THE Port of Portland will research the future demand for magnetite iron ore in China before pushing ahead with major infrastructure plans linking the port with proposed mining developments near Broken Hill.
The Port of Portland and senior State Government bureaucrats have been in discussions with mining company Carpentaria Exploration exploring the possibility of developing the infrastructure needed to transport resource from the proposed mines near Broken Hill to Portland for export.
Investigations have focussed on establishing a new rail link between Broken Hill and Mildura, standardising the rail line from Mildura to Lascelles, and establishing a new rail line from Lascelles to Hopetoun, linking it to Portland.
Major upgrades would also have to happen at the port in relation to rail infrastructure and dredging the harbour to enable Capesize bulk carriers to berth.
PoP chief executive officer Jim Cooper said research needed to be done on the demand for the magnetite iron ore in China before pushing ahead with any plans.
“We know the infrastructure needed is going to cost the Victorian Government hundreds of millions of dollars, and the upgrades needed to develop an export facility at the port for the resource will also cost us hundreds of millions of dollars,” he said.
“Before we start committing ourselves to that type of expenditure and going into partnership with Carpentaria for the next 35 years, we need to know the Chinese will buy this resource into the future.
“China is the only country that uses magnetite to make steel … other countries such as India and South Korea use hematite.”
Read more in Friday’s edition of the Portland Observer.