Owners of Mount Isa Mines, Glencore say they will soon move “the bulk” of their transported product off the road and back onto the railway.
Earlier this year the company did not renew its existing contract with Aurizon because it was “significantly expensive” compared to the tender supplied by successful applicant Pacific National however Aurizon refused to sell or loan its rail carriages which were necessary to transport the product in what Glencore copper boss Mike Westerman called a “ludicrous situation”.
As a result many North West Star readers travelling the Barkly Highway say they have noted an increase in truck numbers.
Trevor Gray, Glencore’s General Manager Central Services said they were taking steps to fix the problem.
“Flatbed wagons have been added to the Pacific National train that carries Glencore’s bulk products to and from the coast, marking a significant step towards getting the bulk of our products back on the rail,” Mr Gray said.
“We now have 48 of the planned 50 wagons on the track which has allowed us to once again transport metal products to Townsville and bring bulk materials required by our operations back to Mount Isa via the rail line.”
Mr Gray said they temporarily increased our use of road trains to transport metal products to Townsville while awaiting delivery of the new wagons, resulting in an average of about 20 additional trucks moving products daily on the Flinders highway during February and March as the wagons came on line.
“The remainder of the wagons have been temporarily held up by the flooding in Central Queensland but we expect them to arrive in Townsville and be on the track within the next two weeks,” he said.