Published: 03 December 2021
Glencore has invested more than $24 million in a train fleet to transport products for its Queensland copper and zinc operations.
The fleet came online last month, with Australian logistics company QUBE operating the trains on behalf of the mining giant.
It’s the first time the business has owned its own rolling stock, which includes 108 bulk wagons (GOAF) and 80 intermodal wagons (GQCY).
It has also leased six GT22 (PRL) locomotives and one GT38 (PRA) locomotive.
Ore from Queensland Metals’ mines and third parties is processed at concentrating and smelting operations in Mount Isa to produce copper anode, lead bullion and zinc concentrates.
The new rolling stock will transport the products to Townsville for further refinement, and export to domestic and international markets.
Queensland Metals also transports cement, coking coal, grinding media and electrolyte along the line each year.
Queensland Metals supply manager Huw Werrett said securing the rolling stock would allow greater control around the movement of the business’s mineral and metal products by rail.
“Continuing to transport product by rail also has a range of benefits for the business and community,” he said.
“We are committed to moving our product by rail rather than road which promotes safety and environmental sustainability.”
“It’s also the most efficient and cost effective option over the long distance from Mount Isa to Townsville.”
Rolling stock maintenance will be carried out by Progress Rail (locomotives) and Wulguru Rail Maintenance (wagons).
The Mount Isa Line is over 1,000 kilometres of track which extends from Stuart (near Townsville) to Mount Isa and includes the Phosphate Hill branch.
Product from Mount Isa Mines has been transported along the rail line since 1929, after it took three years to construct the final section of the line between Cloncurry and Mount Isa.