Barnett not worried by Vale move into WA

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Western Australian Premier Colin Barnett says he is not worried about a possible move by Brazilian iron ore giant Vale into WA.

According to AAP Barnett said he had no concerns following reports Vale may have an interest in buying into the Yilgarn region in the state’s south.

“As a big producer, a big corporation providing capital and development of new projects, they’re as welcome as anyone else,” he said.

But Barnett said he would be concerned if the company was looking to “take over” Rio Tinto or BHP Billiton’s operations in the Pilbara.

Vale is reportedly eyeing the Yilgarn because of its proximity to China compared with its Brazilian assets.

The company has previously attempted to solve the distance problem with its fleet of $8 billion mega-ships.

Earlier this month the Chinese Government effectively banned the vessels citing safety concerns.

Barnett also told AAP he was more satisfied with WA’s iron ore industry after previously having concerns about a possible merger between BHP Billiton and Rio Tinto.

He said the industry was no longer dominated by Rio and BHP and smaller companies like Atlas Iron and Fortescue Metals Group had a significant presence in Pilbara iron ore.

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