Australia: OPR Focused on Development of Integrated Port and Rail


Having recently provided its latest feasibility update to the joint venture partners, Oakajee Port and Rail (OPR) remains focused on completing the tasks that will underpin the development of an integrated port and rail iron ore supply chain for the mid-west.

The updated study refl ects further detailed engineering and technical studies, negotiations with key stakeholders and commercial analysis. It follows an agreement by the State Government to re-set the State Development Agreement (SDA) deadline to 31 December 2011. The extension allows OPR and the State to fi nalise arrangements, prior to the commencement of construction in 2012.

The latest feasibility update indicates a sound basis for viability, subject to fi nalisation of Supply Chain Agreements with the potential Foundation Customers.

OPR’s key tasks for the remainder of the year include:

• Finalising Implementation Agreements – including a comprehensive number of construction and operating agreements – with the State Government;

• Completing environmental and Indigenous approvals, along with the granting of the rail enabling legislation; and

• Securing Supply Chain Agreements with the project’s Foundation Customers.

About 2500 workers will be needed during peak construction and, once the port and rail are operational, OPR estimates 250 personnel will be required for ongoing operations.

To date more than $220 million has been invested by the project’s Joint Venture Partners Murchison Metals Ltd (MMX) and Mitsubishi Development Pty Ltd, in proving up the project.

Significant work already undertaken includes:

• Completion of the technical engineering studies for the port and rail infrastructure;

• Finalisation of the rail corridor;

• Well advanced environmental management planning and approvals for the port and rail, including recent Commonwealth environmental approval for the project’s rail and marine sections and State EPA recommendations to approve both the rail and port terrestrial proposals;

• Heritage and Native Title negotiation framework agreements with Aboriginal groups;

• Land access agreements with 60 land owners and pastoral leaseholders to enable feasibility works; and

• Implementation Agreements substantially progressed with State agencies.

OPR is targeting fi rst shipments of iron ore through Oakajee in 2015.

OPR’s vision is to deliver an integrated mid-west iron ore supply chain and the development of the region’s resource sector, benefi ting the wider economy for decades to come – through the construction of a deepwater port 25km north of Geraldton, a 570km railway servicing the region’s emerging mining operations and associated infrastructure.


Source: opandr, July 12, 2011