Grange Resources has blamed slow moving approvals processes and the global economic downturn for the decision to push back production at its $1.6 billion Southdown iron ore venture in Western Australia.
According to Grange Resources managing director Russell Clark, the approvals process has been a significant hurdle in the project’s development.
“I was expecting by the end of June to be able to announce that we had all of the necessary permits,” he told MINING DAILY.
“But here we are in July and we are still waiting.”
Grange Resources is waiting for approvals from the Environmental Protection Authority for the deepening of a channel at the Albany port near Southdown.
Clark said that the WA approvals process needs to be accelerated more than anything else.
“I don’t think there is a problem with the approvals process, but I feel that it takes too long,” he said.
“We have been through an exhaustive appeals process, then we get to the point where we are told that the permits are two or three weeks away.
“Then two or three weeks go by and they are still weeks away.”
Clark believes that without the requisite approval permits in place a company is severely disadvantaged in moving its business forward.
“It sounds very obvious when you say it,” he said.
“Having the permits helps your company’s stock price and actually provides the basis from which you can raise money.”