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Tekla BIMsight

05 Nov 2012

$6 Billion Iron Ore Project Fails in Western Australia

As the world's industrialized nations struggle mightily to overcome the economic malaise that has affected every corner of the globe for the past four years, it becomes apparent that progress is beingHaul made.

It's true. Many of the most prominent nations, such as the United States, have seen increases in economic activity and more jobs produced.

Australia, a country that fared better than most over the past several years, continues to exhibit job growth and heightened consumer economic activity. But, all is not perfect in "the land down under."

A huge project in Western Australia, which has been "in the works" for the past ten years has literally collapsed.

It was announced this past Saturday that production of the Oakajee mine, port and rail network in Western Australia, a critically important undertaking for the region and a project with an immense six billion dollar price tag has ended abruptly.

Western Australia's Premier, Colin Barnett, issued a public statement about the sudden end of the project which, most analysts agree, signals the end of the mining boom in that part of the vast country.

The Oakajee Project, if completed, would have opened up a huge iron ore export "terminal" in Western Australia and would have helped to greatly expand the local economy by creating many jobs.

Japanese giant, Mitsubishi, attributed the project's failure to weaker commodity prices. That said, the huge oriental company tried to get China to invest billions of dollars into the Oakajee development to save it. The Chinese, while seemingly interested, declined to put up the money.

Premier Colin Barnett, who has stated many times that the completion of the project would positively impact Western Australia, economically, of course, for the next fifty years also said that he is not giving up on getting the work done to open this very important mine.

He completed his public ccomments by letting listeners know that this key project will still get completed.

Workers in Western Australia hope that he is right. There are hundreds of jobs at stake. What's more, if the mine opens and puts people to work they will obviously spend money at local retail stores. And that will help boost the local economy, as well.

Australia was not hur too badly by the worldwide economic meltdown of the past few years. Western Australia weathered the slowdown in economic activity very well and continues to do well today.

The region can survive without the completion of the Oakajee Project. But, it can do much, much better if this mine opens for business.

Time will tell if Premier Colin Barnett is right when he says the work will be completed.

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