The authority that oversees Australia’s Port Hedland, the world’s biggest bulk-export port, merged with nearby Dampier in the country’s energy and iron ore- producing northwest.

The Pilbara Ports Authority was formed today, it said in an e-mailed statement. The authority stretches from the Port of Ashburton near Onslow to Port Hedland, about 1,300 kilometers (800 miles) north of Perth, it said. It also includes the proposed Ports of Anketell and Cape Preston East.

The new authority covers ports that handle about 22 percent of the world’s iron ore market and 10 percent of the liquefied natural gas export market, it said. Port Hedland iron ore shipments climbed to a record in May as miners including BHP Billiton Ltd. expanded output in the Pilbara.

Dampier, used by Rio Tinto Group to export iron ore, has a board of management that reports to the Western Australian transport minister, according to its website. Port Hedland Port Authority’s board of directors is also accountable to the transport minister, according to the port.

Roger Johnston will be chief executive officer of the Pilbara Ports Authority, according to today’s statement. Johnston was CEO of Port Hedland Port Authority.

Source:   Bloomberg.