Pilbara Ports Authority (PPA) has increased tonnage charges by 25 per cent at Port Hedland in Western Australia as part of the 2021-2022 state budget.
Port Hedland is the world’s largest bulk export port and ships iron ore for major miners including Fortescue, BHP and Roy Hill.
The fee increase will take an additional $195 million from miners over the next four years.
In the 2019-2020 financial year, PPA achieved a record annual throughput of 717.2 million tonnes at its ports, including Port Hedland, Dampier and Ashburton.
The record throughput was thanks to a surge of exports at Port Hedland, which had the highest annual throughput of all of PPA’s ports at 538.1 million tonnes.
Annual iron ore exports at the port were 531.5 million tonnes in the 2019-2020 financial year.
In December 2020, PPA said upgrades to its infrastructure and technology at Port Hedland had assisted growing iron ore export volumes.
Metocean monitoring equipment and simulation training were credited to the port’s higher capacity.
The PPA stated that $324.5 million has been spent at Port Hedland in the five years to 30 June 2020.
According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, iron ore achieved a record annual export revenue of $116 billion in 2020, making it the first commodity to break $100 billion in a boom year.
In May, the price of the commodity achieved a record $US230.56 ($294.52) per tonne, while Federal Minister for Resources, Water and Northern Australia Keith Pitt praised Australia’s iron ore industry for its economic support.
“Australia’s iron ore miners are some of the most efficient in the world, delivering record volumes of high-quality Australian iron ore to major trading partners across the globe,” Pitt said.
“Our major miners have made a concerted effort to bring down production costs over the last 10 years, and those efforts are paying off.”