WA starts negotiations with Fortescue on Pilbara project

<p>Western Australian will negotiate two state agreements with the Fortescue Metals Group for the development of its $1.85bn Pilbara iron ore project.</p> <p>State development minister Clive Brown said the agreements would pave the way for the multi-user rail, port infrastructure and mine in the eastern Pilbara.</p> <p>Strong international demand for iron ore, particularly from China, has created a "once in 40-year opportunity" for development of the state’s economy, the government believes.</p> <p>The government will now enter into negotiations with FMG with a view to reaching agreement "as soon as possible", he said.</p> <p>"However, there are a number of important challenging issues that will need to be dealt with before they are finalised, including the level of local content in the project and appropriate rail and port arrangements," Mr Brown said.</p> <p>If an agreement is reached with Fortescue in the next four to six weeks there is a "slim possibility" that the agreement could be ratified in Parliament before the end of the year, he said.</p> <br />