Sinosteel Midwest Corporation shipped 60,000 tonnes of iron ore from Koolanooka Blue Hills on Thursday to Geraldton to mark the historic event of being the first 100% Chinese owned company to export Australian iron ore back to the steel mills in China.
Many dignitaries including West Australian Premier Colin Barnett and federal MP Gary Gray were at the port awaiting the iron ore carrier MV Hai Lang. However the ship was not allowed to dock as the harbormaster allowed a BP oil carrier which had been waiting longer than MV Hai Lang to berth.
The ceremony planned to mark the occasion went ahead without the ship. Mr Barnett who was also celebrating his 60th birthday ignored the embarrassing delay and praised Sinosteel. Sinosteel has revived the mine after it was closed by previous owners in the 1960s.
Sinosteel is also looking to finance its massive Weld Range direct shipping ore project in Western Australia by early next year. The company acquired Perth based Midwest Corporation in 2008. It has spent $140 million in studies over the last 3 years drilling at Weld Range, located 65 km south west of Meekatharra.