BC Iron doubts Pilbara rail plan

Iron ore miner says Brockman-Aurizon plan needs Atlas Iron.

A plan by Brockman Mining Ltd and Aurizon Holdings Ltd to build a new Pilbara rail line has come under criticism from iron ore junior BC Iron Ltd, having questioned whether the line can be built without broader support from miners, according to The Australian Financial Review.

Under the terms of the rail plan, Brockman has inked an exclusive deal with Aurizon to develop the Pilbara's first independent rail line. But BC Iron questioned whether the plan can go ahead without support from at least one more larger junior iron ore miner working in the area, such as Atlas Iron Ltd (see Tim Treadgold's Is it iron curtains for small producers?).

“The big swing factor there of course is what Atlas is doing,” BC Iron managing director Morgan Ball told the AFR.

“I'm not privy to what [Atlas managing director Ken Brinsden] is planning but clearly he's talking to Fortescue, clearly he's talking to Aurizon.

“If Ken ends up with an infrastructure solution around [Fortescue's infrastructure vehicle TPI] in some way, I can't see Brockman alone supporting an Aurizon type project.”