Fears for new shipping berth at Port Hedland

Junior miners in the Pilbara are being forced to swallow a bitter pill with the news that the South West Creek shipping berth is unlikely to be built before 2019.

Brockman Mining had made a bid for access to The Pilbara Infrastructure’s (TPI) rail line, however lawyers for the Fortescue Metals Group arm told the Supreme Court yesterday that documents provided by North West Infrastructure, controlled by Brockman and Atlas Iron, showed the berth could not be ready to accept ore until 2019.

Brockman said it had planned on shipping ore from the Marillana mine by late 2016.

However, the lawyers for TPI said Brockman had no such intention, and was instead trying to tie up access rights under the State Railways Access Code, in order to force the FMG subsidiary to negotiate haulage deals with Brockman.

The court heard that proof of financing for the new berth would be required before a permanent lease for tenure at Port Hedland could be signed.

If Brockman can not respond to these claims the viability of the new shipping berth with be in serious doubt.

Approvals for the new South West Creek shipping berth were granted in 2012, which Atlas said was pivotal for expansion plans at the time.

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