Macarthur Minerals Ltd (ASX:MIO) (CVE:MMS) has engaged RCR Mining Technologies, a subsidiary of NRW Holdings Limited (ASX:NWH), to provide a conceptual rail wagon and rail unloading solution for its flagship Moonshine magnetite deposits at Lake Giles Iron Project in Western Australia.
RCR has been engaged to examine the potential to use cutting-edge rail unloading technology that has been used in Scandinavian magnetite operations for several years.
The engineering concept will employ a ‘Helix Dumper’ unloading system and Helix Dumper wagons owned and developed by Kiruna Wagon in Sweden, which has been successfully utilised in transporting magnetite concentrate from northern Sweden to the Port of Narvik in Norway.
Route to market
Macarthur Minerals president and executive chairman Cameron McCall said: “This is another positive step forward for Macarthur’s Lake Giles Iron Project and demonstrates the tenacity with which management is progressing this essential component of project delivery.
“The company’s recent announcements concerning its applications to develop haul road and rail siding infrastructure near Lake Giles and a proposal for development of a commercial track access agreement from Arc Infrastructure mean that the company is edging closer than ever to delivering its route-to-market solution and making this project real for shareholders.
“With this new cutting-edge rail unloading technology having the potential to contribute to increased trade through Esperance Port, this can only be good for future economic growth and job security in the region.”
Helix system advantages
The Helix system was developed specifically for magnetite concentrates to provide efficient discharge of sticky product at rates up to 25,000 tonnes per hour and provides the potential to optimise productivity.
Advantages over conventional rotary car dumpers include:
- Lightweight wagons, increasing gross payload;
- High-capacity continuous discharge, reducing operating costs;
- The potential for lower capital cost;
- The potential for lower operating cost with unloading powered only by the locomotive’s forward motion; and
- Wagon body shape optimised for wet concentrates.
RCR holds an exclusive licence to develop the Helix system in Australia and in combination with Kiruna Wagon can manufacture both the dumper and wagons in Western Australia.
Port of Esperance potential
Macarthur is working with Southern Ports Authority on the potential to develop this system at the Port of Esperance, in addition to negotiating access to develop a storage shed for its magnetite concentrate.
If constructed, the system will be capable of handling tonnages well in excess of Macarthur’s immediate requirements for stage one of its Lake Giles Iron Project, providing the potential for increased trade through Esperance, subject to capacity elsewhere within the port.
The company intends to work collaboratively with the port to ensure that the footprint of the system and associated conveyor infrastructure, which would feed directly into the storage shed, can work in with existing operations at the port and without adversely affecting other users.