She added that Parliament was told that either Asia Iron or Gindalbie will not be able to start exports in 2011, and will be forced to wait at least three years until Oakajee is operational.

"This will mean the orderly development of the iron ore industry in the Mid West will be compromised and jobs lost, at a time when we need to stimulate employment," Ms MacTiernan said.

Geraldton Port currently has a cap of some 25 million tonnes per annum.

Gindalbie spokesperson Michael Weir told WA Business News the company is not concerned about the 12 million tonnes a year cap, which understood to come into play when the Oakajee port is operational.

"We're not concerned about it at this stage," he said.

"We're looking to get into production as soon as possible and our project will be going through Geraldton port and we've got good government support to get the project into production as well."

"We are very confident that we will have capacity that we need to be exporting about 10 million tonnes out of Geraldton Port in 2011 when we start production."

The company has secured land for iron ore storage at Geraldton port and has approval to start construction. It has also secured berths 5 and 7 for exports.

Gindalbie's Karara iron ore joint venture is expected to underpin the Oakajee port when it comes online, anticipated in 2014.

Asia Iron managing director Bill Mackenzie said he had concerns over the cap however a clarification was needed in relation to when it would start.

 

 

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