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Sinosteel Midwest appeals EPA recommendations

MEDIA RELEASE
12 June 2009

Sinosteel Midwest Corporation today confirmed it will be appealing against the Environmental Protection Authority's (EPA) failure to recommend part of its Koolanooka/Blue Hills (Mungada) Direct Shipping Ore (DSO) Project for Ministerial approval.

Sinosteel Midwest Chief Operating Officer Giulio Casello said the company has thoroughly reviewed the EPA's Report with its environmental consultants and believes there are a number of strong grounds for appeal.

"The refusal to allow mining at Mungada East will result in the entire project not proceeding. This will result in the loss of significant economic and social benefits, including more than 70 jobs and local contracts and purchasing. The justification for the EPA's refusal ‐ the desire to preserve an already degraded, very small outlying portion of the Mungada Ridge ‐ is outweighed by this very negative outcome," Mr Casello said.

"We believe the EPA has not adequately analysed the minimal environmental impact of Mungada East. The area has been previously mined by Western Mining in the 1960s and is degraded. In fact, after the Koolanooka/Blue Hills Project is concluded and rehabilitated by Sinosteel Midwest, the area will be left in substantially better condition than it is today.

"We will also contest that the EPA has not properly considered the generous environmental offsets offered by Sinosteel Midwest which include setting aside 5270 hectares of land for a conservation area, construction of substantial fencing to keep out feral and grazing animals, and contribution to environmental management plans in the sum of $100,000," he said.

"There are a number of other grounds on which Sinosteel Midwest will be appealing and the company has a strong case for the Appeals Convenor to consider.

"Sinosteel Midwest looks forward to working with the authorities to resolve these outstanding issues and we are confident they can be dealt with in a constructive and cooperative fashion, which can provide better environmental outcomes as well as enabling the Koolanooka/Blue Hills Project development to proceed," Mr Casello said.

"We have seen strong support from local government, industry and community members, many of who have committed to sending in their own letters of appeal. With the appeal period closing on Tuesday 16 June, we would encourage all those who have not yet sent in their own appeal to do so now," Mr Casello said.

After the appeals process closes on 16 June, all appeals that have been lodged will be reviewed by the Appeals Convenor, his recommendation will be referred to the Minister for Environment for consideration. The entire process is expected to take in the order of 16 weeks to complete before final Ministerial approval can be obtained.

"We will also contest that the EPA has not properly considered the generous environmental offsets offered by Sinosteel Midwest which include setting aside 5270 hectares of land for a conservation area, construction of substantial fencing to keep out feral and grazing animals, and contribution to environmental management plans in the sum of $100,000," he said.

ENDS

For more information contact:

Warrick Hazeldine Caroline Thomson
Purple Communications Purple Communications
P: 08 6314 6300 P: 08 6314 6300
M: 0417 944 616 M: 0410 479 489
E: whazeldine@purplecom.com.au E: cthomson@purplecom.com.au

About Sinosteel Midwest Corporation Limited

Sinosteel Midwest Corporation (Sinosteel Midwest) is developing iron ore and steel materials projects from one of the largest land holdings in the expanding Mid West resources region of WA. It has advanced production opportunities for iron ore at Koolanooka, Weld Range, Jack Hills and Robinson Range.

Sinosteel Corporation, one of China's biggest suppliers of raw materials to Chinese steel mills, purchased Midwest Corporation in 2008. It is committed to the responsible and sustainable development of Sinosteel Midwest's assets.

Phase one of Sinosteel Midwest's development is the Koolanooka/Blue Hills (Mungada) Project (Koolanooka and Mungada sites) which will produce a minimum of 5.8 million tonnes over a period of five years – phase two – the Weld Range project ‐ is expected to produce 15 million tonnes per annum and will be a cornerstone project to export out of the proposed Oakajee Port.

The Koolanooka/Blue Hills Project is currently going through the final stages of pre‐mining environmental approval, and has been in the environmental approval process since September 2006.

Sinosteel Midwest possesses the capital, resources, technical skills and the people to play a major role in the development of the Mid West region, and is positioned to continue doing so actively now, notwithstanding the global financial crisis. Sinosteel Midwest continues to actively develop and explore the potential of its deposits and the outlook for the Company is exciting.

www.sinosteelmidwest.com.au

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