18/03/2010 - 11:46

Oakajee port capacity lifted by 30%

18/03/2010 - 11:46

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The planned initial capacity at the Oakajee deepwater port will be increased by nearly 30 per cent as Crosslands Resources, Gindalbie Metals and Sinosteel Midwest are selected as potential foundation customers.

Oakajee port capacity lifted by 30%

The planned initial capacity at the Oakajee deepwater port will be increased by nearly 30 per cent as Crosslands Resources, Gindalbie Metals and Sinosteel Midwest are selected as potential foundation customers.

Oakajee Port and Rail today announced it planned to increase the initial capacity from 35 million tonnes per annum to 45mtpa at the port, located north of Geraldton.

New OPR chief executive John Langoulant said the plan to increase initial capacity followed strong interest from regional iron ore miners.

"The level of iron ore tonnage nominations we received last month from regional miners made it clear that there is a real case to consider greater start-up capacity than we had originally anticipated," Mr Langoulant said.

"OPR's studies during 2010 will now focus on designing a port configuration, including two berths, that will accommodate up to 45mtpa of mid-west iron ore.

"Progressing the more detailed capacity studies and finalising the project parameters is also dependent on the mines finalising the feasibility of their projects."

The selected potential foundation customers are Sinosteel Midwest (Weld Range project), Karara Mining (Karara project) and Crosslands Resources (Jack Hills project). Subject to further due diligence studies, these potential foundation customers could receive an offer of initial capacity for the new Oakajee port and rail system.

OPR looks forward to now engaging these potential foundation customers with the aim of agreeing memoranda of understanding and a due diligence process to define project timing, volumes and financial capacity.

"Positive due diligence results could lead to offers of initial port capacity and more detailed supply chain contract discussions during 2010," Mr Langoulant said.

Mr Langoulant said OPR is preparing a feasibility study for submission to the Western Australian Government at the end of March 2010, with the final feasibility study due later this year.

This study is another milestone in the joint WA Government-OPR process towards construction of the port and rail project and first shipments through Oakajee in early 2014.

OPR has also received interest from miners for expanded capacity beyond the initial 45Mtpa.

"While our focus and feasibility studies remain firmly focused on the start-up infrastructure, the further expansion of Oakajee port will be considered as the mid-west iron ore industry grows and additionalprojects progress through project development and feasibility," Mr Langoulant said.

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