Atlas Iron, an Australian iron ore producer, with a number of key projects located within 150 km of the port of Port Hedland in Western Australia is closing in on consolidating a deal which would allow it to use one of BHP Billiton's Pilbara railway lines.
It may prove to be a landmark deal as it would open up the option to other small miners as well.
The integrated transport solution that BHP Billiton was offering Atlas Iron would allow it to transport its coal from mines to Port Hedland. If the deal goes through it would see the BHP Billiton’s rail network system opening up to other companies for the first time since they were built.
The Pilbara miner owned rail networks have been built bit by bit by BHP Billiton and Rio Tinto. Smaller mining companies have been trying to gain access to the railway network but with little success so far.
Now a BHP Billiton spokeswoman confirmed that if the deal goes through the integrated rail haulage and transport solution will optimise the use of existing infrastructure to maximise export capacity at Utah Point in Port Hedland.