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AUD2.3bn Port Development Project Approved In Australia

by Mary Swire,, Hong Kong

23 March 2009

Oakajee Port and Rail (OPR) has announced that it has signed a State Development Agreement with the government of Western Australia for the construction of a multibillion dollar, mid-west integrated, bulk commodity supply chain.

Execution of the State Development Agreement is a critical milestone for the project, delivering certainty to both OPR and the State on the key arrangements underpinning its development.

It marks an historic day for the mid-west and for Western Australia, providing the springboard for the development of major iron ore mines, other resource projects in the region and underpinning the State government’s Oakajee Industrial Estate.

Murchison Metals Limited and Mitsubishi Development Pty Ltd (Mitsubishi), a subsidiary of Mitsubishi Corporation of Japan, each hold a 50% economic interest in OPR.

Jun Kinukawa, Executive Vice President of Mitsubishi Corporation said the project had international importance, unlocking the riches of a major but largely untapped mineral province.

“We have supported and played a key role in developing this outstanding project because of its economic importance and significance in the international marketplace, and we look forward to seeing the project develop quickly over the next several years,” he remarked

According to OPR, shareholders Mitsubishi and Murchison committed substantial funding to complete the next phase of the project, the bankable feasibility study, which is scheduled over the next 12 months.

Murchison Metals Executive Chairman Paul Kopejtka said the State Development Agreement was a triumph for the outstanding effort and commitment of those who had shared the vision of Oakajee and the development of the mid-west iron ore province over the past 5 years, commenting:

“This is a great day for OPR, for its shareholders and for the people of the mid-west who will now see huge benefits for their region from the development of this extraordinary project.”

The State Development Agreement grants OPR the exclusive right to develop both the Oakajee port and the associated rail infrastructure north of Mullewa, ensuring there is a coordinated and seamless supply chain for mid-west exporters.

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