INCREASING productivity and reliability for the mining industry is the aim of a planned bulk mineral shiploader to be built at Burnie Port, Tasmania.

TasRail has announced it is about to release to market a suite of tender documents for the design and construction of the shiploader which is to replace the current loader which has been in service in north-west Tasmanian for about five decades.

The loader is being bankrolled thanks to $40m from the Commonwealth.

TasRail CEO Steven Dietrich said the new shiploader would provide unique and critical export infrastructure.


“It will be integrated into our Bulk Minerals Export Facility at the Burnie Port, which provides undercover storage for around 130,000 tonnes of ores and concentrates from West Coast mines. It will effectively double the tonnes able to be loaded per hour,” Mr Dietrich said.

“This is a proven and reliable ship loading system and, as part of a seamless integrated supply chain, it will add significant productivity and reliability to our operations and benefit the mining industry also,” he said. 

The current shiploader, located on Berth 5 in the Burnie Port, is to be decommissioned and removed as part of the project and the new one built on the same site.

Owned and operated by TasRail, it is to include modern safety and environmental features and have greater height and reach capacity.  

The new shiploader will be able to accept material delivered by both road and rail, giving the mining industry supply chain flexibility.

It is expected the project will take about two years with the aim of being in operation in mid-2022.

TasRail expects “strong interest” in the contract to design and construct the new shiploader, representing a good opportunity for local industry involvement.