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Mineral Resources sells autonomous haul road stake

Mineral Resources has sold a minority stake in the innovative autonomous transport haul road in the West Pilbara region

Mineral Resources (MinRes) has announced it has entered into a binding agreement to sell its minority stake in a dedicated autonomous road haul road.

MinRes has sold its 49 per cent interest in Onslow Iron’s dedicated haul road to Morgan Stanley Infrastructure Partners for $1.3 billion.

The road is a key component of the innovative autonomous road transport infrastructure solution developed by MinRes which has already unlocked stranded iron ore deposits in Western Australia’s West Pilbara region.

The 150km dual lane road is fully sealed, fenced and equipped with fibre optic cabling to support the operation of MinRes’ autonomous road trains and link the Ken’s Bore mine site to the Port of Ashburton.

Despite the sale, MinRes will retain majority ownership and exclusive rights to use, operate and maintain the haul road, with the arrangement ensuring seamless mine-to-ship delivery of Onslow Iron product to customers.

“I am proud of the strategic relationships we have formed with global industry leaders and pleased to welcome Morgan Stanley Infrastructure Partners as a partner in the Onslow haul road,” MinRes managing director Chris Ellison says.

“This transaction is a strong endorsement of Onslow Iron’s world-class credentials, after the project recently delivered first ore on ship ahead of schedule.

“As the first transaction of its kind in the Australian iron ore industry, it showcases the considerable value of MinRes’ portfolio of infrastructure assets and our ability to unlock significant capital.

“The transaction also establishes access to a new pool of capital to further accelerate our growth and continue to deliver returns for our shareholders.”

The introduction of a new partner at an attractive cost of capital is consistent with MinRes’ focus on long-term shareholder value creation and agile approach to capital management.

MinRes engaged with Morgan Stanley Infrastructure Partners following a competitive process involving leading global infrastructure investors. MinRes expects total after tax net cash proceeds of $1.2 billion.

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