Rio wins long running iron ore rail battle

Fortescue have lost their battle to access Rio Tinto’s iron rail network in the Pilbara.

The Australian iron ore miner had been fighting for access to Rio's Hammersly and Robe River lines.

However the Australian Competition Tribunal have ruled that Rio’s Hamersley and Robe rail lines should not be opened up to other users.

In 2010 the long running battle came to a head when the Australian Competition Tribunal rejected Fortescue's push for access to Rio’s rail networks, and allowed the major to retain full access to their own Pilbara rail lines  finding that access to Rio’s Hammersley line “would be contrary to the public interest.”

Fortecue continued in its fight to gain full access to the Pilbara network, and was granted a High Court appeal late in 2011.

The Tribunal have yet to release any documentation surrounding their latest ruling, however, Rio Tinto Iron Ore acting chief executive Paul Shannon welcomed the decision.

“This is great news. Rio Tinto runs a highly efficient railway that is fully integrated with our port and mine operations. This would be severely hindered if third parties were allowed to run trains on our rail network, not to mention the knock-on negative effect on the Western Australian and national economies from creating such inefficiencies.”

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