Mingenew stockpile on the way out

Claire Tyrrell and Ben O'HalloranCountryman

Mingenew residents can expect less rail traffic and industrial activity once Karara Mining's iron ore stockpile is removed from the townsite.

The stockpile, which has been in place since November last year, was expected to be cleared yesterday.

Up to 200m long, 10m high and 20m wide, the pile contained ore from Gindalbie Metals' and Ansteel's Karara project, trucked from the minesite and moved by rail into Geraldton.

Gindalbie Metals corporate affairs and investor relations manager Michael Weir said on Tuesday the pile was scheduled to be removed on Wednesday.

"The stockpiling of ore at Mingenew is due to come to an end over the course of next week but the final dates will be determined by access to shiploading access at Geraldton Port," he said.

"We have put about 64,000 tonnes through Mingenew in what has been a highly successful strategy to maintain iron ore shipments during the construction of the rail infrastructure."

Mr Weir said Gindalbie received positive feedback from Mingenew residents on the way this operation was handled.

The stockpile was situated metres away from several Mingenew businesses and caused dust and noise issues for some.

Linley Starick, of Starick Tyres, said she was pleased the stockpiling was coming to an end.

"As far as we're aware, it's finishing up, or at least we hope it is, because we'll be overjoyed about that," she said.

"They started off with iron ore fines, which was very dusty and with which we had an issue.

"After speaking to the shire and Karara we came to the conclusion that it was all going to happen whether we liked it or not.

"Karara has been very approachable, they've got a job to do and we're business people so we understand that but I think if you ask any normal person whether they would like an iron ore dump right next to their business or their house they would most probably say no.

"It's been a very contentious issue within the town but at the same time, understanding Karara's reasons for needing to do it, that was very clear and very understandable.

"But as for building it in the middle of town, well there are fors and againsts to that."

Mingenew Shire chief executive Mike Sully said the stockpile had not impacted greatly on the town and would finish up at the end of the contracted operation date.

"There's been very little disturbance and it's been good for town - there's just some added, welcome income," he said.

"The provisions in the contract for dust and noise suppression and rail wagon movements were all very well worked out and very much kept to the plan."

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