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QR National Ltd has indicated an interest in helping Gindalbie Metals fund the rail component of a “southern solution” for the Oakajee port and rail project, offering a ray of hope for the stalled $6 billion project, according to The Australian Financial Review.
The newspaper said QR had suggested it would consider funding the rail alternative devised by Gindalbie. Gindalbie needs Oakajee to go ahead if it is to expand production at its Karara project beyond 16 million tonnes of iron ore annually. Gindalbie has contracted QR to transport up to 10.8 million tonnes a year of iron ore from the project for the next five years.
“QR National believes the Oakajee rail and port development is a critical enabler of long-term growth in the WA's mid-west, given the limits with current port infrastructure capacity,” a QR National spokesman said, according to the AFR.
“Karara Mining is a highly valued customer of QR National and we want to play an active part in their growth.”
Japan's Mitsubishi Corp wholly owns the Oakajee project, though the Western Australia government stripped Mitsubishi of the exclusive right to develop Oakajee last year.
The AFR added that Gindalbie chairman George Jones is pessimistic about the ability of the current Oakajee model to stand up to financial scrutiny.
This article first appeared on www.businessspectator.com.au
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