WA Kaolin calls on WA Gov to restore rail access as Wickepin gears up for production

WA Kaolin (ASX:WAK) reports that it is in talks with the Western Australia state government over restoring access to part of the Tier 3 rail network to provide rail freight access to its ‘world class’ Wickepin Project 220km south-east of Perth.

Representatives of the miner have been in talks with state’s Minister for Transport, Planning & Ports Rita Saffioti over restoring access to lines that are currently under care and maintenance.

The company argues that direct rail access to port is vital to facilitate higher volumes of output destined for export markets.

Addressing the news, CEO Andrew Sorensen said: “As we look towards the future and increasing production volumes from Wickepin, we need the best logistics option for higher quantities of our product keeping in mind traffic on local roads as well as lowest possible freight cost. Our Executive Director, Mr. Alf Baker has visited most kaolin producers worldwide, and notes that WAK will be the only major producer without a rail siding alongside the plant. Therefore, access to the rail is imperative as it ensures the future growth of the company is not hampered by logistics issues and will enable WA Kaolin to create jobs in the Wheatbelt region.

access to the rail is imperative as it ensures the future growth of the company is not hampered by logistics issues and will enable WA Kaolin to create jobs in the Wheatbelt region”

We look forward to future discussions with the Minister for Transport; Planning; Ports and the rail freight providers to identify how WA Kaolin can play a part in this significantly important local infrastructure project and to participating in the initial technical study to determine how best funds should be allocated for maximum benefit to both the Community and WA Kaolin and its shareholders.”

WA Kaolin’s Wickepin Project hosts a 644.5 million tonne Mineral Resource, including an Ore Reserve Estimate of 30.5 million tonnes of ‘premium’ kaolinised granite.

The project is described by the company as the world’s largest known remaining premium primary kaolin resource, and is expected to expand production to over 400,000tpa in 2023 via its new processing plant, with first production scheduled for the current quarter.

Images: WA Kaolin Ltd
Written By Jonathan Norris
Jonathan is a founder of Mining.com.au and has been covering the resources industry since 2018. With over 17 years experience in print, broadcast and online media, Jonathan has seen first hand the transformative effect of online niche media.