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

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