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WA?s Karara railway gets go-ahead

<span class="" id="parent-fieldname-description"> Construction of the Karara iron ore railway in Western Australia’s Mid-West has moved a step closer with the passing of the Railway (Tilley to Karara) Bill 2010. </span> <p>By Jennifer Perry</p><p>The Act will establish the legislative authority to build a much-needed new freight line from Karara, 300km north-east of Perth in the Mid-West to Tilley, just north of Morawa, and about 220km south-east of Geraldton.</p><p>Construction is expected to start later this year.</p><p>Transport minister Simon O’Brien said the railway would help link up the iron ore resources of the Mid-West.</p><p>At Tilley, the Karara railway will connect to existing infrastructure – the state-owned, WestNet Rail-managed freight line which runs north-west to Mullewa, then west to Geraldton – providing the emerging Karara mine with immediate rail access to Geraldton port.</p><p>“The new railway will support the development of the proposed deep sea port, associated rail infrastructure and a purpose-built, world-class industrial estate at Oakajee, about 22km north of Geraldton,” O’Brien said.</p><p>Karara Mining (KML) is developing the Karara project on behalf of Gindalbie Metals and China’s Ansteel.</p><p>O’Brien said the new railway line would be designed, built, commissioned and operated by KML under the supervision of WA’s Public Transport Authority (PTA), on behalf of the state government.</p><p>The rail infrastructure will be government-owned and therefore available for use by other operators.</p><p>KML’s current program anticipates the start of iron ore exports from Geraldton in the third quarter of next year, with a transition to Oakajee when the port and railway are operating.<br />&nbsp</p>