QR plans for big minerals growth

QR has released a draft plan to maximise growth potential on the Mount Isa –Townsville rail corridor.

The report, Mount Isa System Rail Infrastructure Master Plan, was released by QR Network, the company’s infrastructure business, at the QRC’s North West Minerals Province workshop in Townsville.  

QR Network executive general manager Mike Carter said feedback is now being sought from industry stakeholders as the next step in developing long-term planning to meet the corridor’s capacity requirements.

“QR Network will host a Mount Isa Master Planning forum in Townsville on 26th August to work through the draft plan and further develop a coordinated approach to meeting a range of growth scenarios,” he said.

“The rail corridor plays a pivotal role in helping move exports from the minerals province along the supply chain to port. This minerals-rich region is experiencing increased demand and must plan now for the increased growth.”

The region is known as some of the world’s largest deposits of copper, lead-zinc-silver and phosphate rock and substantial deposits of other minerals.

“Our draft Master Plan includes possible operational and infrastructure solutions for the supply chain. We have based these on various increased traffic flow scenarios which could result from possible increased port capacity or new mining projects.”

According to Mr Carter, around five million tonnes per annum of rail freight was currently hauled on the line.

The company is midway of its $232 million investment program, which was rolled out in 2005, to improve performance on the corridor. Also as part of the initiative, the company is developing remote driver-activated passing loops to cut transit times between Stuart and Mount Isa, with the Queensland Government allocating $107 million over  four years for the project.

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