AusRAIL

Three Pilbara rail spurs for Marra Mamba

<p>At least two, possibly three, new strategic rail spurs are set to emerge in the Pilbara. </p> <p>They will link brand new mining areas with already existing long-distance lines to the big Western Australian iron ports. </p> <p>This big infrastructure upgrade is driven by the need to get the new generation of high-value Marra Mamba ore to Asia’s iron hungry steel mills.</p> <p>BHP Billiton revealed plans last week to build a 38-km spur to connect new developments at Mining Area C with its main line to Port Hedland. </p> <p>The spur looks almost certain to be built. It is apparently subject only to successful delivery of 740,000 tonnes in trial bulk shipments due to start in about six weeks’ time.</p> <p>The rail spur will be built next year and is due to go out to tender soon. </p> <p>Meanwhile, prospective Hope Downs Management Services plans to build an entirely new 324-km railway to Port Hedland to gets its Marra Mamba ore to market. </p> <p>The project is now in the public review stage.</p> <p>Hope hasn’t given up on rail sharing and its court case to determine if clauses in BHP Billiton’s state agreement would allow it has been postponed until late next month.</p> <br />