AusRAIL, Market Sectors

Murchison and WestNet in Mid West rail push

<p>Murchison Metals moved to cement its position in the development of rail infrastructure in Western Australia’s Mid West, revealing yesterday (Monday, July 30) it had linked with Babcock &#38 Brown Infrastructure subsidiary WestNet Rail.</p> <p>The miner said it had signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) to examine proposed expansion of the existing Mid West rail network. </p> <p>Specifically the pair would investigate the integration of the existing narrow-gauge rail network from Geraldton to Mullewa, with the proposed new northern corridor standard gauge rail line between the proposed port at Oakajee and Jack Hills and Weld Range, where Murchison has mines. </p> <p>This work would include examination of detailed rail network integration issues, including a proposal for the network to access Oakajee along a common rail corridor, the companies said. </p> <p>&#8220As the State Government has made clear to industry, any plans to develop new rail and port infrastructure in the Mid West region must meet the needs of multiple users and provide benefits for the Mid West region as a whole,&#8221 Murchison managing directorTrevor Matthews said. </p> <p>&#8220We believe that by working closely with WestNet Rail, the existing Mid West rail owner, we can ensure the development of a first class integrated infrastructure network for the Mid West.</p> <p>&#8220Importantly, we believe there are significant operational synergies between the existing WestNet Rail network and our proposal to develop a new northern corridor rail line to serve the bulk tonnage requirements of the new mines being developed at Jack Hills, Weld Range and elsewhere to the north east of Geraldton.</p> <p>&#8220By working closely with WestNet Rail, we believe we will avoid duplicating infrastructure that is already in existence and provide a superior regional rail network." </p> <p>WestNet Rail chief executive John Cleland said that the signing of the MOU was consistent with WestNet Rail’s desire to link all projects in the Mid West region to the existing WestNet Rail network and the proposed port of Oakajee. </p> <p>&#8220WestNet Rail has been a strong advocate of merging the proposed rail links from Jack Hills and Weld Range and further east with the existing rail link from the south through an integrated Mid West rail network that will meet the transport requirements of the projects in the region,&#8221 Mr Cleland said. </p> <p>&#8220Integral to the proposed WestNet Rail infrastructure solution is the volume economies achieved through the merging of iron ore volumes from throughout the region on a single rail corridor and a substantially reduced land acquisition requirement.&#8221 </p> <br />