The Role of Transportation in the Western Minerals Industry
The delivered price of any mineral is the determining factor in converting untapped resources into economic resources. Transporting the minerals from the mine to the market plays a significant part in the total package. The expansion of the Western minerals industry in the last ten years has been paralleled by improved transportation systems to reduce cost, increase accessibility of resources and get the minerals to market in the shortest time possible. A review is made of developments, such as unit trains, complex multi-modal systems and containerized transport, over the last ten years, with specific movement outlined. The total transportation package of land transport, port and terminal facilities, and water transport, where needed, is stressed. As the volume of minerals movement expands, increasingly sophisticated and integrated transportation systems will have to be utilized. The development of solids pipelines and other possibilities is outlined.
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