Key decision in favour of dedicated use of Rios Pilbara iron ore

first_imgRio Tinto has said it welcomes the Australian Competition Tribunal’s decision that its Hamersley and Robe rail lines should not be opened up to other users. Rio Tinto Iron Ore acting Chief Executive Paul Shannon said “This is great news. Rio Tinto runs a highly efficient railway that is fully integrated with our port and mine operations. This would be severely hindered if third parties were allowed to run trains on our rail network, not to mention the knock-on negative effect on the Western Australian and national economies from creating such inefficiencies.”Fortescue Metals Group (FMG), Australia’s third largest iron ore miner, has its own multi-billion-dollar rail line but has also been in dispute with Rio and BHP Billiton for access to their lines. The company had previously had a successful High Court decision in September 2012 directing its Rail Access Application to be remitted back to the Australian Competition Tribunal for fresh consideration. The High Court ruling required the Australian Competition Tribunal to make a fresh decision in Rio Tinto’s appeal against a decision by the Federal Treasurer Wayne Swan in 2008 when he declared Rio Tinto’s Hamersley and Robe lines to be available for third party use.The company stated: “Fortescue is disappointed that following that successful decision of the High Court, the Australian Competition Tribunal has made orders to set aside the original decision of the Treasurer to declare Rio Tinto’s Hamersley and Robe Railway Lines. The decision does not affect Fortescue’s current operations and expansion plans, which utilise the company’s existing fully owned rail infrastructure.” Fortescue CEO Nev Power said that “it is regrettable that the Competition Tribunal did not see the merits of providing third party access to this infrastructure to enhance competition and thereby deliver greater productivity and efficiency benefits for all of Australia. Fortescue will continue to provide third party access to our own rail system and will continue to advocate for third party access for all Pilbara rail infrastructure.”last_img

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