Transnet reopens key Iron Ore Export Channel rail line after closure over accident

JOHANNESBURG, December 10 (ANA) - Iron producer Kumba said on Monday state logistics company Transnet had reopened the Iron Ore Export Channel (IOEC) on December 7 and operations on the rail line had resumed.

Transnet earlier this month declared force majeure -- unforeseeable circumstances that prevent a party from fulfilling a contract -- on its railway operations contract with Kumba Iron Ore after a road accident closed the IOEC rail line.

The railway bridge forms part of a critical transportation channel of the iron ore and manganese commodities to the Port of Saldanha in the Western Cape province.

"Transnet has informed Kumba that the newly constructed temporary bridge passed all technical assessments and that the IOEC line is now open for business," the mining company said on Monday.

Kumba said its expectation of meeting the lower end of its 2018 guidance, as announced on July 24 was unchanged. Kumba’s 2018 guidance is 43-44 Mt for total production and 42-44 Mt for total sales.

Transnet said the channel had been re-opened two days earlier than scheduled "owing to the vigorous and quick response led by Transnet engineers"

"When the incident took place, the first people we involved were customers. Our engagement meant that we gave updates on all the developments in getting the line re-opened and operational," Transnet chief business development officer Gert De Beer said.

"Pace and agility as well as experienced personnel resulted in positive partnerships which could be used in future events of similar nature.”

- African News Agency (ANA)

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