Hon Bill Marmion BE MBA MLA

Hon Bill Marmion BE MBA MLA

Former Minister for State Development; Transport; Innovation

    Atlas Iron qualifies for royalty relief package

    22/05/2015 12:00 AM
    • Second recipient of junior miner rebate scheme
    • Support backs jobs and communities 

    The State Government's temporary iron ore royalty assistance program has been extended to Atlas Iron today, the second Western Australian mining company to qualify for relief as it restructures operations in challenging market conditions.


    Mines and Petroleum Minister Bill Marmion said Atlas Iron would receive support, in the form of a 50 per cent rebate on eligible haematite iron ore royalties for up to 12 months, subject to the ore price remaining below an average of $A90 per tonne over the period.


    "This company and its supporters have been working very hard to maintain its Pilbara operations," Mr Marmion said.


    "I am sure that qualifying for this temporary royalty relief will help build on the already extensive efforts to secure workers' jobs."


    Despite recent difficulties, the iron ore sector continues to produce more than 70 per cent of WA's mineral exports by value and employs almost 60,000 people.


    "While our relief scheme effectively defers half of a miner's royalty obligations for a year, it's important to note that the remaining 50 per cent continues a significant royalty flow to the State," the Minister said.


    "In the case of Atlas, the scheme no doubt reinforces the company's capacity to keep operating, helping secure the livelihoods of hundreds of Western Australian families."


    At the conclusion of the assistance period, rebates will be fully repayable within two years, with repayments to be made in accordance with a schedule negotiated between the producers and the Minister for Mines and Petroleum.


    "Decisions to enter into royalty rebate agreements are based on detailed financial analysis, including a company's capacity to make repayments," Mr Marmion said.


    "Assistance is provided only after individual companies sign a funding agreement, which provides extensive protection for the State."


    Requests for royalty relief are assessed by the Department of Mines and Petroleum on a case-by-case basis, overseen by an independent probity auditor, and approved by the Minister.


    Fact File

    • The rebate takes effect from the December quarter 2014 royalty payment
    • In April, BC Iron Ltd was the first recipient of the iron ore royalty relief package
    • Royalties for Regions (RfR) will fund 25% of the cost of the payments, with this amount to be re-appropriated to RfR following repayment of the rebates
    • All royalty rebates must be repaid to the State Government by December 31, 2017 

    Minister's office - 6552 6800