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Brockman signs deal with Aurizon for Australia iron ore rail link
Brockman Mining Ltd said it has struck an agreement with Australia’s Aurizon Holdings to develop rail and port infrastructure, a move crucial to the Chinese firm’s efforts to start producing iron ore.
Brockman said it had appointed rail freight operator Aurizon as its exclusive supplier to develop and operate the infrastructure it needs for its planned Marillana and Opthalmia projects in the iron ore-rich Pilbara region in Western Australia.
A tight grip on costly rail access to the region by Rio Tinto , BHP Billiton and Fortescue Metals Group is the biggest hurdle for aspiring producers.
Brockman, which last month applied to the state government for access to Fortescue’s rail line, said the relationship with Aurizon allows for either a new heavy haul railway to be developed by Aurizon or a third party, an existing railway operated by a third party, or a combination of all three.
Brockman’s bid for access to Fortescue’s port and rail unit, The Pilbara Infrastructure (TPI), is seen as potentially paving the way for others like Atlas Mining and Flinders Mines , to open new mines without having to build multi-billion dollar rail lines.
Brockman Australia Chief Executive Russell Tipper said the Aurizon deal was a “logical partnership motivated to advance an infrastructure solution in the East Pilbara that will benefit all juniors.”
Fortescue has long said it wants to give other smaller miners access to its rail line, after having failed in its own efforts to force mega miners Rio Tinto and BHP Billiton to open their rail lines, but has so far been unable to agree on terms. (Reuters)
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