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WA’s freight rail manager Arc Infrastructure welcomed the first new task on its rail network in five years when Tronox, a producer of titanium dioxide, shifted from coastal shipping to rail in February.
Arc has partnered with above-rail operator Aurizon on a five-year deal that sees mineral sands transported on the rail network between New South Wales and Western Australia.
The ore is initially mined and concentrated at the Atlas-Campaspe mine in the Murray Basin. After mineral separation takes place at Tronox’s plant in Broken Hill, the rail task commences on ARTC’s New South Wales network and travels through to Kwinana on Arc’s network, before being transported by road to Bunbury and Muchea for further processing.
Arc Infrastructure Head of Commercial Tim Cooling said the modal shift reflected the increased certainty rail provides customers.
“The impact of COVID has seen significant disruption to shipping across the world and the supply chain has been unable to cope with increased container demand,” he said.
“Significantly increased costs for shipping and uncertainty around shipping capacity has made rail a more attractive and reliable option. Rail can offer guaranteed capacity to customers, which provides greater certainty than coastal shipping.
“Tronox is a unique task that has found its way onto rail, and opens up opportunities for other potential customers to shift to rail as they see value in securing capacity.
“Thank you to everyone at Arc who helped get the Tronox task onto rail, and particularly to our above-rail operator, Aurizon, for working closely with the customer to enable this modal shift to happen.”
This article first appeared on www.railexpress.com.au
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