18/10/2007 - 13:34

Midwest granted trucking extension to October 31

18/10/2007 - 13:34

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Planning and Infrastructure Minister Alannah MacTiernan has further extended the deadline on Midwest Corporation Ltd's trucking permit to October 31, as the company seeks to resolve impediments to the construction of the Tilley rail siding.

Planning and Infrastructure Minister Alannah MacTiernan has further extended the deadline on Midwest Corporation Ltd's trucking permit to October 31, as the company seeks to resolve impediments to the construction of the Tilley rail siding.


 

The full text of a Midwest announcement is pasted below

Midwest Corporation Limited ("Midwest") has met today with the Western Australian Minister for Planning and Infrastructure, Alannah MacTiernan, in relation to the Company's move of its haulage operations from road to rail.

Midwest has made substantial progress since the last meeting on 27 September 2007 to resolve the remaining impediments to the Company constructing its rail siding at Tilley and moving its haulage operations to rail.

The Minister has today agreed to a further extension of time from 20 October to 31 October 2007.

This short extension allows the parties to gain greater confidence that the remaining approvals will be granted in a timely manner, before consideration of a further extension of road haulage through to the completion of Tilley Siding.

Tilley Siding

The rail siding at Tilley, adjacent to the town of Morawa, will be used to store and transport ore to Geraldton by rail for the remaining life of Midwest's Koolanooka and Blue Hills Direct Shipping Ore project. This is expected to continue for at least 4 years during which the company expects to ship approximately 8 million tonnes of ore.

Once government approvals have been received, construction of Tilley Siding will take approximately 18 weeks.

Midwest has been ready to award the bulk earthworks construction and rail track construction since April 2007. Contractors have confirmed they are ready to commence work and can meet the required timeframe.

EPA Approval

Following the acquisition of a property near Tilley Siding and communication with the EPA, Midwest expects the outstanding EPA approval to be granted shortly.

Port

An upgrade to the Midwest facility at the Port of Geraldton is in progress. This will allow trains to be unloaded at the rate of 2,500 tph compared to 300 tph presently. This upgrade is well in hand and will be completed before December 2007.

Rail

A contract with ARG is presently being finalised in order to access the rail network and to haul trains.

ARG have locomotives and personnel in place ready to start operating trains.

Rail wagons are undergoing final commissioning which is expected to be completed by November 2007.

Expenditure to Date

Midwest has committed in excess of $13 million on transferring operations to rail including:
- Purchase/lease of nearby property
- Purchase of rail wagons
- Purchase of rail and turnouts

Commenting on the extension, Mr Bryan Oliver, chief executive officer, said, "Midwest is committed to the transition from road to rail and will continue to work with the state government to ensure this happens as soon practicable in the best interests of all stakeholders."

STANDING BY BUSINESS. TRUSTED BY BUSINESS.

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