Kerry Stokes' Iron Ore Holdings has all but completed the required regulatory hurdles to build a new Pilbara port after it announced yesterday that State Environment Minister Albert Jacobson had given his environmental approval.
IOH, in which Mr Stokes holds a 53 per cent interest, wants to build a 25 million tonne a year capacity port at Cape Preston East, next door to the bigger facility built for the use of CITIC Pacific's Sino Iron project.
As Cape Preston East's anchor tenant, IOH expects to need less than half of the port's capacity to service its $800 million 8mtpa Buckland project. But IOH believes a multi-user facility run by the Dampier Port Authority could open up big portions of the west Pilbara controlled by other iron ore juniors.
The company said yesterday it now had all of its major approvals for the port, and was only waiting on a State Government process to resume land at Cape Preston East that was ceded by Clive Palmer's Mineralogy as part of State Agreement negotiations, before the land could be vested in the Dampier Port.
Over the past year IOH has been selling its South East Pilbara deposits as it shifted focus to Buckland. Its asset sales deals with Mineral Resources won IOH and managing director Alwyn Vorster the Dealer award at last month's Diggers and Dealers conference in Kalgoorlie-Boulder.
IOH yesterday also released its full-year accounts, showing the company made a $32.8 million loss for the year to June 30 and had $74.7 million cash. Mr Vorster was paid $1.1 million, including $488,000 base salary, $85,000 cash bonuses and IOH options valued at $533,800.IOH shares closed down 0.5Â¢ at 85.5Â¢.