Logistics, Ports & Terminals, Mining and Heavy Industries

Green light for Utah Point sale

Legislation allowing the sale of the Utah Point Bulk Handling Facility at Port Hedland has been passed by the WA Parliament.

WA treasurer Mark Nahan said on November 18 the Pilbara Port Assets (Disposal) Bill 2015 provided the legal framework for the Liberal National Government’s plans to transition the Utah Point facility, in Port Hedland, to the private sector via a long-term lease.

“The passage of this Bill enshrines in legislation the key elements necessary for the divestment of Utah Point,” Dr Nahan said.

“This is another important milestone in the Government’s asset sales program, which is aimed at improving the state’s fiscal position and increasing international competitiveness.”

The treasurer said the views of stakeholders, including the Association of Mining and Exploration Companies and junior miners as the key users of the facility, were considered extensively during committee proceedings through the parliamentary process.

“The State Government has responded to key findings and recommendations made by the Legislative Council’s Legislation Committee by amending the Bill to improve access protection for junior miners and agreeing to changes to the pricing model under the facility’s access and pricing regime,” he said.

The Bill imposes a 50% limit on the capacity to be able to be used by non-junior miners.

“This additional protection is an appropriate balance between protecting access for juniors while still allowing others to take up capacity if no juniors are able to – but only in those circumstances,” Dr Nahan said.

Nahan said the transaction phase of the proposed sale of Utah Point will start after the March 2017 state election.

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