Consisting of 106 wagons carrying 7,488 tonnes of iron ore fines, the train left for Esperance yesterday to start stockpiling ore at the town’s port ahead of the company’s first iron ore shipment which is expected within the next four weeks.
Loading the first train marks an important milestone for the iron ore miner, having already completed ramp-up of production to reach nameplate capacity in less than three months.
Safeguarding hundreds of jobs
MIN managing director Chris Ellison said this was a great moment for the Yilgarn and Esperance communities.
He said: “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.
“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.”
Ellison thanked Premier Mark McGowan and his government, as well as the leadership team at Esperance Port and Paul Larsen and his team at Arc Infrastructure.
The WA Government and key departments, including the Southern Port Authority, collaborated with MIN to modify the rail car dumper at Esperance to be capable of unloading the company’s fleet of bottom-dump rail wagons.
All of the train's locomotives and rolling stock is owned and operated by MIN.
The company has also received strong support from Arc Infrastructure, the owner of the train track network that connects Koolyanobbing to Esperance.
Koolyanobbing will provide direct employment for about 285 workers across the mine and related infrastructure, as well as indirect employment for about 415 people whose goods and services support the operation.