MinRes sells stake of its autonomous road train haul road for $1.3 billion

Mineral Resources (MinRes) has entered into a binding agreement with Morgan Stanley Infrastructure Partners for the sale of a 49 per cent interest in Onslow Iron’s dedicated haul road at a cost of $1.3 billion.

The haul road is a key component of an autonomous road train project developed by MinRes, where road trains capable of carrying 330 tonnes of iron ore will be put to work.

The 150km dual lane haul road links the Ken’s Bore mine site to the Port of Ashburton.

It will be fully sealed, fenced and equipped with fibre optic cabling to support the operation of MinRes’ autonomous C509 road trains – with the first of these delivered about a month ago.

The autonomous prime movers are being progressively fitted out with autonomous technology by autonomy specialist Hexagon.

According to MinRes, this autonomous solution unlocks stranded iron ore deposits in the West Pilbara region of Western Australia.

Through the $1.3 billion deal, MinRes will retain majority ownership and exclusive rights to use, operate and maintain the haul road.

MinRes says the arrangement will ensure seamless mine-to-ship delivery of Onslow Iron product to customers.

“I am proud of the strategic relationships we have formed with global industry leaders and pleased to welcome Morgan Stanley Infrastructure Partners as a partner in the Onslow haul road,” said MinRes managing director Chris Ellison.

“This transaction is a strong endorsement of Onslow Iron’s world-class credentials, after the project last month delivered first ore on ship ahead of schedule.

“As the first transaction of its kind in the Australian iron ore industry, it showcases the considerable value of MinRes’ portfolio of infrastructure assets and our ability to unlock significant capital.

“The transaction also establishes access to a new pool of capital to further accelerate our growth and continue to deliver returns for our shareholders.”

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