THE BOURSE WHISPERER: Gindalbie Metals has dispatched the first train-load of iron ore from the company’s Karara iron ore project in Western Australia’s Midwest region.
The event is an important one for Gindalbie as it represents the first time the Karara project’s integrated mine and rail logistics chain has been used.
The shipment follows the successful commissioning of a new 85 kilometre rail spur connecting the Karara mine site to the existing rail network in Western Australia’s Midwest region and receipt of all necessary Government approvals to allow ore haulage to begin.
Source: Company announcement
“It’s not every day that Western Australia sees the completion and commissioning of such a significant piece of transportation infrastructure, with our new 85 kilometre long rail spur now linking seamlessly with the existing Midwest rail network,” Gindalbie Metals managing director Tim Netscher said in the company’s announcement to the Australian Securities Exchange.
“With the Karara Export Terminal at Geraldton due to be completed and commissioned shortly, this should provide clear evidence that the Karara project is now in the home straight and is moving inexorably towards production of first magnetite concentrate by the end of September 2012,” he said.
Ore shipped from Karara will be temporarily stored in train cars at Narngulu, just outside Geraldton, while final port works are completed, due to some minor delays to the final completion of the Karara Export Terminal.
Gindalbie said it expects all the remaining work to be completed within the coming weeks.
Once this happens ore will be able to be received at the Karara port storage facility and when sufficient ore has been accumulated to accommodate a full ship load, commercial shipments will recommence.
“This is a good example of the positive flow-on effects that result from the development of a major new integrated resources project such as Karara,” Netscher said.
“Karara has directly invested over $1 billion in new infrastructure in the Midwest region, much of which is common-user infrastructure, which will help unlock the value of the region’s resources for the benefit of the entire State.
“Combined with the investments of other third parties in upgrading and enhancing the existing rail network, the region stands to benefit enormously from the development and delivery of the Karara project.”
More than two million tonnes of hematite lump and fines ore has been stockpiled at the Karara mine site in readiness for the commissioning of the full logistics chain.
The new 85km spur line runs from the rail loop at Karara to Tilley Siding, near Morawa, where it interconnects with the existing 200km railway, owned by Brookfield Rail, providing a fully integrated rail solution for the Karara project.
Brookfield Rail is continuing work to upgrade the existing line from Morawa to Geraldton to enable it to accommodate Karara’s Stage One production of 10 million tonnes per annum (Mtpa) and the anticipated Stage Two expansion to 16Mtpa, which is currently the subject of a Feasibility Study.
Brookfield Rail’s work is currently ahead of schedule to meet Karara’s anticipated ramp-up, and is targeted for completion by the end of 2012.