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ITOCHU and Mitsui to Expand Supply Capacity of Western Australia Iron Ore Operations
 

Tokyo, Feb 7, 2012 (JCN) - ITOCHU Corp. and Mitsui & Co. Ltd have approved the pre-commitment funding for the outer harbour facility associated with the Western Australia iron ore operations, which are run as joint ventures with BHP Billiton (Australia & UK). The pre-commitment funding totals $917 million with the ITOCHU and Mitsui share at approximately $138 million.

The decision is in line with the expansion project to increase the installed port capacity by 100 million tons per year through the construction of outer harbour shipment facilities at Port Hedland and landside infrastructures including stockyards and a rail spur. The pre-commitment funding will enable the progress of feasibility studies and the procurement of long lead-time items, and will allow dredging to begin subject to necessary regulatory approvals. In parallel with this work, engineering studies are underway to match mine and rail expansions to the expanded port capacity.

The project is expected to be reviewed for full approval in the fourth quarter of calendar year 2012 and start-up is expected in the first half of calendar year 2016. This project has an embedded option to expand by another 100 million tons per year.

By Chris Lui Staff Writer

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