WA extends port discount for junior miners

Atlas Iron, whichb has welcomed a decision to extend a discount to junior miners operating out of Port Hedland.

THE Western Australian government has extended the discount in port charges it offered to help junior miners cope with the downturn in iron ore prices.

The WA government has announced it will extend the discount on exports from the Utah Point facility in Port Hedland until June 30, 2017.

The $2.50 a tonne port charge discount from Stockyard 1 and the $1.73 discount from Stockyard 2, applicable for junior miners, was due to expire on June 30.

WA transport minister Dean Nalder said late on Tuesday the discount regime is being extended for another 12 months and being extended to manganese exports.

The state first announced the concession in May 2015 as part of its efforts to help junior iron miners cope with the sharp slump in the price of the steelmaking commodity. The discount is conditional on the iron ore price staying below $80 per tonne.

Struggling junior iron ore miner Atlas Iron, which is going through a financial restructuring, welcomed the decision and said it would benefit from the extension.

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