Brockman Mining has signed an MoU with the Chinese-owned Tianjin Port group to investigate development of multi-user port infrastructure for the North West Infrastructure (NWI) iron ore alliance in Western Australia’s Pilbara region.

Although it has been in the spotlight recently with rail access negotiations for Fortescue’s Pilbara network, the MoU indicates Brockman’s continuing efforts to develop an infrastructure option for its Marillana hematite project.

Brockman’s chairman Kwai Sze Hoi says, “This is another critical step towards defining and commercializing the infrastructure solution for our Marillana project, which will support either alternatives being proposed: the East Pilbara integrated rail and port prefeasibility study or our access proposal to TPI railway (Fortescue’s infrastructure subsidiary).”

NWI is an incorporated joint venture comprising West Australian iron ore hopefuls Atlas Iron, Brockman Mining and FerrAus. The West Australian Government allocated NWI 50 million tonnes annual export capacity for its proposed iron ore export facility at South-West Creek in Port Hedland’s inner harbour. NWI is proposing development of two berths and associated infrastructure: stackers and loaders, conveyors, stockyard, rail car dumper and rail loop.

Newspaper reports suggest  that TPI has set Brockman a high price to access the 200km of rail line it needs to annually take about 20 million tonnes of ore from pit to ship. TPI is asking for a minimum fee of $73.4 million per year, and a ceiling price of $575.6 million per year. The figures breakdown to about $3.67 per tonne, with the ceiling price topping $28.78 per tonne.

Marillana’s resources comprise 173 million tonnes in the measured category, 1238 million indicated tonnes and 219 million inferred tonnes.

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