Barnett tells FMG and Aquila to bury differences

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WA Premier Colin Barnett has told Fortescue Metals Group and Aquila Resources to bury their differences and work together to from a new port in WA.

According to PerthNow Barnett said he did not like the idea of another mining company controlling new port developments.

"I’m not going to have one iron ore company control a port and hold another iron ore company to ransom," he told reporters.

"The two companies need to come together — my suggestion to them is that they join together to form a new entity".

Both Aquila and FMG have had disagreements over the size and development of the new port planned 30 kilometres east of Karratha.

The project’s broad plans are to develop a multi-user, multi-commodity port capable of exporting 350mtpa of ore.

According to PerthNow FMG and Aquila have been discussing possible joint-venture proposals but have not yet come to an agreement.

‘This is not a competition for Anketell, even though some of the companies may portray it that way," Barnett said.

Limited export capacity remains one of the most important issues facing the Pilbara iron ore industry.

While FMG recently announced it was soon expecting approval for a new berth at Port Hedland, the port’s capacity is starting to fall behind the production increases on the mines.

BHP Billiton has opted to solve the problem through the development of its Port Hedland outer harbour project.

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