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BC Iron loads first ore on FMG rail cars

BC Iron has loaded the first iron ore from its Nullagine project in Western Australia onto FMG’s rail cars – the first time a junior iron ore miner has been able to transport ore on a third party’s rail infrastructure in the Pilbara.

A joint venture between BC Iron and FMG, ore was loaded from the Nullagine project through FMG’s train load-out and interim reclaim systems at the company’s Christmas Creek minesite.

BC Iron will also be the third company to utilise third party access at Fortescue’s Herb Elliott Port at Port Hedland.

“Provision of infrastructure access to junior miners in the Pilbara has always been an important part of the Fortescue story. We believe shared infrastructure is integral to unlocking the potential of the Pilbara to benefit the local, West Australian and Australian economies” FMG executive director Russell Scrimshaw said.

“The transport of this NIOJV ore along Fortescue’s heavy haul railway proves third party access can work on all kinds of infrastructure. We congratulate everyone involved in this historic event.”

During January, the company commenced wet commissioning of the Christmas Creek train load-out and interim reclaim systems using NIOJV iron ore. This ore was then transported via FMG’s rail infrastructure to the Herb Elliott Port. Once an adequate stockpile is created at Fortescue’s Herb Elliott Port, the first shipment of NIOJV ore will be loaded and exported.

BC Iron managing director Mike Young said FMG had committed to third
party access in 2004 and had “delivered on that promise”.

“In forming a JV with Fortescue, BC Iron has been able to unlock the value of an otherwise stranded asset at a time when iron ore prices are hitting historical highs,” he said.

“Despite early scepticism of the deal, we saw the value of being an iron ore producer much earlier than would have been the case without the partnership with Fortescue.”

Once adequate stockpiles are created at FMG’s Herb Elliott Port, the first shipments of ore will be loaded and exported.”

BC Iron advised that it is on track to have shipped 1 million tonnes of iron ore by June 30.