Environmental Protection Authority Recommends Approval of Oakajee Rail Project

Environmental Protection Authority Recommends Approval of Oakajee Rail Project

Murchison Metals is pleased to advise that the Environmental Protection Authority of Western Australia has recommended approval of the proposed Oakajee Port & Rail terrestrial iron ore port development and associated rail infrastructure in the State’s mid-west region.

The EPA determined that development of the proposed 45 million tonnes per annum Oakajee port, 24 kilometres north of Geraldton, and associated heavy-haulage railway extending 570km north-east to the Jack Hills iron ore project could be managed to meet the EPA’s objectives.

The recommendation covers all land-based iron ore handling, storage and ancillary infrastructure at the proposed Oakajee port, as well as all associated rail infrastructure. State environmental approval of the marine components of the Oakajee deepwater port was granted in February 1998.

The EPA’s recommendation will now be considered by the WA Minister for Environment. Murchison expects receipt of final State environmental approvals by mid 2011.

Murchison holds a 50% economic interest in OPR, the owner and developer of both the port and rail projects. Murchison also holds a 50 per cent in interest in Crosslands Resources Ltd, the owner of the Jack Hills project which is expected to become the single biggest user of OPR’s infrastructure services.

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Murchison Executive Chairman Paul Kopejtka welcomed the EPA’s recommendation as a key step toward development of the Oakajee port and rail infrastructure project.

“The EPA’s favourable recommendation marks another key milestone in the development of vital export infrastructure needed to establish the mid-west as a world-class iron ore exporting region,” he said.

“With bankable feasibility studies for OPR’s port and rail projects on track for completion in the June Quarter 2011, we look forward to developing these assets in the best interests of everyone involved, including the mid-west miners, the people and Government of Western Australia and our shareholders.”

First exports through the Oakajee port are anticipated in late 2014/ early 2015.

The EPA’s recommendation is subject to several conditions relating to the management of noise, dust, native vegetation and habitat. Full details of the EPA’s recommendation can be found at http://www.epa.wa.gov.au.

Murchison notes the EPA’s commendation of the “high quality environmental information” provided by OPR.