The application applies to approximately 200km of track owned by FMG subsidiary The Pilbara Infrastructure (TPI) to link a branch from Brockman's Marillana deposits to the export terminal at Port Hedland.

Brockman plans to transport up to 20 million tonnes per year of hematite iron-ore from Marillana for a term of 20 years commencing in 2016, using a third party operator to haul its trains. An independent analysis of the TPI railway infrastructure conducted on behalf of Brockman by Indec Consulting concludes that there is sufficient capacity on the network.

Despite the access move, Brockman says it will also continue to pursue the construction of the East Pilbara Independent Railway in an alliance with Aurizon and Atlas Iron.

The Western Australian Economic Regulation authority has directed TPI to amend its costing principles - the regulatory instrument which shows how a railway owner will calculate floor and ceiling costs in respect to third party access.

Analysts have suggested that the access move by Brockman may cause some uncertainty over FMG's proposed sale of a minority share in TPI.