Premier of Tasmania – New Burnie ship loader to boost industry productivity


November 23, 2022

Michael Ferguson, Minister of Infrastructure and Transport

The $64 million bulk mineral export facility operated by TasRail at the Port of Burnie is by far Tasmania’s most important mineral export infrastructure and the new facility under construction will provide the industry with the ability to grow for many decades.

Fabrication of this infrastructure is well advanced at COVA Haywards in Launceston and The Engineering Company in Somerset, backed by quality assurance from the Tasmanian Minerals and Energy Council.

TasRail’s new shiploader will load at twice the speed of the current facility and, combined with the additional 15,000 tonnes of storage capacity at the port, this change in scale is attracting considerable interest from the mining sector .

The speed and loading capacity of the new facility and its seamless connection to TasRail’s freight rail network are already attracting interest from the mining and mineral processing industries.

The facility’s largest customer, Tas Mines, has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with TasRail to undertake a joint feasibility study with TasRail to shift its freight task to the port from road to rail.

Tas Mines shipped 260,000 tons of magnetite from the mine to the port last year.

With the Australian Government’s commitment to an $18 million bulk mineral loading hub on TasRail’s Melba Line, the bulk minerals industry will benefit from exciting new storage and logistics options, with rail connections being in the foreground.

Although the feasibility is yet to be determined, switching to rail would offer the potential to cut 6,500 truck movements each way per year on current volumes alone and provide a continuous rail-to-ship logistics train for the Hampshire-based Tas mines. .

This is an example of the potential of the new bulk ore ship loader and expanded storage facility at the Port of Burnie.

In the previous financial year, TasRail loaded 650,000 tonnes of zinc, lead and high-grade iron ore into the existing facility, which was just one vessel load less than a record .

The Port of Burnie Ship Loader is just one part of our $5.6 billion infrastructure program designed to support jobs and create safer, more connected communities.

The budget and forward forecasts include $4.85 billion in investments from the public administration sector, to which are added $736.9 million in support investments from other government enterprises.

Mobilization is underway at the Port of Burnie ahead of the shiploader components arriving in late January ahead of construction.

The project supports 140 local Tasmanian jobs in design and construction is on track for commissioning in mid-2023.

Only a Liberal government in Tasmania understands that investing in infrastructure grows the economy, creates jobs and provides the essential services that Tasmanians need.

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