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Iron Ore continued

The Pilbara

The existence of vast deposits of iron ore in the Pilbara had been described by the Government Geologist as early as 1890. The Goldsworthy deposit was identified in 1938 and extensively surveyed in the 1950s by by the Mines Department, leading to the realisation that substantial further discoveries were likely. As a result, in 1960 the State Government successfully lobbied the Commonwealth to remove the embargo on exporting iron ore to Japan. In calling for tenders to develop the Goldsworthy deposit, the Government also invited further exploration for iron ore, which was immediately successful.
Significant deposits of iron ore were found and production soon began at Goldsworthy (1969), Tom Price (1969), Newman (1969), Pannawonica (1972) and Paraburdoo (1973). Meanwhile the first shipment of ore from Koolan Island went in 1967, made possible by the lifting of the ban on exporting iron ore to Japan in 1960.

While iron ore was easily shipped from Yampi Sound, the mines at Tom Price, Paraburdoo. Pannawonica, Goldsworthy and Newman required the construction of railways stretching hundreds of kilometres to link them to the ports of Dampier, Cape Lambert and Port Hedland. Significant improvements in the port facitlites enabled the handling of millions of tonnes of ore, extracted from huge open cut mines. 



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