The 328km line will carry chromite from the Big Daddy and Black Horse deposits, which KWG subsidiary Canada Chrome Corporation has secured rights to exploit.

The scope of the study includes geological analysis, traffic projections, corridor alignment, infrastructure design parameters and recommended design, construction scheduling, operations, and rolling stock requirements.

In July KWG appointed Canarail to provide consultancy services and data to support FDSI in the feasibility study.

The agreement with FDSI was facilitated by Golden Share Mining corporation, KWG’s agent in China.

A previous study by Tetra Tech WEI estimated the capital cost of constructing a railway would be around $C 1.6bn ($US 1.2bn), significantly higher than the $C 1.1bn cost of building a road. However, if 3 million tonnes of freight are shipped, operating costs are forecast to be $C 10.50 per tonne for rail and $C 60.70 for road.

Ring of fire map