US rail giant Genesee and Wyoming has announced its intentions to acquire the Darwin-to-Adelaide rail link for $334 million.
The company, which has operated the line for the last six years, has launched a bid to acquire all the assets of FreightLink and Asia Pacific Transport.
These assets are currently in the hands of receiver KordaMentha.
FreightLink’s major asset is the 2250km railway between Darwin and Tarcoola, while it also owns 23 locomotives and 430 railcars.
“We believe that the rail line will continue to be a catalyst for unlocking major new mining projects that were not economically feasible without it,” Genesee said in a statement.
“As countries such as China and India continue their long-term trajectory of industrialisation, we expect to see direct benefits to the FreightLink minerals franchise.”
FreightLink was placed into receivership in November 2008, after the failure to complete a voluntary sale due to financial difficulties.
The rail line is used by the mining industry to move bulk shipments of iron ore, copper and manganese for export out of both capital cities.
The move has the support of both the South Australian and Northern Territory Governments.