Asciano's (AIO) Pacific National Coal has entered into a new rail haulage agreement with Whitehaven Coal Mining (WHC), which will come into effect this month and not expire until June 2026.
In a statement to the Australian Securities Exchange, the parties said the new arrangement replaces the previous agreement between Pacific National and Whitehaven and will provide a more efficient train fleet configuration ahead of the commencement of full 30 tonne axle load operations in 2015.
The agreement volume is unchanged at 9.5mt per annum under the current 25 tonne axle load conditions, and increases to 11.5mt per annum following the introduction of 30 tonne axle load conditions.
"The new agreement provides Pacific National Coal with the certainty required to commit to the more efficient fleet configuration," the statement said.
"Whitehaven will benefit through an overall reduction in per tonne haulage costs as, by using more efficient fleet, less overall train services are required for any given volume.
Pacific National Coal director David Irwin said he was pleased to negotiate a "win/win" agreement with Whitehaven.
"At the same time, we have materially extended the duration of our NSW contracted portfolio while continuing to meet our internal return targets," he said.