AusRAIL, Market Sectors

Midwest in a fix over how to get ore to port

<p>The Western Australian Government has banned Midwest from transporting its ore by road after only nine months of operations.</p> <p>State planning and infrastructure minister Alannah MacTiernan said Midwest could use the roads from the new Koolanooka mine to Geraldton port only until October, reports th <em>e Australian</em> .</p> <p>From November, Midwest is expected to use rail, which poses difficulty as the line is in poor shape and the Australian Railroad Group said locomotives are not available.</p> <p>The railway line is 19 km south of the mine but ARG said even if Midwest provides its own trains, it could not guarantee more than one slot a day.</p> <p>Midwest has tried to find suitable narrow gauge wagons that would allow iron ore to be discharged from bottom doors at the port, but has been unsuccessful.</p> <p>This may turn off China’s biggest steelmaker, Sinosteel, which is planning to invest $1.5bn in Midwest’s mine development.</p> <p>Ms MacTiernan has given Midwest and the Australian Railroad Group a month to sort out the issue.</p> <p>She does not agree with Midwest’s plan to truck iron ore for the seven years of operation because of the cost of road repairs and safety concerns.</p> <br />