WA floods add 6,000km to Centurion's truck trips

Centurion Mining Services forced to detour its trucks because of West Australian floods, adding another 6,000km to their journey

April 5, 2011

Centurion Mining Services has been forced to detour its trucks because of West Australian floods, adding another 6,000km to their journey.

The regular 6,000km return trip on the Great Northern Highway to deliver food and mining supplies to Western Australia’s north west has turned into a 12,000km drive through South Australia and the Northern Territory to deliver supplies to Kununurra.

The company says it is taking four days to get supplies to Coles at Kununurra and Rio Tinto’s Argyle diamond mine. Special quarantine permits have been granted to allow groceries to pass through South Australia and the Northern Territory.

"We are hoping to able to commence our normal route shortly, but this will depend on when the roads are fully opened," Centurion Executive General Manager Mark Doig says.

"In the meantime, this is a great example of where there’s a will, there’s a way."

Doig says Centurion sends 10 to 20 trailers to the Kimberley each week depending on client demand.

"We initially had a truck with a triple trailer and a truck with a single trailer that got caught at Fitzroy Crossing and had to turn back all the way to Perth and on to the alternate route. These four trailers travelled more than 20,000 kilometres," he says.

Floods have damaged the McPhee and Mistake bridges north and south of the diamond mine, and Doig says it is unclear when they will reopen.

Access to the McPhee Bridge is limited to three-tonne vehicles. Doig says Centurion’s trucks weigh close to 42 tonnes.

"Lighter vehicles will probably gain access earlier, so we may need to transfer goods to rigid trucks," he says.

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