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Mount Isa–Townsville rail line may reopen on 29 April, report Argus Media

Published by , Editorial Assistant
World Fertilizer,

Argus is reporting that Australia's 1000 km Mount Isa-Townsville rail line is expected to reopen on 29 April, which will restore the haulage of base metal concentrates and fertilizers that have been affected by heavy rain, which resulted in a train carrying metal concentrates being derailed.

State-owned rail network operator Queensland Rail have said that the final works to be completed over the next week include ballast train drops and resurfacing, while final inspections and test trains have run the line prior to the track reopening.

"Queensland Rail expects to reopen the full length of the 1000 km Mount Isa line from Monday, 29 April," said Queensland Rail chief executive officer Nick Easy. The reopening date is planned for between late April and mid-May.

Heavy rainfall during early February in the Julia Creek area caused haulage on the rail line to be halted, which is about 250 km east of the Mount Isa mine owned by Switzerland-based miner and commodities trader Glencore.

The heavy rainfall caused an 81-railcar train carrying lead and zinc concentrates and copper anodes from the Mount Isa mine to derail at Nelia, near Julia Creek. The derailment has halted haulage of base metal concentrates and fertilizers on the rail line since 7 February. The derailment has also affected haulage from Phosphate Hill plant near Mount Isa.

More than 200 sites across 300 km of the rail line required repairs, where there was significant erosion and flooding, stated Queensland state transport minister Mark Bailey.

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