Pipeline owner loses $1.7m on mine closure

Pipeline owner The Australian Pipeline Trust (APA) will lose $1.7 million in revenue this financial year due to a decision by London-listed Xstrata to close its Windimurra vanadium mine, near Mt Magnet in Western Australia.

APA owns the 365km Midwest Pipeline that transports gas from the Dampier-to-Bunbury pipeline to power generating and mining process users in the Windimurra and Mt Magnet regions.

"The mine is presently running at about one third capacity and is expected to be placed on care and maintenance," said APA managing director, Jim McDonald. "It is understood that Xstrata is in discussions with the WA Government in an attempt to avert permanent mine closure."

Despite the mine closure, Mr McDonald said the carrying value of the pipeline would not be affected because another customer, the Hill 50 Gold Mine near Mt Magnet, continues to use the pipeline. Mr McDonald added he was confident of additional load from future mining developments because of area's rich mineral deposits.

Last financial year, APA reported a profit of about $37 million on revenues of around $255 million. The Trust owns about 7000km of pipeline nationwide.

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