Digging beneath China’s interest in Australian iron ore projects

Are Chinese state investors investing in new production primarily to lower prices, rather than to develop profitable mining operations?

The Australian iron ore industry is no place for the faint hearted. On April 11, Padbury Mining spectacularly announced billions in funding (reportedly backed by Chinese investors) to develop the Oakajee Port north of Geraldton in Western Australia’s mid-west. This infrastructure would open up development of massive magnetite iron ore deposits in the State’s mid-west, bypassing the bottleneck at existing port and rail facilities at Geraldton. Even more spectacularly, by April 30 Padbury announced it was all off.

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