Councillors vote yes on increased exports

Taylar AmoniniNorth West Telegraph

The Town of Port Hedland council has publicly voted to support BHP Billiton’s application to amend their license to export iron ore.

The amendment will see a 5 million tonnes per annum increase to the mining giants current export license, allowing them to export 275mtpa of iron ore out of Port Hedland.

Previously, council had taken a hard-line approach to the initial application for expansion until such time in which BHP Billiton could provide more information on how dust mitigation would occur and said it would not support the increased activities until port users had mitigated any potential health impacts.

Mayor Camilo Blanco said since the previous application there have been “serious discussions” held with key stakeholders and BHP on dust mitigation.

“It is extremely important to ensure continued operations at BHP, one of Port Hedland’s largest providers of employment, but this does not mean that the dust problem in the area has taken a back seat,” Mayor Blanco said.

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“Since their last application was opposed, we have seen BHP and other companies working well towards reducing the impacts of dust with positive results and we will continue to work towards a solution to this major issue,” he said.

Council has resolved to continue discussions with BHP, the Port Hedland Industry Council and the WA Government to determine a long term solution to the dust issues in the West End, and to reserve its position on future amendments to BHP’s licencing until they see progress.

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