PILBARA Ports Authority has reported total annual throughput of 717.2m tonnes for the 2019-20 financial year, the highest annual figure yet recorded and marking the first time the 700m tonnes mark has been exceeded.

The figures were recorded across the three ports of Port Hedland, Dampier and Ashburton.

The figure of 717.2m for the 2019/20 financial year was is an increase of 19.9m tonnes or 3% from the previous year.

In June 2020, PPA achieved a total monthly throughput of 68.2m tonnes, a 6% increase on the same month in 2019 and a new record.

Iron ore throughput for June 2020 increased 6% from June 2019, to 63.8Mt.

Port Hedland achieved a total annual throughput of 538.1m tonnes, an increase of 24.8m tonnes or 5% from the previous year.

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Annual iron ore exports totalled 531.5m tonnes, an increase of 24.9m tonnes or 5% from the previous year.

The June monthly throughput at Port Hedland was 52.3m tonnes, which was the first time the port exceeded 50m tonnes throughput for the month. Iron ore accounted for 51.7m of the record figure.

The monthly throughput was a 6% increase from June 2019.

Iron ore exports for June also increased 6% from June 2019.

June imports through the Port of Port Hedland totalled 191,000 tonnes, an increase of 2% from the same month in 2019.

Dampier delivered a total annual throughput of 167.9m tonnes, a decrease of five million tonnes or 3% from the previous year.

In June Dampier delivered a total monthly throughput of 14.9m tonnes which was an increase of 1Mt or 8%.

Imports for the year totalled 1.2m tonnes, an increase of 54,000 tonnes or 5% from the previous year. June 2020 imports totalled 127,000 tonnes, an increase of 41,000 tonnes or 47%.

PPA CEO Roger Johnston said the records had been achieved “amidst the challenges of a global pandemic”.

“The ports of Ashburton, Dampier and Port Hedland have continued to operate throughout COVID-19,” Mr Johnston said.

“The ports are critical to Western Australia’s economic recovery from the pandemic,” he said.

“A recent economic study has found the Port of Port Hedland and its supply chain contributed 20% of WA’s gross state product in 2018/19, and underpinned one in every 12 jobs across the state,” he said.

“These figures are likely to be considerably more in FY19/20.”

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