19/06/2009 - 15:39

Premier, OPR plan China trip

19/06/2009 - 15:39

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Premier Colin Barnett and Oakajee Port and Rail (OPR) chief Christopher Eves will hold joint meetings in China next month to meet potential project suppliers to the deep water port.

Premier, OPR plan China trip

Premier Colin Barnett and Oakajee Port and Rail (OPR) chief Christopher Eves will hold joint meetings in China next month to meet potential project suppliers to the deep water port.

At a press conference in Geraldton today, Mr Eves said he had already held meetings with suppliers including China Communications Construction Company and Angang Steel.

"The Premier has directed us to include China as the potential source of materials and services and I'll be going to China with the Premier in July to talk to those steel mills and suppliers of equipment," Mr Eves said.

OPR, which has Japanese backing, was appointed last year as the preferred developer of the deep water port, which is 22km north of Geraldton, to service the needs of mining companies in the mid-west region.

Mr Eves was accompanied by Murchison Metals chairman Paul Kopjtka and Mitsubishi Development vice-president iron ore division Saburo Takeuchi in Geraldton earlier today.

He said the recent BHP-Rio deal, proposing a merger of their Pilbara iron ore mining operations, would help the region, as Chinese companies looked to diversify their iron ore interests.

"If you are a Chinese steel mill and you had Rio Tinto competing with BHP and now they are in a joint venture together the next logical place to look, having made several billions worth of investment in acquiring interests in mines... the next place to look is in the mid west generally."

Mr Eves said three of the next major steps in the project included: building an executive team; progressing the appointment of a project management contractor group; and approaching land-holders along the rail route to commence early feasability studies.

A trade mission comprised of Chinese companies will be invited to inspect the project later this year.

 

 

 

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