MELBOURNE Aug 14 Fortescue Metals Group's
attempt to avoid being forced to open its rail line to
aspiring iron ore producer Brockman Mining was blocked
by an Australian state regulator on Wednesday.
The Western Australian Economic Regulation Authority
rejected Fortescue's argument that it should not have to talk to
Brockman because the Hong Kong-based firm has not provided
evidence it would be able to fund an iron ore mine.
The regulator also rejected Fortescue's argument that if it
gave access to Brockman there would not be enough space to give
access to other iron ore producers who are talking to Fortescue,
such as Atlas Iron and Flinders Mines.
"On this basis, for the reasons set out above, the Authority
approves the commencement of negotiations with respect to the
Access Proposal," the regulator said in a decision, published on
its web site.
(Reporting by Sonali Paul; Editing by Muralikumar Anantharaman)