West Pilbara iron ore project on hold

West Pilbara iron ore project on hold

Sydney: Another Australian iron ore project has been shelved amid the downturn in global iron ore prices.

Aurizon, ACMI and Asian steel mills Baosteel and Posco have put back their joint venture West Pilbara iron ore project – no final investment decision will made on the planned 40m tonne a year project until the end of 2016.

The $1.4bn investment involves a 400 km rail line and the development of Anketell port.

Aurizon chief executive Lance Hockridge has in the past mentioned that the West Pilbara project would be “very challenging” if the iron price is at $60 a tonne, its current price trading today.

Australian iron ore expansion plans have been slashed in the wake of the dramatic fall in iron ore prices.

ANZ has cut iron ore price forecasts for the next two years as a result of expanded low-cost supply and flat demand.

The bank says iron ore will average $55 a tonne in 2016, down $5 a tonne on earlier predictions.

In 2017, ANZ expects iron ore will fetch an average of $60 a tonne, down $3 a tonne.

For the rest of 2015, the iron ore price is expected to average $56 a tonne.

Sam Chambers

Starting out with the Informa Group in 2000 in Hong Kong, Sam Chambers became editor of Maritime Asia magazine as well as East Asia Editor for the world’s oldest newspaper, Lloyd’s List. In 2005 he pursued a freelance career and wrote for a variety of titles including taking on the role of Asia Editor at Seatrade magazine and China correspondent for Supply Chain Asia. His work has also appeared in The Economist, The New York Times, The Sunday Times and The International Herald Tribune.

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