Overwhelming demand from West Australian Midwest miners has ensured that Oakajee port will meet initial capacity of 35 million tonnes annually, Oakajee Port and Rail (OPR) have announced.
Developer OPR has stated that support from the Midwest miners means that it has surpassed the initial stage one allocation, potentially allowing OPR to develop beyond stage two.
The call for capacity nominations was undertaken as part of feasibility studies for the port, which are expected to be completed by the end of this year.
Receiving nominations for tonnage in excess of stage one’s 35 million tonnes “takes the project to a whole new level of confidence in terms of economic viability,” OPR chief executive John Langoulant said.
He went on to express the critical role the State and Commonwealth Governments played in Oakajee’s development.
Miners reported to have looked at securing tonnage are Murchinson Metals and Gindalbie Metals, as well as Golden West Resources and Midwest Corporation.
OPR is now carrying out further analysis on tonnage nominations, including financing and volumes, to determine allocation of stage one tonnages.
A number of miners have reportedly already expressed interest in the port’s capacity at stage two.
OPR is currently focused on finalising its supply chain agreements and completing its feasibility studies.
The port has forecast that it will start operations in late 2013 or early 2014.