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FMG third party Pilbara access decision could take another six months: NCC

<p>The National Competition Commission (NCC) could take a further six months to issue a recommendation on Fortescue Metals Group’s (FMG) application to gain access to BHP Billiton rail lines in the Pilbara.</p> <p>FMG has applied to have the Mount Newman rail line declared for third party access, a move that the line’s owner, BHP Billiton Iron Ore, has opposed.</p> <p>It is now more than a year since the NCC received the application on June 15, 2004.</p> <p>In a May 2005 letter, FMG criticised the commission for its delayed decision and allowing BHP Billiton time extensions to respond to an issues paper.</p> <p>The commission had not come close to completing the process within the target timeframe of four months, it said.</p> <p>"Who knows what the time period will be (no doubt a significant multiple of four months) before assessment of Fortescue’s declaration application is complete," FMG wrote.</p> <p>"Please be assured that many parties, not least of which, a European steel mill, are watching this case."</p> <br />