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Historical documents

141 Mr J. A. Lyons, Prime Minister, to Mr S. M. Bruce, High Commissioner in London

Cablegram unnumbered 17 March 1938 SECRET,

Government has received report from its Geological Adviser [1] to
the effect that known deposits iron ore capable of being mined
economically of considerably less magnitude than hitherto
believed. Report quite serious. Adviser urges Government limit or
prohibit export ore pending survey resources. Government has
decided announce Saturday [2] embargo operate in 3 months
exportation of iron ore.

Government is much concerned by the necessity for taking this
action particularly in view of the fact that as you are probably
aware Western Australian Government has granted leases at Koolan
Island Yampi Sound to Brasserts and Company London who had entered
into agreement with Nippon Mining Company of Japan under which the
latter Company provides substantial loan to operating company for
the purposes of working deposits and shipment of ore to Japan.

Three Japanese experts at Yampi Sound and the Japanese Company
have already incurred substantial expenditure. We feel however
that in view of alarming nature of reports re our iron ore
resources we have no alternative. Glad if you will advise British


1 See Document 140, note 1.

2 19 March 1938.

[AA : A1068, C 47/1/4, ii]
Last Updated: 11 September 2013
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