AMCI and POSCO sign deal to support $7bn iron ore project in Australia

11 September 2014 (Last Updated September 11th, 2014 18:30)

South Korean steel giant POSCO and private investor American Metals & Coal International (AMCI) have agreed to support China's Baosteel and Australian transport and logistics firm Aurizon to build rail lines and a port for the West Pilbara iron ore project (WPIOP) in Western Australia.

South Korean steel giant POSCO and private investor American Metals & Coal International (AMCI) have agreed to support China's Baosteel and Australian transport and logistics firm Aurizon to build rail lines and a port for the West Pilbara iron ore project (WPIOP) in Western Australia.

POSCO and AMCI are 50% owners of West Pilbara, whereas Baosteel and Aurizon recently acquired the remaining 50% stake in the project through the A$1.4bn ($1.26bn) takeover of Aquila Resources.

AMCI president Hans Mende said: "The agreement brings together parties that can genuinely underpin delivery of one of the most exciting resource projects on the globe.

"We know that the creation of world-class rail and port export infrastructure is critical to driving globally competitive exports and economic wealth for the country."

"We're committed to making this greenfield iron ore project a commercial reality and helping establish a new phase of economic investment in Australia."

The first stage of the WPIOP project involves the development of a new deep-water port at Anketell and a 280km rail line for transportation of around 40 million tonnes of iron ore a year from eight mining areas.

The infrastructure can further be expanded to handle additional capacity from the mines in future.

According to the Western Australian Government, the Anketell port has the capacity to export up to 350 million tonnes of cargo a year.

Aurizon managing director and CEO Lance Hockridge said: "Aurizon's job now is to deliver a commercially attractive and scalable infrastructure solution for Baosteel, AMCI and POSCO.

"We know that the creation of world-class rail and port export infrastructure is critical to driving globally competitive exports and economic wealth for the country."

Exports from the WPIOP are targeted in between 2017 and 2018.

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