Xstrata has announced a rail deal with Queensland Rail (QR) and Pacific National to transport iron ore.
The deal will see a ten year access agreement to transport magnetite concentrate from Xstrata’s Ernest Henry copper mine to the Port of Townsville.
It is expected to create 160 new jobs in the region.
The line is also set receive new trains, with Queensland transport minister Annastacia Palaszczuk stating that these “are Pacific National’s new 1000m bulk mineral trains with up to 90 wagons at 65 net tonne capacity. These services can carry more than 1000 tonnes per service compared to the current standard 750m trains.”
Pacific National rail director Chris Keat added that “in addition to increasing the length and tonnage capacity of the trains through the use of purpose built rollingstock, Pacific National will introduce a range of new technologies and innovations such as wired distributive power and ECP braking.”
Keat went on to say that Xstrata Copper is the first miner in Queensland to export magnetite.
Xstrata Copper North Queensland’s COO Steve de Kruijff explained that the site will “produce approximately 1.2 million tonnes of magnetite concentrate per annum at full capacity for export to Asia.”
This announcement follows a recent $100 million investment program to improve the 1030 km long Mount Isa rail line, which was completed in December.