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Iron ore mining hopefuls in the Yilgarn region say only "modest"
improvements to rail lines to Esperance Port would be needed to cater for the export of an extra 15 million tonnes of ore a year.
According to Yilgarn Iron Producers Association chairman Jonathan Lea, the State Government-owned Esperance rail line is in better shape than expected, and would need minimal capital work before being able to carry up to 26mtpa of ore - enough to support the initial expansion of Esperance's port for iron ore producers.
The State Government is still considering its options, recently appointing a new engineer to conduct a reference study on port design ahead of a tender process to select a preferred infrastructure proponent early next year.
Mr Lea said the YIPA commissioned study - which incorporated input from iron ore companies including Mineral Resources, Cazaly Resources, Cliffs Natural Resources, Radar Iron, and Mindax - would support the port expansion because it showed a massive capital investment in rail would not be needed in the early stages.
While Mr Lea would not be drawn on the potential cost, sources said as little as $50 to $70 million would need to be spent creating more passing bays on the line to allow for the additional traffic. Capital work on the line would need to be funded by operator Brookfield Rail, which would charge mining companies for haulage.
This article first appeared on au.news.yahoo.com
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