Transnet installing new iron tippler to sustain iron ore exports

South Africa’s Transnet freight group is installing a new iron ore tippler at the country’s main iron ore export line in order to sustain its current output of 60 million tonnes a year, officials said on Friday at its Saldanha port terminal.

The 3 billion rand ($208 million) project, which includes infrastructure such as a conveyor belt leading to the port, railway tracks and three bridges, is expected to start operations by July next year.

The new tippler, a massive machine which physically tilts train wagons up to 160 degrees to disgorge its contents, will replace the older of two existing tipplers built around 1976 and was becoming too expensive to maintain.

The two tipplers run around the clock and together tip iron ore from around 2,052 wagons a day onto a conveyor belt that carries the load into ships for export.

The trains operate from mining fields hundreds of kilometres away in South Africa’s Northern Cape and transport freight mainly from miners Kumba and Assmang.

($1 = 14.3927 rand)

(Reporting by Wendell Roelf Editing by James Macharia)

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