Diversified mining contractor Mineral Resources (ASX: MIN) has hailed as a significant milestone the departure of the first train loaded with iron ore from its newly acquired Koolyanobbing operation in Western Australia’s Yilgarn region. The 1.3km long train, carrying 7488t of iron ore fines, was due to arrive at Esperance’s port early this morning to start building up stockpiles ahead of a maiden shipment, expected within four weeks.
First iron ore train leaves Koolyanobbing Mineral Resources Limited (ASX: MIN; MRL or Company) is pleased to announce the departure of its first train loaded with iron ore from the newly acquired Koolyanobbing Operation (Koolyanobbing), about 50km north of Southern Cross in Western Australia’s Yilgarn region.
The train, made up of MRL-owned and operated locomotives and rolling stock, is on its way to Esperance to begin the process of stockpiling ore at the port ahead of MRL’s first iron ore shipment out of the port, which is expected within the next four weeks.
The successful and safe loading of this first train marks an important milestone for MRL, having now completed the ramp-up of production at Koolyanobbing to its targeted nameplate capacity – less than three months since the Company acquired the project.
The pace at which MRL has been able to safely and efficiently commence and ramp up operations at Koolyanobbing is a credit to the dedication and skill of our workforce.
The commencement of operations follows strong ongoing support from the WA Government and its key departments including the Southern Port Authority, which collaborated with MRL to modify the rail car dumper at Esperance to be capable of unloading MRL’s fleet of bottom-dump rail wagons. MRL has also received strong support from Arc Infrastructure, the owner of the train track network that connects Koolyanobbing to Esperance.
Mineral Resources Managing Director Chris Ellison said:
“This is a significant milestone in MRL’s history and a great moment for the Yilgarn and Esperance communities.
“When we decided earlier this year to take on the Koolyanobbing operations previously operated by Cleveland-Cliffs Inc, we did so because of our firm belief we could sustain a viable iron ore export operation in the region and safeguard hundreds of jobs in regional Western Australia.
“This successful outcome would not have been possible without the great assistance of Premier Mark McGowan and his Government, the leadership team at the Esperance port and Paul Larsen and his team at Arc Infrastructure.
“We look forward to building up our iron ore stockpiles at the port of Esperance ahead of loading our first ship before the end of this year.”
The first train, consisting of 106 wagons carrying a total of 7488 tonnes of iron ore fines, completed loading at Koolyanobbing earlier today and embarked on its journey to Esperance this afternoon.
The Company’s operations will provide direct employment for approximately 285 men and women across the mine and related infrastructure. In addition, the project will provide indirect employment for approximately 415 additional men and women whose goods and services support the Koolyanobbing operation.