Budget support for junior explorers

AMEC chief executive Simon Bennison wants the new Federal Budget to address a lack of infrastructure for junior iron ore miners in WA.

Association of Mining and Exploration Companies (AMEC) chief executive Simon Bennison wants the new Federal Budget to address a lack of infrastructure for junior iron ore miners in Western Australia, The Herald Sun reports.

According to Bennison, a lack of port facilities for companies not able to arrange third-party port access in WA’s Pilbara region with BHP Billiton, Rio Tinto and Fortescue Metals Group is restricting junior miners.

These companies are awaiting a new multi-user bulk minerals export berth under development at Utah Point in Port Hedland.

Construction on the new port started in March and it is expected to be in use by the middle of 2010.

Despite this new infrastructure, more will be needed and the industry wants to see it addressed in the upcoming budget, Bennison said.

“We would like to see the Federal Government make some sort of commitment, an investment of some kind, to improve facilities and expand them,” he said.

“It’s a critical area. If they don’t start addressing the problem now, there are going to be diabolical problems down the track.”

The lack of port facilities is not the only infrastructure Bennsion wants to see quickly addressed.

“And also the ongoing process for access to the third party rail system,” he said

“We’re keen to fast-track that.”

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