West Australian Premier Colin Barnett has demanded BHP and Rio begin paying at least $300 million in iron ore royalties for their joint venture.
Giving the miners a 1 July deadline, the royalties would be part of the negotiations for approval of the key elements in the miners’ $150 billion Pilbara iron ore joint venture.
Barnett said that the royalties are a non-negotiable starting point for the progression of discussions for the two miners’ joint venture, with a number of issues to be probed. Full royalties should be paid on all mining production, he added.
This is in advance of actual regulatory approval.
While it is unlikely the State will stop the joint venture, changes to the mining agreements Rio and BHP have, will be required.
These agreements cover the gamut of infrastructure through to exploration permits and licences.
Barnett has stated that he is yet to receive a response.