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Gold miner takes up tower position

INTERNATIONAL mining comp-any AngloGold is moving its Australasian headquarters from Melbourne to Perth.

Starting in March, the move comes as the company seeks significant corporate cost savings by the rationalisation, which brings it closer to its mining operations.

AngloGold Australasia has taken up two floors of St Martin’s Tower, 44 St Georges Terrace under a five-year lease agreement.

The 1,364 square metres was secured for the mining company by NSC Corporate.

The deal means the 21,500 square metre A-grade building has only about 1,000 square metres of vacant space remaining – a far cry from the 33 per cent vacancy rates the building was experiencing two years ago.

St Martins Properties – a Kuwait Government-owned company de-veloped the tower during the 1970s.

Last week, the company celebrated 34 years of association in Perth, when the Kuwait Government purchased a parcel of land and developed the adjoining National Australia Bank House at 50 St Georges Terrace and the Dwyer Durack building at 40 St Georges Terrace.

The properties have remained in Kuwaiti hands ever since and, according to St Martins Properties State manager John Macmahon, there are no immediate plans to pull out of the Perth property market.

Until now, the company has had no interest in Eastern States property.

Mr Macmahon said the National Bank House only had about 650 square metres left, while the Dwyer Durack building was also just about full.

Mr Macmahon said the revamped Hilite 33 restaurant into swish new C-Restaurant, combined with the strong interest for floor space, particularly from the resource sector, augured well for the company.

AngloGold Australasia staged somewhat of a recovery in the second half of 2000 after cyclonic rains in northern and western Australia reduced production in the first half of 2000.

Total production for the year ending December 31 was 524,000 ounces, due to the performance of the Sunrise Dame mine.

In April, the AngloGold board approved a $63 million expansion of Sunrise Dam.

A major feasibility study was completed in December at Boddington, based on expansion of the operation to a throughput capacity of more than 25 million tonnes per annum, with annual production of about 600,000 ounces.

According to the latest property Council vacancy report released last month, vacancy rates in CBD A-grade buildings fell to just 8.1 per cent, while in West Perth A–grade vacancies dropped to 1.8 per cent from 5.2 per cent six months earlier.

Total CBD vacancy rates declined to 9 per cent – a far cry from the 30 per cent vacancy rate property investors experienced in the early 1990s.

However, vacancy rates generally increased as the grades declined.

CBD C-grade vacancy rates were still about 14 per cent while D-grade properties had an average 13.4 per cent vacancy rate.

Perth’s premium grade vacancy rates fell from 4.2 per cent to 2.6 per cent over the past six months.

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