BHP in Export Shortfall After Train Derailment
BHP's stockpiles of iron ore at Port Hedland, in Western Australia's Pilbara region, are not expected to be enough to meet its export contracts following the deliberate derailment of an out-of-control train on Monday.
The train, loaded with iron ore, was deliberately derailed after it traveled over 90 kilometers (56 miles) without a driver. The nearly three-kilometer (two-mile) train, four locomotives and 268 wagons, was traveling from Newman to Port Hedland when the driver stopped to inspect a wagon. The train moved off before the driver could get back on board. No one was injured in the incident.
Over 130 workers are currently repairing 1.5 kilometers (one mile) of damaged line, and BHP expects to be back to normal operations in about a week.
The cost of the derailment could be tens of millions of dollars. Investigations into the incident are being conducted by the Australian Transport Safety Bureau, the Office of the National Rail Safety Regulator and BHP. The ATSB said it expected to finish its investigation by the second quarter of 2019.
BHP's Western Australia Iron Ore (WAIO) is an integrated system of four processing hubs and five mines connected by more than 1,000 kilometers of rail infrastructure and port facilities in the Pilbara region of northern Western Australia. At each processing hub – Newman, Yandi, Mining Area C and Jimblebar – the ore is crushed and blended to create high-grade hematite lump and fines products. Iron ore products are then transported along the Port Hedland–Newman Rail Line to the Finucane Island and Nelson Point port facilities at Port Hedland.