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Tuesday, 20 November 1973
Page: 3571

Mr BENNETT (SWAN, WESTERN AUSTRALIA) asked the Minister for Minerals and Energy, upon notice:

(1)   What was the contract price per ton of iron ore in respect of all contracts ex Western Australia up to December 1972.

(2)   Have any of these contracts been negotiated; if so, what is the comparable price per ton.

(3)   How has currency revaluation affected each of these contracts.

Mr Connor - The answer to the honourable member's question is as follows:

(1)   In my statement of 23 February 1973 announcing that the Australian Government had imposed export controls on all minerals, I emphasised that the contracts and related information provided to the Government by exporters of minerals would be treated in the strictest confidence. I am therefore unable to provide the honourable member with the information from the contracts held by my Department. However, I would refer the honourable member to the chapter on iron ore in the Australian Mineral Industry 1971 Review issued earlier this year by the Bureau of Mineral Resources. Table 5 (pp. 176, 177) of that chapter provides details taken from published reports of Australian iron ore and iron ore pellet contracts with overseas steel mills.

(2)   and (3) Most of the long term contracts for Australian iron ore and pellets contain provision for periodic review of prices. Where the provision was for a price review this year, negotiations have already been completed or have commenced. I would also refer the honourable member to my statement of 29 May 1973 in which I announced that the Australian iron ore producers had reached agreement with the Japanese steel industry for an increase in prices which would provide substantial relief for the affected companies who had sought compensation from the Japanese steel industry following devaluation of the United States dollar.

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