Where there is no official class number, I have substituted the number of the first loco. A "#" indicates that the locomotive does not have a number.
The mining industry hauls the bulk of the tonnage carried by private
operators in Australia, the best example of this being in the Pilbara.
railways are used by other mining companies as well, for smaller
Railways have the obvious advantage that they are best for hauling
amounts of bulk products such as mineral ores.
|Blue Circle||RioTinto Aluminium (Comalco)||Emu Bay Railway|
|Hamersley Iron - Pilbara Rail||Mount Isa Mines||Robe River - Pilbara Rail|
|SECV||Silverton Tramway||Sulphide Corp|
|Fortescue Metals Group|
Blue Circle (part of Southern Portland Cement) operated a short
railway in the Southern Highlands of NSW, in relation to its
cement-making operations. Southern Portland Cement is in turn partly
owned by BHP.
The railway system comprised a branch line at Marulan South and another at Berrima, both linking onto the the Main Southern Railway Line. It was used to convey limestone and coal to the cement making plant at Berrima
RioTinto Aluminium (Comalco)
Comalco is Australia's largest producer of bauxite, and its railway is at Weipa, the world's largest deposit of bauxite. Although there is only around 20 km of track, the small Comalco fleet carries around 10 megatonnes of bauxite a year from the mine to the port, where it is shipped to the refinery at Gladstone.
For information on Emu Bay locomotives, please visit RailTasmania.
Fortescue Metals Group (FMG) is the latest rail operator in the
Pilbara iron-ore mining area. Coote bought some second-hand locos
from the other Pilbara operators for construction work; then FMG bought
some Dash-9's for the iron ore haulage.
FMG have been trying to gain access to BHP's and RioTinto's networks in court battles.
The Dash-9's and DR8401-8405 (the latter belonging to Coote) are in FMG's livery.
Mount Isa Mines
Mount Isa Mines is one of the country's main copper/lead/silver/zinc
and has historically been based at Mount Isa, although MIM has expanded
However, their last two locomotives were recently put up for auction, ending their operations at the city. QR will apparently now be taking over.
The SECV's railway network began operation in 1927, originally being
for transporting brown coal out of it's Yallourn mine (this railway
in 1984), and then working on the Interconnecting Railway between
and Morwell. This rather unique railway had a 900 mm gauge, and over
built up a fleet of 42 electric locos. When Cooks Constructions took
operation of the line in 1993, these were replaced by ex-QR
diesel-hydraulic locos, while the line itself saw a much lower usage.
In turn, Cooks have lost the contract, and EnergyBrix (who operate the Morwell briquette plant) have taken over. They introduced the P class.
Now, the ICR has been closed due to expansion of the mine. As a result, coal traffic goes by road.
Sulphide Corp is a subsidiary of Pasminco and processes the latter's ore at it's Cockle Creek (Newcastle) plant. The ore is railed in from their Elura mine near Cobar. However, rail operations have now ceased at the Cockle Creek plant.
Locomotive Page Introduction
© Copyright John Cleverdon