Gindalbie Metals Ltd. confirmed that the first train-load of iron ore from the Karara iron ore project in Western Australia’s Midwest region has been dispatched, representing the first time the project’s integrated mine and rail logistics chain has been used. The milestone follows the successful commissioning of the new 85-km rail spur connecting the Karara mine site to the existing rail network in Western Australia’s Midwest region and receipt of all necessary government approvals to allow ore haulage to begin.

Initially, ore will be temporarily stored in train cars at Narngulu, just outside Geraldton, while final port works are completed. Some minor delays have been experienced with the final completion of the Karara Export Terminal, with all remaining work expected to be completed within the coming weeks. This will allow ore to be received at the Karara port storage facility and once sufficient ore has been accumulated to accommodate a full ship load, commercial shipments will recommence.

“It’s not every day that Western Australia sees the completion and commissioning of such a significant piece of transportation infrastructure, with our new 85 km long rail spur now linking seamlessly with the existing Midwest rail network,” said Tim Netscher, managing director, Gindalbie. “With the Karara Export Terminal at Geraldton due to be completed and commissioned shortly, this should provide clear evidence that the Karara project is now in the home straight and is moving inexorably toward production of first magnetite concentrate by the end of September 2012.”

More than 2 million metric tons of hematite lump and fines ore has been stockpiled at the Karara mine site in readiness for the commissioning of the full logistics chain. The new 85 km spur line runs from the rail loop at Karara to Tilley Siding, near Morawa, where it interconnects with the existing 200 km railway, owned by Brookfield Rail, providing a fully integrated rail solution for the Karara project.