South Australian Flinders Ports has welcomed increased interest from miners.
The operator of Port Pirie’s docks has said that more miners would allow it to keep up maintenance levels, the ABC reports.
It comes as the Port Pirie Council is looking into the potential number of barges that could be operated from the port, as many berths lay empty and unused.
Flinders CEO Vincent Tremaine stated that with some berth laying unused, the levels of maintenance is an ongoing issues.
“We have a number of berths that are seriously under-utilised to the point where its a major decision of ours from time to time as to how much maintenance we put into it,” Tremaine said.
Currently, two miners, Carpenteria and WPG Resources, are looking into export iron ore from the port.
“Now the fact that these businesses are coming along means that we will keep the whole facility maintained and that’s good for everyone I think," Tremaine added.
However, if more miners were to export through the port, it would result in a change of the development approval process.
To date, the community has had a major role in the initial approval process, especially on the issue of trains and haulage through the city.
According to WPG Resources director Bob Duffin, "”there’s been some push back from some local authorities and local stakeholders who have requested that we be limited to one train per day.”
“I think people want some comfort that we’re not going to make too much noise; that we’re not going to make too much in the way of disruptions to traffic.”
WPG’s planned iron ore storage facility at Port Pirie was recently recommended for approval.
The miner’s application consisted of an iron ore receival, storage and outloading facility at Port Pirie for minerals from its Peculiar Knob mine.
This includes WPG’s agreement to fund the construction of a rail overpass to ensure unimpeded access to Nystar’s Port Pirie lead smelter.