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Parliamentary Questions

Question Without Notice No. 419 asked in the Legislative Council on 17 May 2018 by Hon Robin Scott

Minister responding: Hon W.J. Johnston
Parliament: 40 Session: 1
Answered on 17 May 2018


419. Hon ROBIN SCOTT to the minister representing the Minister for Mines and Petroleum:

I refer to a story in the Kalgoorlie Miner today—Thursday, 17 May—stating that the minister was ''blindsided'' by the closure of the Cleveland–Cliffs Koolyanobbing iron ore mine site.

(1) Was the minister not aware that Koolyanobbing was closing down at the end of the year anyway?

(2) Can the minister confirm that concerns were raised in Parliament about the future of jobs at the Esperance port should the Koolyanobbing mine site close, along with the nearby Carina mine site?

(3) Will the minister confirm that he had the power and authority to grant permission to Mineral Resources Ltd to create two new mine sites in the Yilgarn region, therefore maintaining mining jobs and Esperance port jobs?

(4) Does the minister expect to be blindsided again in the near future?


I thank the member for the question. The Minister for Mines and Petroleum provides the following information.

(1)–(2) The minister was made aware that Cleveland–Cliffs' Koolyanobbing iron ore operation would be closing and ceasing production at the end of 2018. The minister's comments to the media were in reference to Cliffs bringing forward the timing of the closure of the operation to June, from the original time line provided by Cliffs. The McGowan government is working diligently with all interested parties to facilitate an agreement regarding the future of operations at Koolyanobbing.

(3) The minister has various powers under the Mining Act 1978; however, the Minister for Environment decided, on environmental reasons, not to approve mining at the Bungalbin East and Jackson JS sites under the Environmental Protection Act 1986.

(4) The Department of Mines, Industry Regulation and Safety provides regular briefings and updates about projects and industry developments.