The legal war being waged by Wright Prospecting over Pilbara iron ore tenement Hope Downs, coupled with its acquisition of Rhodes Ridge, has the capacity to reshape Western Australia’s mining landscape for generations to come.
Edith Cowan University business lecturer Tom Barratt says Wright’s improved riches could allow it to become more active in a region that has produced the nation’s biggest mining heavyweights.
Wright Prospecting is chasing a 25 per cent stake in the Hope Downs 4, 5 and 6 mining tenements – currently split 50/50 between Hancock Prospecting and Rio Tinto – as well as half the royalties from Hope Downs 1, 2 and 3.
Together, that could more than treble its annual fortune with billions more in potential future earnings, since tenements 2,3,5 and 6 have yet to be mined.
“If they were to win a greater share of royalties, and Wright Prospecting makes significant profit already (at $200 million a year), it gives them the resources where they could choose to be more active within the Pilbara and shape the region rather than just accrue royalties,” Dr Barratt said.
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