Ports’ out­put pow­ers ahead de­spite lower iron ore prices

Pilbara News - - News - Ben Har­vey

The min­ing boom may be over, but don’t try telling the work­ers at Port Hed­land and the Port of Dampier.

The Pil­bara Ports Au­thor­ity, which runs the two ports, yesterday re­ported 633.5 mil­lion tonnes of ma­te­rial was ex­ported or im­ported through the two com­plexes dur­ing the last fi­nan­cial year.

In June alone, the au­thor­ity had 55.9mt of through­put loaded and un­loaded at the two ports — up 3 per cent on the same month in 2015.

While iron ore was not the only com­mod­ity ex­ported, the shift from mine con­struc­tion to pro­duc­tion in the Pil­bara helped Port Hed­land re­tain its crown as the world’s busiest port. Last fi­nan­cial year, iron ore ex­ports jumped by 14.6mt to 454.2mt and the ex­pan­sion ap­pears to be ac­cel­er­at­ing — the 41.8mt ex­ported last month was 9 per cent more than the same time last year.

Port au­thor­ity fig­ures show how one-sided the work was, with just 1.6mt im­ported, down 22 per cent over the year.

Dampier han­dled 173.1mt last year, up 200,000 tonnes on 2014-15.

Like Port Hed­land, Dampier ac­tiv­ity ac­cel­er­ated in June.

Pic­ture: Tom Zaun­mayr

Iron ore ships off the Pil­bara coast.

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