Freight Rail

First MinRes Koolyanobbing train derails on return leg

Mining and services firm Mineral Resources has confirmed a train returning from the Port of Esperance to its Koolyanobbing operation in Western Australia derailed on Sunday morning.

The company told investors on Monday roughly 30 empty iron ore wagons derailed south of Norseman early on Sunday morning, November 11.

The train was returning from Esperance after delivering 7,488 tonnes of iron ore fines from Koolyanobbing, having been the first train loaded at Koolyanobbing by MinRes since it acquired the operation in June 2018.

Arc Infrastructure, the owner and operator of the railway, believes repairs to the track infrastructure will be complete this week, according to the MinRes statement.

MinRes said on Monday it appears heavy rainfall and flash flooding in the region on Saturday washed out some ballast from under a small section of track, prior to the derailment.

No injuries were reported.

The miner said the incident was not expected to have a material impact on the production and shipment schedule for Koolyanobbing.

MinRes said some of the derailed wagons were damaged, but none of its locomotives had sustained damage.

“Most importantly, no one was injured,” managing director Chris Ellison said.

“Initial investigations into this derailment suggest our safe train operating procedures were followed at all times, and that the derailment was caused by a section of the train track being washed out caused by Saturday’s heavy rainfall and flash flooding.

“We are working with Arc Infrastructure to determine the timeframe for track repairs. As soon as we have confirmation that the track is repaired we will resume haulage of ore.”