Mr Richardson said the spiralling iron ore price would have been a very significant factor in the Venture Minerals’ decision.
Venture Minerals has suspended work at its Riley Creek project, near Tullah, citing legal challenges by conservationists and the falling ore price.
The mining industry on the state’s west coast has been under increasing pressure, with the recent closure of the Mount Lyell copper mine and the forecast closure next year of the nearby Henty gold mine.
The nearby Nelson Bay River iron ore mine owned by Shree Minerals also went into care and maintenance mode earlier this year, citing economic conditions.
He cited comments by Liberal MP Adam Brooks before the March election that green groups would not derail the Venture Minerals project if the Liberals were in charge.
The halt to a Tasmanian iron ore mine has prompted a warning from a leading economist about the endemic issues confronting the small Tasmanian mining sector.
The decision to mothball the Riley Creek project would not have an immediate impact on the state’s budget, but would have broader economic ramifications.
“At the moment we’ve got an iron ore price of about $US93 per tonne, that’s better than the lows we’ve hit earlier this year,” Mr Richardson said.
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