Jun 2, 2010

Major Project Facilitation status: West Pilbara Iron Ore

Major Project Facilitation status: West Pilbara Iron Ore

The Hon Anthony Albanese MP

The Minister for Infrastructure, Transport

Regional Development and Local Government

Leader of the House

Member for Grayndler

June 02 2010

I have granted Major Project Facilitation (MPF) status to the West Pilbara Iron Ore Project, underscoring the Rudd Labor Government’s efforts to support the investment that will position Australia to take full advantage of the global recovery.

The project is managed by API Management Pty Ltd on behalf the Australian Premium Iron Joint Venture which is owned by the Australian-based Aquila Resources Limited and the US-based American Metal and Coal International.

The $4 billion greenfield project aims to extract and commercialise 500 million tonnes of iron ore from the Pilbara. It will also involve the construction of a 275 kilometre heavy haulage railway and a new deepwater port at Anketell Point near Karratha, with the opportunity for third party access to both pieces of new infrastructure.

Subject to relevant approvals being granted, construction is expected to start next year, with the first exports due to shipped to overseas markets in 2013.

The project would also create up to 4,000 construction jobs and 1,000 ongoing positions, and generate annual export earnings in the order of $2 billion.

The Rudd Labor Government has granted or renewed MPF status to projects worth more than $50 billion with the potential to create up to 29,000 jobs across the vital sectors of infrastructure, mining, agribusiness and advanced manufacturing. ————

Background

The Major Project Facilitation program is administered by the Department of Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development and Local Government.

Under the program, the Department provides the project with a facilitation service to achieve quick and timely assistance from the Australian Government. The service ensures:

  • Access to information on government approval processes;
  • All relevant government processes are coordinated, including those of state and territory governments, so that as far as possible they occur simultaneously and without duplication;
  • Government agencies respond promptly to issues raised by the project proponent during the approval process; and
  • Assistance in identifying and accessing government programs is provided.
  • MPF status does not imply any Government guarantee for the commercial success or otherwise of the project, nor does it absolve the project from meeting less than the full statutory and other requisite criteria of relevant approval processes.

Proponents may apply to the Minister for MPF status if their proposed project meets the following three criteria:

1. The project is of strategic significance to Australia:

    • The project will significantly boost Australian industry innovation.

a. Increasing research and development (R&D) and commercialisation capability; and/or

b. A new application of skills and knowledge; and/or

c. Technology transfer; and/or

d. Cluster development.

    • Or, the project will have significant net economic benefit for regional Australia, taking account of a region’s investment needs.
    • Or, the project’s estimated investment exceeds A$50 million or makes a significant contribution to economic growth, employment and/or infrastructure.

2. It requires Australian Government approval(s) in order to proceed and/or significant Australian Government involvement through, for example, federal programs.

3. It has sufficient financial resources to complete the Australian Government approval(s) process and has demonstrated commercial viability.

Further details on the program are available from the Major Project Facilitation Unit within the Department of Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development and Local Government: GPO Box 594, CANBERRA, 2601 or telephone +61 2 6274 7251.

MPF Website: www.majorprojectfacilitation.gov.au