Gawler Craton rail access

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Gawler Craton rail access

Freight rail connection to Gawler Craton mineral province
Early-stage proposal (Stage 1)
Location
Gawler Craton minerals region, SA
Geography
Developing regions and northern Australia
Category
Regional Connectivity
Problem/Opportunity timeframe
Longer term (10-15 years)
Proposed By
SA Government
Date added to the IPL
17 February 2016

Problem

The Gawler Craton area is a remote mineral region north-west of the Eyre Peninsula in South Australia. The region, which extends into the Woomera Prohibited Area, contains extensive copper, gold, silver and iron ore deposits.

The remoteness of the mineral deposits within the northern part of South Australia is a challenge for exploration and development. Development of a railway could provide a significant transport connection to the Prominent Hill, Olympic Dam and Carrapateena mines, and open up other potential reserves in the area, including Wirrda Well, Acropolis, Vulcan, Titan and Millers Creek.

Geological surveys have indicated that potential deposits in the Woomera Prohibited Area and its surrounds are valued at up to $35 billion, indicating that a significant uplift in the region’s mineral exports could be attainable.

Proposal

The proposal proposes that a third party builds, owns and operates a 350 km railway in the Gawler Craton province, linking to the existing interstate rail network. Future connections to other potential mining projects will be possible.

Next steps

Proponent to develop potential investment options (Stage 2 of Infrastructure Australia’s Assessment Framework).