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Tuesday, January 24, 2012

BHPB gets conditional approval for iron ore port expansion

Tuesday, 24 Jan 2012

Bloomberg reported that BHP Billiton Ltd received conditional approval for a AUD 14 billion expansion of its iron ore export harbor in Western Australia to boost supply to steel mills.

The Western Australian Environmental Protection Authority said that the spending on Port Hedland harbor, which includes rail, ore stockpiles and a four kilometer (2.5 mile) jetty will add capacity of 240 million metric tonnes a year. The cost estimate comes from a report last year by the state’s Department of Mines and Petroleum.

The enlarged port will help Melbourne-based BHP, which trails Vale SA and Rio Tinto Group in iron ore production, increase supply to China, the world’s biggest steelmaker. Over the next eight years, global supply of iron ore needs to rise by at least 100 million tonnes annually to meet demand and replace high cost mines, according to Rio Tinto.

Ms Kelly Quirke a spokeswoman for BHP said that “We look forward to this next stage in the assessment process which involves a two week public comment period followed by the Western Australian Appeals Convenor’s consideration of any appeals.”

(Sourced from Bloomberg)

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