Australia’s Rinehart clears hurdles on $10 B iron ore project

(Reuters, Sydney, 18 July 2013) Australian mining magnate Gina Rinehart's $10 billion Roy Hill iron ore project has overcome key hurdles holding up debt negotiations, a move that could pave the way for the mine to start producing by September 2015, sources said on Thursday... Export credit agencies (ECAs), including Export Import Bank of Korea (KEXIM), Japan Bank for International Cooperation (JBIC) and Nippon Export & Investment Insurance (NEXI) had been pressuring Roy Hill shareholders led by Rinehart's Hancock Prospecting Pty Ltd to fully guarantee that the project reaches completion, in return for up to $5 billion of loans... Getting Roy Hill into production is likely to boost further the fortunes of Rinehart, already Australia's richest person with a net worth estimated by Forbes at $17 billion. However, it could also add to an expected glut of the steel-making ingredient as rivals Rio Tinto, BHP Billiton and Fortescue Metals Group crank up production just as demand in top consumer China is set to cool.