Atlas, Brockman, QR National Sign Pact to Study Iron Ore Railway

Aug. 21 (Bloomberg) -- Atlas Iron Ltd., an Australian iron ore producer, haulage company QR National Ltd. and Brockman Resources Ltd. agreed to study building new rail and port capacity in Western Australia’s Pilbara region.

The companies signed an agreement to share costs and resources for the study that is expected to be completed by the end of the year, Hong Kong-based Wah Nam International Holdings Ltd., which owns Brockman, said in a statement today. Further agreement on project development may follow, it said.

Atlas Iron and Brockman need port and rail capacity to haul iron ore from their Pilbara mines as they seek to boost exports to China, the world’s biggest consumer of the steelmaking material. Today’s agreement came after an initial accord was signed in April between Atlas and QR National for an evaluation to build a new railroad to Port Hedland, the gateway to Asia from the ore-rich region in northwestern Australia.

Atlas Iron and Brockman are also part of the North West Infrastructure joint venture studying port solutions in the Pilbara. Atlas intends to more than triple annual output to 46 million metric tons by 2017. Brockman owns the Marillana iron ore project.

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