WA this week – 10 years ago

Westralian Vietnam dispute WESTRALIAN Sands said it was bringing its staff to Hanoi from its ilmenite mine in the country because of a dispute with its Vietnamese partner, this week 10 years ago. But company secretary Brian Todd said Westralian was not pulling out of the Austinh joint venture with the provincial government of Ha Tinh province, south of Hanoi, and was trying to resolve the long-running dispute. Todd said Westralian was bringing back its two remaining staff from Ha Tinh because of some difficulties down in the province. An earlier Australian newspaper reported that four Australians associated with the joint venture had been held under house arrest. The company said in a statement it was in dispute with its main partner, the Ha Tinh People’s Committee, over a series of issues including the joint venture’s exports, imports of equipment and attempts by the committee to stop six Australian staff leaving Vietnam. Boat people protest ABOUT 40 Asian boat people were staging a protest on the roof of an outback Australian detention centre on Thursday, demanding the return of their boat. The protest began at midnight local time on Wednesday at the Port Hedland centre. Immigration officials told reporters that as long as they were peaceful they would allow them to stay up there. The Sino-Vietnamese, who arrived in Darwin on Christmas Day 1994, were demanding the return of their boat, the Jabiru. Immigration officials said the Jabiru was deemed unseaworthy and had been destroyed. St Barbara-Dominion deal ST Barbara Mines agreed to buy from Dominion Mining 16 mining tenements and 36 houses at Dominion’s Meekatharra operations in central Western Australia for a total of $2.5 million. The tenements covered an area totalling 3,041 hectares. St Barbara chairman Alan Birchmore said the purchase had the potential to add to the company’s existing nearby reserves through unrestricted pit designs and the possible extension of the ore bodies onto the acquired tenements. Drilling to test for extensions of those ore bodies was planned for that year. The housing acquired from Dominion will enable St Barbara to offer family accommodation to more operational staff at Meekatharra region, Birchmore said. Earlier this year St Barbara acquired the gold division of failed gold and tantalum miner Sons of Gwalia.

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