April 15th, 2015

Magnetite Network to be Mothballed

 Media Release

 31 March 2015

 The five member companies of the Magnetite Network have taken the difficult decision to suspend activities of the magnetite industry group due to the tough economic circumstances currently facing the iron ore industry.

” After six years as the only magnetite specific industry group in existence we have opted to suspend MagNet’s activities for the foreseeable future. Just like a mine site that goes on to care and maintenance we hope to restart the Network at a later date. “Executive Director Megan Anwyl said.

“I believe that magnetite does have a strong future and will continue to push for all levels of government to have robust policies that promote investment attraction and certainty for magnetite projects.”

Outgoing MagNet Chairman Dale Harris, the CEO of Karara Mining said,” This decision was taken reluctantly by members due to market conditions and the need to reduce costs. It is not a reflection on the quality work done by MagNet.

MagNet’s major achievements include educating legislators about our industry, attracting a state royalty rebate and royalty freeze, achieving carbon pricing compensation under past carbon laws and clear recognition under the current Direct Action laws.”

MagNet will suspend its activities from 30 June this year and Megan Anwyl will take over as Chairman in April.


 The Magnetite Network was formed back in April 2009 to represent magnetite iron ore companies and currently has five members – Asia Iron Australia, Atlas Iron, BC Iron, CITIC Pacific Mining and Karara Mining.

The CITIC Pacific Mining Sino Iron project (south of Karratha) and the Karara Iron Ore project (Mid West) are in continued production having commenced exports in 2013.

Megan Anwyl is also Chairman of the Resources Committee of the Australia-China Business Council (WA).

Contact:  Megan Anwyl – Executive Director    0417 949 900                              

March 30th, 2015

Barnett angry as Karara axes 70 jobs

WA Business, The West Australian
AAP, March 19, 2015

The falling iron ore price has claimed another 70 mining jobs and raised the ire of Premier Colin Barnett over the big miners’ decision to flood the market.

Junior iron ore producer Karara Mining announced it will cut 15 per cent of its workforce in WA as the steel-making ingredient slumped to a fresh six-year low of $US55 a tonne.

The job cuts are the latest in a series made by smaller high cost WA producers as the nation’s biggest iron ore players, Rio Tinto, BHP Billiton and Fortescue Metals Group continue to boost supply to China alongside Brazilian giant Vale.

Perth-based juniors Atlas Iron, BC Iron, Mount Gibson and a host of mining services companies have recently shed hundreds of staff in a bid to rein in costs amid falling revenue.

Their plight prompted Mr Barnett’s government to introduce a 50 per cent royalty rebate for smaller miners to help keep them afloat after the iron ore price halved in the past year.


For the full story go to © WA Business, The West Australian

March 25th, 2015

WA Mineral Royalty Rate Analysis Released

Wednesday, 25 March 2015

Media Statement Minister Marmion, MLA

An extensive review of Western Australia’s mineral royalty system has been released today by Mines and Petroleum Minister Bill Marmion.

Mr Marmion said the Mineral Royalty Rate Analysis (MRRA) was a detailed document containing important information.

“This is a technical, yet highly accessible study that will be a valuable resource for both industry and government, and I encourage feedback,” he said.

The Minister thanked the review team for its work and the Association of Mining and Exploration Companies and the Chamber of Minerals and Energy for their constructivecontributions.

“The State Government notes the review’s endorsement of the ad valorem system and the 10 per cent benchmark of mine-head value as an appropriate gauge for royalty returns to the community,” he said.

“The review’s 18 recommendations are also noted. However, I can confirm that there will be no changes to royalty rates in this year’s Budget.

“I can also assure Western Australian industries and communities that, should there be any future discussion of mineral royalties, the Liberal National Government remains totally committed to consultation over the issue.”

The MRRA is the third royalty review since the existing regime was put in place in 1981.

Previous reviews were conducted in 1984-86 and in 1994, neither of which resulted in changes to the system.

For further information go to Office of Minister Marmion

© The Government of Western Australia

January 27th, 2015

Iron Ore Relief Package Backs Jobs and Industry

Friday, 19 December 2014

•Royalty rebate scheme for junior miners
•Confidence boost as companies cut costs

The State Government will make temporary assistance available to junior iron ore miners on a case by case basis as they restructure operations in challenging market conditions.

Premier and State Development Minister Colin Barnett and Mines and Petroleum Minister Bill Marmion said the assistance would be in the form of a 50 per cent rebate on eligible haematite iron ore royalties for up to 12 months, subject to the iron ore price remaining below an average of $A90 per tonne over the period.

Each request will be assessed by the Department of Mines and Petroleum on a case-by-case basis, through an extensive economic analysis overseen by an independent probity auditor.

The department will then make recommendations to the Minister regarding eligibility for assistance.

Fact File
•The rebate will take effect from the December quarter 2014 royalty payment, with the first rebates available to eligible haematite miners in February 2015
•Royalties for Regions (RfR) will fund 25% of the cost of the payments, with this amount to be re-appropriated to RfR following repayment of the rebates

© The Government of Western Australia

Hon. Colin Barnett, Premier; Minister Bill Marmion MLA

January 31st, 2014

MagNet appoints new Chairman

Mr Dale Harris, Managing Director, Gindalbie Metals has been appointed as the new Chairman to lead the Magnetite Network.

Mr Harris took up the position effective as at 21 January 2014.

MagNet members wish the former Chairman, David Richardson all the best in his new role in the construction industry and for his commitment to the magnetite industry.



December 2nd, 2013

Premier launches Sino Iron Project

by Business News, The West Australian

Monday, 2 December 2013

Premier Colin Barnett has launched the first shipment of magnetite concentrate from CITIC Pacific’s Sino Iron project in the Pilbara.

Today’s shipment of magnetite concentrate will be loaded onto barges at Cape Preston and transferred to a bigger carrier about 10km off the coastline for its journey to China.

Launching the shipment with CITIC Group chairman Chang Zhenming, Mr Barnett said the completion of the first stage of the project was a major boost for the State’s emerging magnetite iron ore industry.

“The Sino Iron project is the first magnetite mine to reach production in the Pilbara and today’s launch marks the first shipment through the newly completed Cape Preston port,” he said.

“This is the biggest magnetite mining and processing operation under construction in Australia and is a further sign of the potential of the industry to stimulate new investment and construction activity throughout the State.”

Mr Barnett said WA had a significant magnetite resources and this type of premium, value-added ore is preferred by many Chinese steel mills.


For more go to The West Australian

© WA Newspapers Ltd

October 24th, 2013

Repeal of the Minerals Resource Rent Tax

24 October 2013

Joint Media Statement

Treasurer / Minister for Finance / Minister for Industry

Repeal of the Minerals Resource Rent Tax

The Government is today releasing  draft legislation for the repeal of the Minerals Resource Rent Tax (MRRT).

Consistent with the Government’s  clear election mandate, the Minerals Resource Rent Tax Repeal and Other  Measures Bill 2013 will abolish the failed MRRT from 1 July 2014.


In relation to the Petroleum  Resource Rent Tax, the Government is considering the issue of the onshore administration  of this tax, in the context of its deregulation agenda and the removal of red  tape.

Submissions on the draft  legislation and explanatory memorandum for the repeal are invited until 31  October 2013.

For more go to Australian Government The Treasury.

©  Commonwealth Parliament of Australia

October 15th, 2013

Legislation to Repeal the Cabon Tax

Tuesday 15, October 2013

Prime Minister
Minister for the Environment

Today, the Government releases the carbon tax repeal bills for public consideration.

In line with our clear election commitment, the Government’s first item of parliamentary business will be the legislation to abolish the carbon tax.

This will lower costs for Australian businesses and manufacturers, boost growth, increase jobs and ease cost of living pressures for households.


Abolishing the carbon tax will improve Australia’s international competitiveness, which was being undermined by the unfair hit on business.

The legislation will give the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission further powers to take action against businesses that engage in price exploitation following the repeal of the carbon tax.

Carbon tax industry assistance, including the Jobs and Competitiveness Program, will continue until 30 June 2014 to assist affected businesses.

Repeal of the carbon tax represents a major contribution to the Government’s deregulation agenda by removing around 440 pages of legislation and reducing business compliance costs by about $100 million annually.

With the release of the draft repeal bills, businesses have an opportunity to comment on the specific details of the repeal process. …..

Public consultation will be invited until 4 November 2013.

For more information go to Prime Minister of Australia, The Hon. Tony Abbott MP

© Commonwealth of Australia


April 10th, 2013

Magnetite Start-Up Producers Appeal for Longer Lead Time to Important Royalty Policy Change

Wednesday, 10 April 2013

MagNet welcomes and strongly supports the Premier’s further royalty rebate announcement made on 9 April, 2013 and applauds the Premier for his vision in backing the development of this State’s emerging magnetite industry. The Premier deserves much praise for his foresight in demonstrating the State’s confidence in a new industry and will no doubt be criticised for it by those who do not grasp the benefits that magnetite projects will bring to this State.

The opening of the Karara project yesterday is a huge milestone for this new West Australian magnetite industry and the Premier’s announcement provided the icing on the cake for that project.

“To ensure that Western Australia maximises the chance of securing extra foreign investment it is vital that the Premier extends this policy beyond the three years as announced yesterday. I am encouraged that the Premier has said this ‘may’ occur and the Magnetite Network will keep lobbying to make sure that our State has the most competitive state royalty regime in Australia.

Western Australia must continue to send a very loud and clear message to potential investors that the State Government fully understands that magnetite exists all over the world and it is willing to forgo some short term revenues to attract long term large investment into the magnetite industry in Western Australia” Ms Anwyl said.

“The Premier’s clear acknowledgement yesterday of the capital and energy intensive nature in getting these projects up and running is very important, as investors need to be confident that governments in Australia will compete to ensure that these long-term operations are constructed in their State.”

The Karara project, a joint venture of Gindalbie and AnSteel, that was opened yesterday and the CITIC Pacific Mining Sino Iron project that has just commenced production  are likely to be the only two projects to benefit from the Premier’s announcement as it currently stands.

MagNet notes that each of these projects made final investment decisions as long ago as 2007.

MagNet will continue to lobby the Premier and his Cabinet for a much longer timeline for this incentive to apply so that investors in new projects can expect royalty rebates during the start-up phase which will mean Western Australia will maximise investment attraction outcomes.

Contact Megan Anwyl – Executive Director on 0417 949 900 or

MagNet has 5 current members – Asia Iron Australia Limited, Atlas Iron Limited, CITIC Pacific Mining, Gindalbie Metals Limited and Iron Ore Holdings.

In addition to the Gindalbie Metals – AnSteel joint venture Karara project & CITIC Pacific Mining’s Sino Iron project that are in production (a combined capex of about $10.5 billion), there are at least 12 projects proposed, approved or under pre-construction in Western Australia that will mine and process magnetite concentrate and/or pellets with more than $20billion capex collectively. These include the Asia Iron Australia Limited Extension Hill project in the Mid West region.

April 9th, 2013

Official Opening of Karara Project Marks Beginning of a New Era in Australian Iron Ore

9 April 2013

‘World Class Operation Sees WA’s Iron Ore Processing Dream Come to Life’

By Gindalbie Metals LTD

Gindalbie Metals Limited (ASX: GBG – “Gindalbie”) today celebrated a defining milestone in the history of the Australian iron ore industry with the official opening of the Karara Project – Australia’s second largest magnetite project and the largest resource development in the Mid West – by the Hon. Colin Barnett, Premier of Western Australia; Minister for State Development; Science.

The landmark opening ceremony – which was held at the Karara mine site, located approximately 225km east of Geraldton – was attended by over 150 dignitaries including Federal Resources Minister the Hon. Gary Gray AO, Gindalbie Chairman George Jones AM, Ansteel Group Chairman Zhang Guang Ning, representatives of the Project’s Chinese banks, Traditional Owners, Karara Mining Limited (KML) employees, contracting partners, representatives of Mid West communities and other stakeholders.

“This is a tremendous milestone for the Australian iron ore industry, a very significant event for the Mid West region and the State, and a momentous day for Gindalbie and our Chinese partner, Ansteel,” said Gindalbie Chairman, Mr George Jones.

“The successful financing, development, construction and commissioning of this world-scale project, marks the realisation of a long-held dream to establish downstream processing and value adding opportunities for the Australian iron ore industry.

“For decades, people have dreamed about unlocking the value of the extensive deposits of low-grade magnetite ore in the Mid West region by processing it to produce high-grade, premium quality magnetite concentrate for export to China,” he added.

“I am proud to have been part of this venture which, through KML, has made this dream a reality. The 8 million tonne per annum (Mtpa) Concentrator at the heart of this project turns magnetite ore – which would otherwise have little value – into a valuable premium quality product which is increasingly in demand in global markets.

“At the same time, by investing more than $1 billion in new rail, port, power and other infrastructure, KML has been able to unlock a large stranded iron ore deposit and create exciting growth opportunities for the exploration and development of other iron ore deposits in the region. In the process, this project will generate enormous wealth for the region, the State and the nation.”

Karara is the second largest magnetite project in Australia, with production currently being ramped up to its nameplate capacity of 8Mtpa of high-grade magnetite concentrate grading 68% Fe. The project also comprises a substantial direct shipping ore (DSO) hematite business, currently producing at the rate of 2Mtpa.

The official opening of the Karara Project marks the completion of a three-year construction period which began in late 2009 with a ground-breaking ceremony where WA Premier Colin Barnett also officiated. For Gindalbie, it represents the culmination of a highly successful partnership with Ansteel which commenced in April 2006 with the signing of the original joint venture agreement in Canberra.

At its peak, Karara was one of the largest construction projects in Australia employing over 2,500 people. It will provide long-term employment for over 500 people. The construction phase was completed broadly within the revised construction budget of $2.57 billion, representing an outstanding achievement in the current environment of cost inflation in the Australian resource sector.

First magnetite concentrate was produced at Karara in November 2012, signalling the start of the six-month commissioning and ramp-up plan. Nameplate capacity of 8Mtpa of magnetite concentrate is on track to be achieved by the end of this month. The historic first shipment of magnetite concentrate, comprising approximately 55,000 tonnes was completed in early January, representing the first-ever commercial shipment of magnetite from WA.


For more go to Gindalbie Metals LTD

© Gindalbie Metals LTD

April 9th, 2013

Magnetite iron ore miners offered concessions

Tuesday, 9 April 2013

By Kathryn Diss, ABC News

The Premier Colin Barnett has announced he will give magnetite iron ore miners a royalty concession in a bid to get projects off the ground.

Mr Barnett made the announcement at the official opening of Gindalbie’s Karara mine east of Geraldton, in what is a joint venture with Chinese company Ansteel.

The Premier says miners will receive a rebate of up to 50 per cent on royalties paid during the first 12 months of magnetite production in a policy.

Mr Barnett says the concession will send a positive message to Chinese investors.

“It’s to recognise the scale of investment here, that’s what we’ve been striving for in Western Australia for a long time,” he said.

“And, also give a very clear message to the Chinese government and Chinese state owned enterprises such as Ansteel that their investment is welcome in Western Australia and the State Government is supportive.”

The policy will apply for three years.

The Karara mine employed 2,500 people during peak construction and will provide ongoing jobs for 500 people.

Gindalbie chairman George Jones says for years people have dreamed of unlocking the low grade magnetite iron ore of the Mid West and he is proud the Karara mine has made that a reality.

He says the royalty concession is a helpful and necessary step to get magnetite projects into production, particularly when markets are down.

“It’s the equity markets and share markets that change their attitude to resources; at the moment we’re out of favour but that will change hopefully in the next year or so,” he said.

Gindalbie made its maiden shipment of iron ore from Geraldton in January, representing the first ever commercial shipment of magnetite iron ore from WA.


For more go to ABC News

© 2013 ABC



November 22nd, 2012

Premier makes miners royalty offer

by Nick Evans, November 22, 2012

Premier Colin Barnett has offered West Australia’s emerging magnetite miners hope of royalty relief, in a move aimed at attracting more Asian investment into the fledgling industry.

In a surprise move yesterday Mr Barnett announced to a Mid West mining conference he will back an industry push for a royalty holiday for magnetite miners.

While Mr Barnett said no concrete proposal had yet been approved by Cabinet, it is understood the State Government is considering a three-year royalty holiday for companies once they have begun production.

Under the existing royalty regime magnetite royalties are set at  5 per cent as soon as exports begin. Options for relief include completely waiving royalty payments, or reducing the rate to 2.5 per cent.

The move surprised industry  observers, as Mr Barnett had previously waged a long campaign to wring additional payments from BHP Billiton and Rio Tinto by ending a historic differential rate on the Pilbara hematite ore they sell. Other applications for royalty  relief, including a recent attempt by Fortescue Metals Group at the height of its financial turmoil, had been rejected.

Compared to traditional hematite iron ore mines in the Pilbara, magnetite ore requires expensive and energy hungry secondary processing before export.

Capital costs of magnetite mines in WA’s development pipeline all run to at least several billion  dollars.

According to industry figures magnetite mining could eventually contribute up to $700 million a year to State Government coffers, if all of the projects in the State’s pipeline are developed.

Though the move came among discussion of the troubled Oakajee Port and Rail project, which would rely on magnetite mines for its customers, Mr Barnett denied the move was an attempt to revive its fortunes, saying the decision was an important step to attract more investment in magnetite projects from China, Japan and other Asian economies.

Mr Barnett has long pushed for greater local downstream processing in the State’s mining industry. He told  _WestBusiness _ the move was a “modest but important” step to demonstrate the State Government’s support for the emerging  industry to offshore investors.

Magnetite miners welcomed the move yesterday.

Asia Iron plans a $3 billion development in the Mid West which could eventually export $1.3 billion of ore a year. Managing director Bill Mackenzie agreed yesterday a royalty holiday would send an  important message that WA was  serious about the industry.

“In overall returns to the owners the royalty burden is not a ‘go or no go’ decision,” he said.

“In our case, it is 5 per cent and I don’t think there’d be any investors where if your project didn’t fly at 95 per cent revenue you’d make the  decision not to proceed.”

©WA Newspapers Ltd

For more, go to The West Australian website

November 22nd, 2012

MagNet welcomes Premier’s decision to give Royalty Concessions

Weds 21 November 2012

MagNet’s seven member companies are delighted with the announcement today by the Barnett Government to reduce royalty rates for start-up magnetite projects.

This blanket industry wide reduction of royalty rates for a set period to apply to start-up miners is most welcome. As well as benefitting the Gindalbie AnSteel Joint Venture Karara project in the Mid West and the CITIC Pacific Mining Sino Iron project in the Pilbara this is a very positive action that will definitely encourage investment and lift the attraction of this State over others.

Executive Director Megan Anwyl said “the Magnetite Network has been lobbying for this concession for more than eighteen months and I am confident that this policy change will send a very strong signal to potential investors, many of whom are based overseas.”

“It shows that the Premier and his Cabinet are serious about attracting new large scale investment to this State and this is critical given that magnetite projects exist in many other places that could receive investment before our projects.”.

“The global carbon benefits of magnetite and ever declining grade of Australia’s hematite is driving a new interest in large scale magnetite production and there are now a number of magnetite projects under construction or planning but it is very important for the Western Australian Government to demonstrate just how keen it is to support this emerging industry.“

November 22nd, 2012

Karara Iron Ore Project Announces First Production of Magnetite Concentrate

15 Nov 2012

First Production Signals Start of Six-Month Ramp-Up Phase

Gindalbie Metals Limited is pleased to announce that the first magnetite concentrate has been produced from the Karara Project, representing the greatest milestone yet for the Mid West region’s newest and biggest project.

The first product produced from the magnetite concentrator plant signals the start of a forecast six-month ramp-up phase towards its targeted annualised production rate of 8Mtpa.


For more go to Gindalbie Metals Ltd

© Gindalbie Metals Ltd


October 29th, 2012

Gindalbie heralds first Karara shipment

The West Australian, 18 October 2012

 Gindalbie Metals says it has sent the first commercial shipment of iron ore from its Karara project in the State’s Mid West.

The maiden shipment aboard the M.V.Jai Tai Panamax vessel from Geraldton port comprised of about 58,000 tonnes of hematite.

Loading was completed yesterday afternoon and the ship departed Geraldton on last night’s high tide, bound for China.

Gindalbie heralded the shipment as a milestone for the company and the first time the integrated mine, rail and port logistics chain servicing the project had been utilised.

Gindalbie’s managing director Tim Netscher said the milestone represented an important source of early cash flow and would give the company a chance to focus on magnetite concentrate commissioning and ramp-up.

Production and shipments from Karara are expected to ramp up to an annualised rate of 2mtpa by the end of the year.

The new Karara Export Terminal at Geraldton port comprise of a dedicated berth and 5000tph ship-loader, a 255,000t storage facility and a twin-car rotary dumper for train unloading.

The new terminal is capable of handling up to 16mtpa, which is sufficient for stage one and the anticipated stage two of the Karara project.


© Western Australian Newspapers Limited 2012

For more go to The West Australian

October 19th, 2012

Fortescue ponders proposed Pilbara magnetite project

By Nick Evans,  West Business

Fortescue Metals Group has given the first insight into the scale of its proposed Iron Bridge magnetite project in the Pilbara through the release of environmental approval documents yesterday.

The Iron Bridge project, a partnership between Fortescue and Chinese steelmaker Baosteel, could produce as much as 15 million tonnes of iron ore concentrate a year if constructed.

Fortescue is yet to put any firm numbers on potential construction costs, although capital costs are likely to top $3 billion or more, based on projected spending on similar projects across the State.

Iron Bridge has been listed as one of the projects that Fortescue may seek direct equity partners for, though it has vacillated on whether it will seek external funders, or potentially even float it on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange.  Fortescue said in its quarterly production report on Tuesday it expected to finalise an advanced feasibility study by the end of this year.


© WA Newspapers Limited

For more go to The West Australian Business News


October 12th, 2012

Karara to ship first ore

By Ben O’Halloran Geraldton Newspapers

11 October 2012

Karara Mining will shortly export its first shipment of direct shipping ore from its mine site east of Geraldton, following the arrival of the ore carrier Jia Tai at Geraldton Port.


Karara expects to load and ship 60,000 tonnes of DSO, which has been held in its storage facility at Geraldton Port, in the coming days.

A spokesman for Karara’s parent company, Gindalbie Metals, said the shipment was bound for China.

‘This is a major milestone for Karara, utilising our full infrastructure chain, including the new Karara Export Terminal in Geraldton,” he said.

“it is just one of what will be many milestones over coming months as we bring the whole Karara project on stream”.


It’s expected that Karara will begin magnetite processing later this month, with exports due to begin before the end of the year.

© WA Newspapers

For more go to The West Australian, Geraldton Newspapers

October 12th, 2012

New port terminal brings optimism to WA resource sector

By Daisy Smith, ABC Rural

19 September 2012

In front of around 50 guests, the Trteasurer of Western Australia, Troy Buswell, officially opened Karara’s Iron Ore’s new export terminal.

The new terminal at the Geraldton Port is expect to significantly boost the resource sector in the Midwest of WA.


Gindalbie’s Chairman, George Jones says the Karara project would be around for the next 50 years and will be able to handle the rise and falls of the iron ore price.


© 2012 ABC

For more go to ABC Rural – ABC News

October 12th, 2012

Govt welcomes investment in Mid-West magnetite industry

Hon Colin Barnett: Premier; Minister for State Development

Hon Troy Buswell: Treasurer; Minister for Transport; Emergency Services

18 September 2012

The emerging iron ore industry in Western Australia’s Mid-West has taken a major step forward with the opening of new export infrastructure at Geraldton Port.

Premier and State Development Minister Colin Barnett today congratulated Karara Mining on the opening by Transport Minister Troy Buswell of the company’s $200million facility for shipping haematite and magnetite ore from its Karara mine, 220km east of Geraldton.

Mr Buswell said the milestone by Karara partners Gindalbie Metals and Chinese steel producer, Ansteel, had laid the foundation for further development of the Mid-West magnetite industry.


© Government of Western Australia

For more go to Ministerial Media Statements

October 12th, 2012

Combet ditches carbon floor price in deal with Europe

By ABC News, 29 August 2012

Australia and the European Union will be linked in what will become the world’s largest carbon market under a deal announced by Climate Change Minister Greg Combet today.

Mr Combet said Australia was ditching its earlier plans to impose a floor price on carbon when the current fixed-price carbon tax moves to a floating market mechanism in July 2015.

Instead, he said the Australian market would be linked to that which operates in Eur0pe, where more than 500 million people are covered by carbon teading schemes, meaning the two blocs’ carbon price would be “effectively the same”.

A tonne of carbon in Europe currently only costs about $10, while Australia’s carbon tax is set at $23 a tonne.


© ABC News

For more information go to ABC News

August 9th, 2012

Final tick for Grange’s Southdown project

20th Jul 2012

Development of the proposed 10Mtpa Southdown magnetite project near Albany on the south coast of Western Australia is on track for first production in 2015 with the award of the final major environmental permit to the joint venture of Grange Resources(70%) and Sojitz Resources and Technology (30%).

The permit issued by state environment minister Bill Marmion allows the development of a desalination plant that will deliver up to 12 gigalitres of water annually to the mine operations.


© HIGHGRADE Drilling Deeper for the News

For more go to’s Southdown_project

April 11th, 2012

Australia and China Strengthen Cooperation on Infrastructure

Media Release

The Hon Anthony Albanese MP


10 April 2012

Today,  the Australian and Chinese governments signed an historic Memorandum of  Understanding to strengthen cooperation on delivering infrastructure for our  nations.

I  signed the MOU on Enhancing Cooperation in Infrastructure Construction with the  Chinese Minister of Commerce, Mr Chen Deming, at Parliament House this morning.


The  MOU will mean closer co-operation on planning of projects, exchanging  information on investment opportunities and technical expertise, training and  education, joint conferences, as well as joint infrastructure projects in the  future.

Ultimately,  this is about creating more jobs, tapping more economic opportunities, and  delivering better infrastructure.

Both  governments will now also establish a Working Group with membership from  government departments and agencies, industry organisations and major financial  and business partners to help implement the commitments outlined in the MOU.

Next  year marks the 40th anniversary of diplomatic relations between Australia and  the People’s Republic of China.

At  the time former Labor Prime Minister Gough Whitlam reopened relations with China,  our two-way trade was $113 million.

Today,  Australia’s total trade with China exceeds $105 billion, making it the first  nation with whom our two-way trade has gone past the $100 billion mark.

China  is Australia’s largest two-way trading partner, our largest export market and  our biggest source of imports.

Our  investment in China, including in Chinese infrastructure was almost $12 billion  in 2010, up more than six-fold since 2001.   Similarly, China’s investment in the Australian economy was nearly $20  billion, up from $3 billion in 2001.

Over  nearly 40 years, our relationship has gone from strength to strength and  today’s MOU signing is yet another example of the depth of our co-operation.

I  welcome Minister Chen’s visit to our shores and look forward to working closely  with him in delivering greater prosperity for our two nations.

©  The Hon Anthony Albanese MP

For more information go to Media releases for The Hon Anthony Albanese MP

April 11th, 2012

New Chairman appointed to lead Magnetite Network


2 April  2012

The Magnetite Network has today appointed David Richardson to the role of Chairman as Bill Mackenzie steps down after an extensive time in the role.

“David’s appointment is absolutely welcomed given that he is the Chief Financial Officer at Gindalbie Metals – joint owner of the flagship Karara project in the MidWest regionwith AnSteel that is due to commence production of magnetite later this year. David was a member of the Resource Tax Implementation Group that advised the Federal Treasury on drafting the MRRT legislation. There are so many complex tax issues facing the magnetite industry now” said Executive Director Megan Anwyl.

David said “Our key focus right now is continuing to urge the Federal Government to support the emerging magnetite industry with greater compensation through its carbon pricing scheme to safeguard regional jobs growth across Australia. Currently the Jobs and Competitiveness Program JCP assistance favours existing projects. WA projects have unique characteristics when compared with the existing projects and need to be given some certainty that there will be equity in provision of JCP assistance. “For that reason we are pursuing a supplementary allocation as has been provided to the LNG industry” he said.

“MagNet supports proper compensation for the existing projects of Grange Resources and OneSteel but is completely dismayed that the Gillard Government does not choose to offer equity to this emerging industry which is brand new for Western Australia.”

David also said “Existing producers are not really representative of the future of the magnetite industry, as typified by the $6 billion Sino Iron (Pilbara) and $2.6 billion Karara (MidWest) projects.”

“The government still appears oblivious to the perverse outcome of penalising a lower global emissions industry.  We have sought continually to work constructively to develop a solution to this challenge.”

Past ChairmanBill Mackenzieis Managing Director of the Asia Iron Group of companies in Australia.

David said “Our past Chairman Bill Mackenzie has tirelessly worked to demonstrate that our fledgling industry is poised to deliver both massive employment and global carbon emissions savings and we thank him for all of his hard work.”

March 8th, 2012

Devil Creek opening a ‘landmark moment’ – Barnett

WESTERN Australia’s gas supply has received a 20 per cent boost in what is being hailed as a landmark moment for the state.

Premier Colin Barnett said the opening of Devil Creek also marked a milestone in WA’s emerging magnetite iron ore market.

“[This] project will provide natural gas to the Sino Iron project. That is a magnetite project, the first, large-scaled transformation of low-grade magnetite iron ore into an export product,” Mr Barnett said.

“So it’s an important gas project for the West Australian domestic market, and also a project that allows us to process low value iron ore.”

© The Sunday Times

For more on this story, go to Perth Now website

December 19th, 2011

Plenty riding on Anketell decision

By Kate Emery

If Premier Colin Barnett plans to meet his end-of-year deadline for a decision on how a new port at Anketell Point will be developed, he has just two weeks to make a decision.

There’s plenty riding on the outcome and it’s not just the future of Aquila Resources’ West Pilbara iron ore project, although the Tony Poli-headed miner has arguably the most to win or lose.

Forge Resources became the latest to join the Anketell queue last week after agreeing to pay Atlas Iron $40 million for its Balla Balla magnetite project. Yes, Forge is also looking into whether trans-shipping out of Balla Balla harbour could work but in the meantime its hand is up for space at the yet-to-be-built Pilbara port and it’s not alone.

India’s NMDC, too, will be watching the process closely as it continues to talk to Atlas about taking a slice of its other magnetite project, Ridley. Given how closely the Pilbara’s miners have historically guarded their infrastructure it would scarcely be a surprise if NMDC wants some kind of reassurance over Anketell before it commits to a deal…

© WA Newspapers

For more go to The West Australian website

November 17th, 2011

Future depends on port upgrade

By Frances Thornton, The Kalgoorlie Miner
The future of mining in the Goldfields and Yilgarn and, arguably, the Mid West depends on the upgrade of the Esperance Port, according to industry leader Megan Anwyl.

The Magnetite Network founder says improving port infrastructure is “absolutely critical”, particularly for the emerging magnetitie producers in the Yilgarn iron province.

©WA Newspapers Ltd

For more go to The Kalgoorlie Miner website


November 4th, 2011

Tensions mount as MRRT debate begins

03-Nov-2011 by AAP Dan Wilkie
Parliament has begun debating legislation for the minerals resource rent tax, amid calls from Andrew Forrest for the federal government to reveal the scale of deductions given to the big miners, and vocal lobbying from business groups and small cap miners demanding exemptions from the tax.

A group of small and medium-sized miners met with independent MPs in Canberra today to explain their opposition to the tax.

Magnetite Network executive director Megan Anwyl said magnetite producers would continue to persist with efforts to gain an exemption from the mining tax.

“It is not logical to impose a new compliance burden on an industry that, in the Minister’s own words, will be liable for little or no tax,” Ms Anwyl said.

“Many projects are actively seeking finance and if there’s no tax revenue to be had, why include magnetite at all?

“Not only do magnetite companies face significant and unnecessary compliance costs, but the mining tax, in addition to the carbon tax, compounds investor uncertainty and causes negative sentiment.”…

For more go to WA Business News website

November 4th, 2011

Small miners’ tax case should not be ignored

4 November 2011

The independents in Federal Parliament have an important choice in front of them. As the small iron ore miners lift the intensity of their lobbying against the mineral resources rent tax in Canberra this week, the MPs will have to decide whether to support the Government’s tax, with all its inequities, or hold out for something fairer for all concerned.

©WA Newspapers Ltd

For more, go to The West Australian website

November 2nd, 2011

Ferguson says dealing with independents on mining tax ‘part of democratic process’

By Babs McHugh and Michael Condon

It cost the leadership of one Prime Minister and has stretched the resolve of another. Now the mineral resource rent tax (MRRT) is before Federal Parliament, a year after it was first introduced.

The controversial legislation is likely to be mired in the political process for some time, despite Federal Government assertions there will be no changes to the framework it agreed to with BHP Billiton, Xstrata and Rio Tinto.

The MRRT is far from a done deal. To pass the House of Representatives, it needs the support of four cross-benchers, including three independents, and they all have their demands.

Independents Andrew Wilkie (Denison,Tasmania) and Rob Oakeshott (Lyne, NSW) want protection for smaller mining companies which they say are being treated unfairly in terms of the asset write-downs that have been agreed to under the deal.

Mr Ferguson says while some sections of the mining industry maintain the tax discriminates against them, the bill addresses issues such as the lower profit thresholds and the high costs of increasing the ferrous content of low quality iron ore, magnetite.

“When you go through it, you will see that magnetite pays little or no tax, because at the point of taxation, the dirt that is then used for huge processing – which adds the value – is of little value itself…

©Australian Broadcasting Corporation

For more go to ABC website

October 10th, 2011

Deepwater Dreaming: SA iron ore stymied by glacial port progress

South Australia is chock full of minerals. Iron ore is amongst the most bountiful. But for as long as there is no deepwater port, the question remains over whether the state can capitalise on the commodity’s boom before it goes bust. Mike Foley reports.

Rendering of the floating harbour being developed by Sea Transport Corp and IronClad.

If as many dollars had been spent on developing South Australia’s infrastructure as words printed decrying its lack, there’s every chance the state’s claims to becoming Australia’s next major iron ore province would have already been realised.

Explorers and miners alike need the certainty of ready access to export facilities before they stump up to begin production. But where does the money for construction come from if there are no exports?

Currently, there is no answer. South Australia is a perfect example of the chicken and egg scenario confronting prospective mining regions.

©Australian Journal of Mining

For more, go to Australian Journal of Mining website

September 29th, 2011

Iron ore discovery boost for local industry

Centrex Metals says a significant discovery of more iron ore at its deposits on Lower Eyre Peninsula should help boost the prospects for mining in the region.

The company says an extra 135 million tonnes of magnetite has been found at its Fusion project.

©Australian Broadcasting Corporation

For more, go to ABC Website

September 23rd, 2011

Mining lobby wants magnetite tax exemption

The Federal Government is being urged to exclude magnetite from the minerals resource rent tax or risk stifling a potentially-lucrative industry.

The South Australian Chamber of Mines and Energy says there are magnetite prospects across Eyre Peninsula, throughout the north of the state and in the Braemar region towards Broken Hill in western New South Wales.

Chamber chief executive Jason Kuchel says there would be little or no benefit in the Government taxing that particular sector.

“The way the taxation is currently drafted, it would be likely that there would be a number of projects in South Australia that wouldn’t in fact proceed in relation to magnetite,” he said.

©Australian Broadcasting Corporation

For more, go to ABC News website

September 7th, 2011

Give us a chance, say magnetite miners

MAGNETITE iron ore companies planning projects worth about $20 billion say the Gillard government is ignoring the fledgling sector’s demands for “realistic” levels of compensation under the looming carbon tax scheme.

Twelve magnetite companies in Western Australia, South Australia, Tasmania and NSW claim the government’s failure to support the magnetite industry could cost thousands of regional jobs and discourage downstream processing in Australia.

Magnetite Network chairman Bill Mackenzie said the emerging industry would save global carbon emissions when compared to the use of traditional hematite ore, and deserved more federal assistance.

Mr Mackenzie said although lower-grade magnetite required energy-guzzling processing before it could be exported, the early emissions in Australia would be more than offset by carbon savings in the overall steel-making process when compared to hematite.
“Unfortunately, by virtue of energy-intensive onshore processing, Australian magnetite producers would be unfairly penalised by a domestic carbon price,” he said.

©The Australian.

For more, go to The Australian website

August 31st, 2011

Solar farm for Mid-West

Verve Energy, First Solar and GE Energy Financial Services have announce that Australia’s first utility-scale solar power project is under way.

Output from the 10-megawatt project on 80 hectares of cleared land 50km southeast of Geraldton will contribute to offsetting the energy requirements of the Southern Seawater Desalination Plant.

Western Australian state-owned power utility Verve Energy and GE Energy Financial Services will each own 50 percent of the Greenough River Solar Farm, with the WA Government providing A$20 million, including A$10 million from the WA Royalties for Regions program. No debt will be raised to fund the project.

The WA Water Corporation, which is building the Southern Seawater Desalination Plant, has committed to purchase 100 percent of the solar farm’s output.

First Solar has agreed to supply the project with over 150,000 of its advanced thin film photovoltaic (PV) modules and provide engineering, procurement and construction services, in addition to operations and maintenance support once the solar farm is operational. The agreement is subject to the satisfaction of certain statutory requirements.

Welcoming the go-ahead for this green project, Verve Energy General Manager Strategy and Business Development Tony Narvaez said: “The solar farm is important for Verve Energy, for Western Australia and for the local renewable energy sector. It enhances Verve Energy’s reputation as a renewable energy innovator.”

The solar farm will be the first utility-scale PV project in Australia, 10 times larger than any other operating solar project in the country.

Taking advantage of the area’s vast dry, flat and sunny conditions, it is expected to be fully operational mid next year.

“This announcement demonstrates the significant potential for renewable energy generation – especially utility-scale solar in WA and throughout Australia,” said Jim Brown, President of Utility Systems Business Group for First Solar.

“We’re pleased to bring our expertise in advanced PV technology and utility-scale solar deployment to Verve Energy and GE Energy Financial Services to deliver this groundbreaking project.”

For GE Energy Financial Services, the project represents its first renewable energy investment in Australia, adding to its global portfolio of more than US$400 million of solar power equity and debt investments in 42 projects.

“This transaction enables us to apply our renewable energy investment expertise to a new market, add to our portfolio of projects with First Solar and to GE’s broader work with Verve Energy,” said Jason Willoughby, GE Energy Financial Services’ Australia business leader.

“This project also will support GE’s ecomagination program, in our aim to help customers meet their environmental challenges.”

Providing clean, affordable and sustainable energy to partially power the Southern Seawater Desalination Plant, near the town of Binningup, the solar project is expected to create more than 50 construction jobs. The project, which will produce energy when it is most needed – during the day, will displace 25,000 tonnes per year of greenhouse gas emissions, the equivalent of taking 5,000 cars off the road.

Western Australia requires new desalination plants to use power generated from renewable sources. The state’s primary supplier of water, wastewater and drainage services, the Water Corporation, will purchase the power generated by the solar farm for the Southern Seawater Desalination Plant. The plant will produce about 50 gigalitres of potable water per year.
©Verve Energy: Verve Energy website

May 1st, 2011

New Braemar Alliance

COMPANIES with magnetite projects worth more than $10 billion have joined forces.

A consortium of iron ore explorers within an iron ore province west of Broken Hill and stretching across the border area of South Australia and New South Wales (NSW) has formed an alliance to promote common infrastructure development for mining and to advance their common interests.

Announcing the creation of the Braemar Iron Alliance during the inaugural Resources and Energy Symposium in Broken Hill, NSW, spokesman Andrew Woskett identified strong alignment between a number of listed and privately owned mineral exploration companies with tenements along the extensive Braemar Iron Formation.

The formation stretches for about 250km from Peterborough in SA to Broken Hill in NSW. It is rapidly emerging as potentially Australia’s next major iron ore province.

©The Asia Miner

For more, go to: The Asia Miner

December 22nd, 2010

CME welcomes mining tax changes but magnetite miners not so pleased

Proposed changes to the Minerals Resource Rent Tax have been welcome by the WA Chamber of Minerals and Energy.

The Federal Government’s Policy Transition Group or P-T-G has recommended 94 changes to the proposed tax.

They include crediting state royalty payments against the MRRT due to the Commonwealth and calculating the tax due when the ore is dug out of the ground rather than when it’s sold.

CME Chief Executive Reg Howard-Smith says while the Chamber doesn’t want a new tax, if the tax is imposed, the recommendations are a good base for further negotiations.

West Australian magnetite miners say they are disappointed with proposed changes to the Minerals Resource Rent Tax.

©Australian Broadcasting Corporation

For more, go to ABC website

October 10th, 2010

Magnetite miners form tax alliance

By Andrew Burrell

The strategy comes as they prepare to tell the government panel charged with designing the mineral resources rent tax they should be excluded from the impost.

A meeting was held in Perth yesterday between the Magnetite Network, the Geraldton Iron Ore Alliance and the West Australian Chamber of Minerals and Energy with the aim of presenting a united front to the panel later this week.

Among the magnetite miners potentially affected by the tax are Chinese-owned Citic Pacific, Sinosteel Midwest and Extension Hill, along with Australian-listed Gindalbie Metals, Atlas Iron and Grange Resources.

©The Australian

For more, go to The Australian website

October 10th, 2010

Ferguson consults with miners over tax

By Babs McHugh

Federal Resources Minister Martin Ferguson appears to have taken a more conciliatory approach to negotiations with Australia’s miners over tax.
He’s in Perth with members of the Policy Committee into the mineral resource rent tax (MRRT) and has met with lobby groups and individual companies.
His last trip to Perth was marred by a confrontational lunch with angry mining executives, who questioned the deal he struck with BHP Billiton, Xstrata and Rio Tinto to tax only coal and iron ore.
One issue that rankles with smaller companies is the $50 million threshold at which the tax kicks in, and although Mr Ferguson won’t promise a change, he says it will be considered…(Please click on link below for full article)

…Meanwhile, magnetite miners are appealing to the Government for exemption from the proposed tax.
The issue was discussed yesterday in Perth with the Government’s policy transition group, lead by BHP Billiton’s Don Argus and Mr Ferguson.
The executive director of the magnetite network, Megan Anwyl, says the value of this particular type of iron ore before it’s processed is too low.
“Iron ores are different. We say that magnetite should be exempt from the tax on the basis that the Government is talking about taxing the value as it comes out of the ground,” she says.
“There’s very little value to magnetite ore as it comes out of the ground. It’s only after the very expensive, intense processing that it acquires some value.”
©Australian Broadcasting Corporation

For more, go to ABC website