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Monday, 24 May 1965

Senator PALTRIDGE - The Minister for National Development has supplied the following answers - 1 and 2. At present nearly all the iron ore being commercially mined in Australia for use in iron and steel making is under the control of the Broken Hill Pty. Co. Ltd. which mines iron ore from

Yampi Sound in Western Australia and from Middleback Ranges in South Australia. The WoodDistillation, Charcoal-Iron and Steel Industry, a Western Australian Government instrumentality, mines relatively smaller amounts from Koolyanobbing in Western Australia.

Besides the concerns mentioned in the previous paragraph, there are various companies which have announced their intention of mining iron ore in the next few years for export to Japan.I understand that, with one exception, these companies have not yet been officially granted a mining lease; this, of course, is a matter for the Government of the State concerned. (a) The companies which have obtained contracts for export of iron ore are -

Western Mining Corporation Ltd. has a contract for the sale to Japanese steel mills of 5.1 million tons. Western Mining Corporation has been joined in its project by overseas interests which have taken a50 per cent, interest.

Mount Goldsworthy Mining Associates has a contract for sale to Japan of 16.5 million tons. At present this company is whollyowned by overseas interests but it has been reported that Australians will be given a 20 per cent, equity interest.

Hamersley Iron Pty. Ltd. has a contract for sale to Japan of 65 million tons. This company is almost wholly-owned by overseas interests. Conzinc Riotinto of Australia Ltd., (which has a 60 per cent, interest in Hammersley Iron) is at present about 90 per cent, owned overseas, but I understand that this is being reduced to 85 per cent. The remaining 40 per cent, interest in Hammersley Iron is held by the Kaiser Steel Corporation.

Mr NewmanIron Ore Co. Ltd. has a contract for the sale to Japan of 100 million tons. This company is 50 per cent, owned by overseas interests.

Cleveland-Cliffs Iron Co. has exchanged letters of intent with the Japanese steel mills indicating an intention of the Japanese to purchase 71.4 million tons of iron ore pellets. On the information available this company will be substantially overseas owned.

The quantity of iron ore covered by the contracts or letters of intent referred to above represent a total of less than 300 million tons which would represent no more than 2 per cent, of Australian known resources of iron ore. Other companies are still negotiating with the Japanese steel mills for export contracts. One such company is Pickands Mather of the United States of America which is interested in the development of the Savage River iron ore deposit in Tasmania, in association with Japanese interests. I understand that some Australian equity will be invited to participate in this venture butI have no details as to the actual extent. (b) The only company with firm plans for manufacturing pig iron and/or steel is the Broken Hill Pty. Co. Ltd. Both Hamersley Iron and Mount Newman Iron Ore Co. have agreements with the Western Australian Government that envisage the ultimate manufacture of pig iron and steel, but on present indications this will not happen for at least 25 years or so.

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