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.

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