Barnett to offer concessions to see Oakajee built

The Premier Colin Barnett says the State Government will look at royalty concessions as a way of helping to get the Oakajee Port and Rail project off the ground.

The multi-billion dollar project was put in doubt earlier this month after Japanese backers Mitsubishi slashed jobs and spending on the development.

Mr Barnett told delegates at a Mid West mining forum that he will not give up on Oakajee and is confident it will eventually go ahead.

"Maybe it's a case of third time lucky," he said.

He says the government is looking at providing royalty concessions to magnetite iron ore miners in the start up phase of the project to make it more financially viable.

While the details are yet to be worked out, Mr Barnett said he wants to send a strong message that WA is committed to bringing Oakajee to fruition.

He says the cabinet is yet to approve the proposal.

The State Opposition says the Premier's idea smacks of desperation.

Labor spokesman Bill Johnston says it is nothing more than a thought bubble.

"This is just a desperate attempt to cover up his failures," he said.

"The Premier is prepared to give away any amount of money to get this project done so that he can have another monument." Mr Johnston says it is a bad decision.

"It's an arrogant approach to make announcements before you even tell your own cabinet colleagues," he said.

"We should not be giving away for free the mineral wealth of this state." At the same forum, Gindalbie Metals chairman, George Jones, was upbeat about the future of the development, but conceded it will be delayed.

He says he does not believe the Oakajee port and rail development will be built in its current form, but thinks it should occur in stages.

Mr Jones says it will not affect Gindalbie's expansion plans for several years and he expects it to be built by the time the company enters stage three of its Karara project.

Gindalbie is developing the Karara magnetite iron ore mine in a joint venture with Chinese steel maker, Ansteel.

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