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This week in wa – 10 years ago

WA resources production rises THE resources industry in Western Australia received good news with the release of an up-beat report from the Australian Bureau of Agriculture and Resource Economics, this week 10 years ago. According to the report, oil and gas production was forecast to rise to 636,000 barrels a day over the next year. The bureau said the start of the Wanaea/Cossack project off the north coast of WA would be responsible for most of the increase. Gold production would also increase by nearly 10 per cent in 1995-96 to a record 285 tonnes due to expansions at existing projects. However, production for the immediate period was revised down four tonnes, due to the impact of floods caused by the rain from two tropical cyclones. Gold was looking good for Joseph Gutnick’s Great Central Mines as it opened its Bronzewing mine, 400 kilometres north of Kalgoorlie. The mine was expected then to produce 200,000 ounces a year and now has estimated reserves of 550,000 ounces, which its new owner View Resources has postponed developing due to current high costs. Defiance Mining signed an agreement with Western Mining (now WMC Resources) for the sale of all nickel concentrate produced from its Carr Boyd project (now owned by Titan Resources). Western Mining would be forced to store the ore, however, until it could complete a $145 million upgrade of its Kambalda nickel smelter, which would be completed at the end of the next year. The miner said it would invest $120 million in a gas-fired power generation project for its nickel operations in Kambalda. The company’s Mount Keith, Leinster, Kambalda and the Kalgoorlie nickel smelter would all receive a 40 megawatt gas turbine. Meanwhile, shares in one of the suppliers of the gas, Woodside were firming on the back of the North West Shelf project, trading at $5.40 – although a far cry from today’s prices at around $24. US company Mission Energy secured $150 million in funding for the development of the Kwinana power station to supply electricity to WA’s power grid and steam to BP’s nearby oil refinery. In cricket, WA missed out on the Sheffield Shield final, finishing third in the end-of-season standings. The Sandgropers were fined 0.3 of a point for a slow over rate, although it made no difference to their place in the standings.

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