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Mt Romance and Robe in awards win

TWO WA companies have beaten tough competition to win their categories in the 2003 Australian Export Awards.

WA miner Robe River Mining Company Pty Ltd won the ‘overseas trading minerals and energy exporter of the year’, while Albany-based sandalwood oil producer Mt Romance Australia Pty Ltd was named the Commonwealth Bank small to medium manufacturing exporter of the year.

Robe River is regarded as one of the most cost effective, consistent and reliable suppliers of iron ore. The company employs more than 900 people.

In accepting the award, Robe River managing director Clive Latcham said the company was able to achieve success through its relationships with the community and its customers.

“The West Angelas project has enjoyed strong support from traditional landowners and from the communities in which we operate,” he said.

“I am proud to receive this award on behalf of the many people at Robe whose work has created this success.

“Through the West Angelas project Robe will more than double its annual export revenue, and will have the capability to supply global steel mills for more than the next 20 years.”

Robe’s net revenue for 2003 is expected to be about $A900 million.

Mr Latcham said Robe River Iron Associates had expanded its sales capability to the global steel industry by at least 20 million tonnes a year and had worked with long-term customers to develop a new type of Australian iron ore, which had gained market acceptance around the world.

Among the world’s largest processors of sandalwood oil, Mt Romance has trebled its income in the past three years to reach a net profit of $1 million last year, capturing the attention of some of the world’s most prestigious perfume houses.

Mt Romance has achieved success through responsible environmental management, product quality, R&D support and a commitment to working with Indigenous Australians, according to managing director Steve Birkbeck.

He said Mt Romance was the only Australian company that supplied the major perfume houses.

The Australian Export Awards are recognised as the nation’s most prestigious industry awards for excellence in exporting.

There were 74 finalists in this year’s awards.

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