Mid-west infrastructure sharing deal

Two Western Australian iron ore miners yesterday unveiled the first infrastructure sharing agreement in the State's mid-west region.

Karara Mining and Sinosteel Midwest will share key infrastructure across two neighbouring iron ore projects in Western Australia, after signing off an agreement yesterday.

The two companies will allow each other access to infrastructure and services at the Karara iron ore project and Sinosteel Midwest’s adjacent Koolanooka/Blue Hills project.

The projects, located around 500 km north-east of Perth, will share spur line rail access, on-site accommodation facilities, the new Karara airstrip, water infrastructure and environmental data.

Karara Mining is a joint venture company formed by Gindalbie Metals and Chinese steel company Ansteel to operate the project.

According to Gindalbie, this is the first agreement of its kind in Western Australia’s mid-west region.

In a joint statement, Gindalbie managing director Garret Dixon and Sinosteel Midwest chief operating officer Giulio Casello said the agreement set a new benchmark for cooperation between miners in Australia.

“We believe the agreement represents a genuine win-win for both groups, given the close proximity of our iron ore operations,” they said.

“Significant synergies can be realised by taking a pragmatic view of some of the new infrastructure that will be developed over the next 12 months.”

Gindalbie recently commenced construction at the Karara project and hopes to have production up and running in 2011.

Sinosteel received final approval for its Koolanooka/Blue Hills project in January and is hoping to begin mining before the end this month.

To keep up to date with Australian Mining, subscribe to our free email newsletters delivered straight to your inbox. Click here.