Aquila Resources and Fortescue Metals have teamed-up to study the joint development of port facilities at Anketell Point in Pilbara, Western Australia.

The port is of prime importance for the development of an export iron ore operation at the West Pilbara iron ore project.

The agreement calls for the sharing of capital expenditure and environmental study efforts to facilitate quicker government approvals, according to Aquila.

The development of the port would reduce operating costs through improved efficiency and the utilisation of facilities, the company said.

The port facilities will be also be opened to other iron ore miners in the region, allowing developers to participate in the port development programme, which will accommodate up to 350 million tonnes of iron ore exports a year.