Prime Mover Magazine

Toll ramps up haulage services as potash projects escalate roadtrain demand

Sulphate of potash (SOP) projects in Western Australia have recently determined an increasing range of future roadtrain services such as a major new contract rewarded to Toll from Kalium Lakes announced earlier in the year.

Mine site to shipping collection of SOP products from the Beyondie site will begin in early 2020 and involve haulage from Newman to Perth where receipt, storage and inventory control of SOP products are to take place in the depot - all of it handled by Toll.

The Beyondie project is on track to be Australia’s first SOP operation and Kalium Lakes rates Toll as the most suitable provider of transport services, according Rudolph van Niekerk Chief Development Officer.

“Utilising Toll’s existing fleet to backload our product from Beyondie to Perth, without adding more trucks on the road, not only provides for an economical solution, but also demonstrates Kalium Lakes’ strategic location, which has provided cost saving synergies for both companies,” he said.

“We have worked closely with Toll to develop a strategic, fit for purpose and mutually economic product delivery logistics solution.”

The costings of the tasks Toll will undertake are within the company’s budget outlined in its bankable feasibility study released late last year, according to Kalium.

Toll will also control the loading of containers, despatch, delivery and shipping documentation for SOP products from its depot to ports in Fremantle or Kwinana.

The contract has been subject to a final investment decision and a subsequent notice from Kalium that it is ready to commence haulage operations.

Kalium's closest competitor in commercial SOP production, Australian Potash, recently announced it had signed a joint co-operation agreement with Geraldton port operator, the Mid West Ports Authority.

As part of a recently completed definitive feasibility study for its Lake Wells project, the company identified a road haul route via Laverton, Leonora, Sandstone and Mount Magnet to Geraldton as the best logistical option for getting bulk SoP to port for export at Geraldton.

According to the study an anticipated 30-year operation producing 4.5 million tonnes of premium high-grade sulphate of potash would generate $3.1 billion in pre-tax free cash flow.

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