Mineral Resources signs rail haulage agreement with QR Freight
Mineral Resources Limited (ASX:MIN) has signed an agreement for the provision of rail haulage for its Carina Yilgarn iron ore project in Western Australia with QR Freight (“QRF”), the national bulk freight haulage business for QR Limited.
The Heads of Agreement is a key step in finalising a three-year, four million tonnes per annum (Mtpa) Rail Haulage Agreement for Stage 1 of the Carina project, with provision for expansion to 10Mtpa within three years for Yilgarn Stage 2.
The Carina project was acquired by MRL as a result of its takeover of Polaris Metals in January 2010.
The Heads of Agreement covers the full rail distance of 576 kilometres from the Mt Walton siding to the Kwinana Bulk Terminal for export, conditional on the allocation of four million tonnes export capacity at the Kwinana Berth 2 Terminal by Fremantle Port Authority.
Mineral Resources (MRL) Managing Director Peter Wade said development of the Carina project was well advanced, with production planned to commence in January 2011 and first ore on rail by 15 March 2011.
He said QRF was selected on the basis of the expertise of its business Australian Railroad Group (“ARG”), one of the most experienced bulk rail freight operators in Australia.
“The formalisation of this agreement is a significant milestone for MRL and reflects our commitment to enter into long term relationships with experienced partners to achieve our strategy to establish a sustainable and profitable iron ore production operation in the Yilgarn region of Western Australia,” Mr Wade said.
“Rail transport is an integral component in our logistic supply chain from mine to port and MRL and ARG have a common focus to achieve world class performance in developing and expanding iron ore production and haulage from the Carina project.”
QRF Acting Executive General Manager David Welch said the company had an established position as a resources haulier, and its strategic focus on iron ore had developed strong partnering relationships with existing and emerging producers.
He said the agreement with MRL followed the signing in April of a HOA with Karara Mining Ltd for the provision of rail haulage services for the Karara iron ore project in the Mid West region.
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