OPR was originally established to design, develop, construct and operate a new deepwater port complete with iron ore handling and connecting rail infrastructure. The project could support transporting and exporting of products from mining operations in the Midwest region.
Further development of iron ore mining in the region will stimulate economic growth in the coming decades, with OPR and its customers potentially becoming key employers in the region.
- Development of an integrated logistics chain, to facilitate the efficient export of mineral products from the mid-west to global markets;
- Berthing capacity for capesize vessels;
- Port and rail infrastructure capable of handling up to 45 million tonnes per annum (mtpa) of ore, with capability for staged expansion to over 70mtpa; and
- A breakwater design to withstand storm events.
The greenfields site for the Oakajee deepwater port is 24km north of Geraldton. The site boasts a natural deep anchorage – one of very few such sites along Australia’s west coast.
The port will accommodate capesize vessels to handle iron ore with an initial capacity of 45 million tonnes per annum.
The design includes state-of-the-art facilities to control dust and minimise the impact on the coastal environment. Other design considerations include:
- Seismic and geotechnical investigations over the port area;
- Wave analysis – non-cyclonic, cyclonic and long period waves;
- Under keel clearance;
- Vessel simulations;
- Breakwater stability;
- 2D & 3D (two & three dimensional) breakwater studies;
The new facility should support increased business development in adjacent industrial zones as well as the region.
OPR’s rail will be a heavy haul single track standard gauge iron ore railway with passing loops designed to meet an initial base case port capacity of 45 million tonnes per annum (wet). This could be expanded towards capacity of up to 75 million tonnes per annum. The system has been designed to handle iron ore lump, fines and magnetite concentrate.
The railway to Sinosteel’s Weld Range and Jack Hills mines has a length of approximately 570km. The rail corridor could also permit spur lines from mines to the south east to interconnect to Oakajee.
The process to nominate a rail corridor was underpinned by comprehensive feasibility studies and extensive stakeholder consultation.
A host of technical, social, heritage and environmental factors were considered in developing the alignment. These ranged from land topography and impact on flora and fauna, to existing infrastructure. The proposed original rail corridor was designed to minimise community and environmental impacts by avoiding towns, heritage sites and high value conservation areas.