Fenix Newhaul lands massive mine transport deal in WA

Fenix to use joint-venture firm for collaborative Iron Ridge Project effort

Fenix Newhaul lands massive mine transport deal in WA
Fenix is expecting to start mining in December


Miner Fenix Resources has sealed a six-year deal with its Western Australian joint-venture transport firm Fenix Newhaul, starting in December with first shipment expected early next year.

Worth $360 million, the contract has already seen prime movers and trailers ordered for the project and funding secured for this specialist equipment through an equipment manufacturer.

That is based on a terminal gate diesel price ex-Geraldton of around $1.34 per litre, though the current diesel price is around $1.05.

Road transport is put at $43.27 million a year or 56.3 per cent of expected operating costs, with mine and processing at 27.1 per cent ($20.87 million) and port costs at 12.1 per cent ($9.27 million).

Fenix Newhaul also has funding for start-up costs and equipment deposits through shareholder loan facilities up to $3.9 million.

"Road transport was quickly identified as the largest cost component for the commercialisation of Iron Ridge," Fenix MD Rob Brierley says.

"We took an innovative approach to optimise this aspect and we strongly believe that the joint venture concept with Craig Mitchell has been the right way to go.

"Fenix Newhaul plan to commence operations with a mix of sub-contract and owned fleet and they are actively recruiting for personnel, with most of their employees to be Geraldton-based."


Read about Newhaul’s Agrimin potash  transport deal, here

The project involves shifting export ore 490km to Geraldton mostly along the Great Northern Highway and the Geraldton-Mt Magnet Road

The deal confirms the long-term nature of Fenix’s link with Mitchell who is the founder and former owner of Mitchell Corp, which Toll Holdings bought in 2011 for around $110 million to muscle in on the then booming resources trade in Western Australia.

Fenix announced its Newhaul joint venture in May 2019, saying at the time that it would be named Premium Minehaul (PM).

In explaining the move’s rationale Brierley said then: "Significant benefits include reduction and transparency of trucking costs, greater control over the logistics chain, reduction in the initial capital outlay and, most importantly, by introducing Craig Mitchell into operations the company stands to benefit significantly from his extensive experience in the industry."

Mitchell tells ATN the whole Fenix organisation is flat out getting the operation going and is not presently in a position to discuss details but holds out the prospect of it doing so later.

According to an article in the West Australian, Mitchell has a stake of $250,000 worth of news shares in Fenix and the haulage will use locals rather than fly-in fly-out labour.

He also explains a preference for collaborative enterprises rather than traditional contracting.

It has been a busy time for Newhaul recently, with the company entering a 50-50 joint venture with fertiliser firm Agrimin to transport Agrimin’s potash from its Mackay project to Wyndham Port.


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