Australia: Government Confirms State Development Agreement with OPR
Oakajee Port and Rail (OPR) will continue to be central to the development of mid-west port and rail infrastructure, with the State Government today confirming its support for the existing State Development Agreement (SDA) beyond 2011.
The SDA is the key agreement between the State and OPR, for the design, construction, commissioning and financing of a deepwater port at Oakajee and railway infrastructure to mid-west iron ore mines.
Amendments to the SDA include removal of a Sunset Date for the execution of Implementation Agreements. The State will also have the ability to consider negotiating with another proponent. OPR Chief Executive John Langoulant AO welcomed the continuation of the SDA and expected the recently proposed restructure of OPR’s ownership to deliver greater project certainty.
He said the announcement of Mitsubishi Development’s proposed acquisition of Murchison Metals Ltd’s interest in OPR’s assets was a particularly positive step.
“This project needs to be underpinned by suitably capitalised partners or investors and a long-term strategic view, aimed at maximising the opportunities for mid-west miners and the wider community,” Mr Langoulant said.
“Project planning, engineering and regulatory approvals are well advanced.”
He said OPR remained the most appropriate vehicle to deliver the project in a timely manner.
“We share the government’s long-held vision of an integrated bulk iron ore supply chain, based on the principle of open access for multiple mines, underpinning creation a mid-west mineral province,” Mr Langoulant said.
“OPR has developed a comprehensive and detailed technical solution – in accordance with government scoping requirements – for a high-capacity, sustainable integrated iron ore supply chain.
“The design and cost estimate have been subject to extensive independent peer review, including value engineering assessments.”
The State and OPR will continue to work toward finalising Implementation Agreements, the port services agreement, port lease, third party access regime and rail lease, and other relevant documents.
Dredging Today Staff, December 28, 2011; Image: opandr