wa this week – 10 years ago

Study to assess resources potential. A jointly funded study into the State’s northern gold fields region to identify its resource processing potential was commissioned this week 10 years ago. The state’s Resource Development Minister Colin Barnett said the study worth $300,000 would seek to identify the resource processing potential of the area. The region was chosen over four other regions in Australia because of its $400m gas pipeline under construction between the Pilbara and the Gold-fields. Then Federal Resources Minister David Beddall was reported to say that "the region is rich in nickel and gold res-ources but lacks adequate road, rail, power and other town services to attract more major industry". The first stage of the study was expected to be completed that financial year and the Federal government had also promised a further $1.8 million over four years to fund further exploration in the area. Media baron stands back. Rupert Murdoch has denied interfering in Australian politics and said his comment that the local economy was "terrible" didn’t mean he had lost faith in the prime minister. In The Australian the News Corp chief executive rejected he claims he had withdrawn support for Paul Keating only months ahead of the next federal election. John Howard, who was then opposition leader, applauded the remark. An irritated Mr Keating had challenged News Corp to become involved in a government scheme to train jobless youth. WMC gears up for acid exports. The sulphuric acid produced by Western Mining Corporation at its Kalgoorlie nickel smelter was to be sold to Interacid Trading SA. WMC had been unable to sell the acid locally so decided to look to Swit-zerland-based Interacid. WMC invested $140 million in a 500,000 tonne sulphuric acid plant that was commissioned in 1996. The facility designed to reduce the company’s nickel smelter sulphur dioxide emissions by around 90 per cent and allow it to increase its output of nickel matte by 30 per cent.

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