American Metals & Coal International (AMCI) and POSCO have joined Baosteel Resources in an infrastructure agreement with Australian transport & logistics company, Aurizon for rail and port infrastructure to support the West Pilbara Iron Ore Project (WPIOP) in Western Australia.
The finalization of the Infrastructure Framework Agreement (IFA) between AMCI, POSCO and Baosteel with Aurizon creates a pathway to constructing world-class rail and port infrastructure for a new iron ore province in the Pilbara, with exports targeted for 2017/18.
It represents the first major milestone for the WPIOP since the $1.4 billion acquisition of Aquila Resources by Baosteel and Aurizon was completed in July this year.
The first stage of the project involves development of a new deep-water port at Anketell and a 280 kilometer railway to support at least 40 million tonnes per annum throughput from eight mining areas.
The infrastructure could be expanded in the future to accommodate additional tonnage from both foundation customers and other miners without access to rail and port infrastructure. The Western Australian Government estimates that Anketell has a potential export capacity of up to 350 million tonnes per annum.
“AMCI has been invested in this project since its inception a decade ago and we’re pleased past issues are behind us,” said Mr Hans Mende, President of AMCI. “The agreement brings together parties that can genuinely underpin delivery of one of the most exciting resource projects on the globe. We’re committed to making this greenfield iron ore project a commercial reality and helping establish a new phase of economic investment in Australia.”
Mr Kimok Yun, Senior Vice President of Raw Materials department of POSCO, said: “POSCO considers the delivery of rail and port infrastructure is a key component of facilitating the development of the Pilbara project. We are pleased to discuss the development of the rail and port infrastructure with such capable companies. All four parties are heading in the same direction and we look forward to working together to progress the project.”