Prospective iron ore miner Iron Road and agribusiness Emerald Grain have announced a partnership which will help deliver a combined iron ore and grain railway and port operation at Cape Hardy on South Australia’s Eyre Peninsula.
Iron Road wants to set up an iron ore mine and export operation, known as the Central Eyre Iron Project.
In Emerald Grain – a subsidiary of Japanese conglomerate Sumitomo Corporation – Iron Road has found itself a powerful business partner, which Iron Road managing director Andrew Stocks said will help it unlock significant benefits.
“We have from day one operated on a principle of third party access to our planned infrastructure business,” Stocks said.
“The planned deep water port, capable of handling the largest bulk cargo vessels, alongside a substantial heavy haulage railway, will be a first for South Australia and a radical improvement on the state’s existing infrastructure base.”
Stocks explained an ongoing partnership with Emerald Grain would be important in delivering the CEIP, and said the deal also ensured maximum benefit for local communities, commodity exporters and the region.
“We have always put a priority on developing a multi-user facility with cross commodity access for other industries, such as grain, which we believe will open up substantial additional export and import opportunities to maximise benefits at a regional and state level.”
Emerald Grain chief executive John Murray said his business had long advocated for improvements to the rail infrastructure and port capabilities in Australia.
“Working together with Iron Road allows us to realise our shared vision to deliver the most efficient supply chain we possibly can,” he said.
“Ultimately this is about doing all we can to help growers remain viable and compete on the world market.”