AUSTRALIA: On April 6 Fortescue Metals transported its first load of iron ore mined at Cloudbreak in the Pilbara to Herb Elliott Port.

The initial shipment was taken by lorry from the opencast mine to the Hunter Siding open access facility of Fortescue subsidiary The Pilbara Infrastructure Pty. It was then hauled by TPI's GE locos on the 185 km heavy haul line to Port Hedland, where it was used to form a base layer for future stockpiles.

Construction of the 260 km line between the mine and port began in February 2006, and the final Pandrol clip was fixed in place on April 7, the day after the first ore train ran. Exports of ore to China are expected to begin this month.