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Case Studies

Case Studies

TasRail is a key enabler for the Tasmanian manufacturing and resource extraction sectors. Our customers directly employ around 2000 people with significant flow on effects for the local economy.

Our major customers include: 


TasRail has partnered with MMG’s Rosebery mine for more than 75 years.

The mine located approx. 300km north west of Hobart and 125km South of Burnie, produces zinc, copper and lead concentrates along with gold ore.  The operation consists of a below ground mine and an above ground processing facility and directly employs 259 staff and a further 232 contractors.

The mine has the capacity to produce approximately 700,000 tonnes of ore a year, which is then processed into zinc concentrate, lead concentrate, copper concentrate, in addition to gold and silver doré.

Zinc is mainly used for galvanising steel against corrosion, while copper is mainly used for electrical wiring and appliances. Lead is predominantly used for production of batteries. The ore body extends for approximately 4 kilometres on a north-south axis and to a depth of 1.5 kilometres.

Their ore concentrates are shipped via TasRail to Port Burnie where they are then loaded via TasRail’s ship-loader into bulk carriers destined for either, Nyrstar in Hobart, another TasRail customer or to their Port Pirie plant in South Australia.

Copper Mines of Tasmania

The Copper Mines of Tasmania Pty Ltd (Earlier known as Mount Lyell Mining Company Limited (MLMC) was founded in 1883 and full scale production commenced in 1896. Mount Lyell is the oldest, continually operating mining field in Australia. The mine employs around 250 people full time and another 150 contractors.

At present, underground sub-level caving mining is being carried out at depths 1000 meters below the original surface.

The mine produces approx. 100,000t per annum of contained copper (Cu) in concentrate. CMT mined and treated almost 2.12 million tonnes of ore to produce 23,777 tonnes of contained copper concentrate in 2009-10.

Primary crushing takes place underground and ore is then automatically hoisted up a 600 metre shaft to be transported to the concentrator on a 1.2 km overland conveyor belt.

In the concentrator plant, the ore is crushed using three stage crushing, ground down to a fine slurry and the copper sulphide minerals are then concentrated.

After filtration, TasRail freights the concentrate to Port Burnie port where it’s loaded into awaiting bulk ore carriers via our ship-loader to be exported to Sterlite’s copper smelter in Tuticorin, India.

Norske Skog

Situated on the Derwent River at Boyer, South of New Norfolk, the plant has been producing newsprint paper since 1941 and directly employs 355 people.

The plant produces around 290 000 tonnes of newsprint and related grades per annum manufactured from plantation radiata pine, this figure is approx. 40 per cent of Australia’s annual consumption.

Our paper trains operate 6 days a week between Boyer and Burnie. The train transports finished paper product from the Norske Skog paper mill to Burnie for shipping to the mainland and returns product used in the making and transport of paper.

Cement Australia

Cement Australia Holdings operates a cement manufacturing plant at Railton, 16 km to the south of Devonport on Tasmania's north-west coast. The raw limestone is mined in quarries adjacent to the plant. Coal is also transported from Fingal’s Cornwall Coal plant to Cement Australia’s Railton plant to fuel their plant.

The history of cement manufacture at Railton goes back to 1923, when the Tasmanian Portland Cement Company began construction of a cement works, with production starting in 1926. In 1928 the Goliath Portland Cement Company was formed and the first of several plant enlargements was undertaken. This culminated in the eventual upgrading of the plant to a capacity of approximately one million tonnes of cement a year, with work on this upgrade commencing in 1992.

TasRail operates on a 24 hour / 7 day a week, cycle transporting more than 1 million tonnes per annum of Bulk Cement product. The product is transported in our specialised Bulk Wagons between Cement Australia’s Railton Cement plant and their Devonport storage facility.

The plant directly employs around 140 people. For more information visit the Cement Australia website.


Nyrstar Zinc Works is located on the western bank of the Derwent Estuary in Hobart, Tasmania, and is a large-scale zinc smelter with a capacity of 280,000 tonnes.

The Hobart smelter is one of the world’s largest zinc smelters in terms of production volume. It is focused on high value added products for export to growing markets in Asia.

Hobart’s key products are SHG zinc, die cast alloys (branded ‘EZDA’) and CGG (continuous galvanising grade) alloys. In addition, the site produces by-products of cadmium, copper sulphate, paragoethite, lead sulphate leach concentrate and sulphuric acid.

The Hobart Smelter employs approximately 600 people (both direct and contract employees) and continues to be a major contributor to Tasmania’s economy, representing around 25% of the State’s total exports. Nystar’s Zinc ingots are transported on our daily service from Hobart to Burnie along with other containerised products including food products, grain, tank liquids and general freight.

Tas Mines

Tasmania Mines Limited (TMM) is a public company listed on the Australian Stock Exchange. The mine employs around 60 full time staff and an additional 60 contractors.

It is involved in the mining, crushing and concentration of scheelite and magnetite from the Kara Mine in Tasmania, located 50km to the south of Burnie.

 Scheelite is sold to customers in Europe who use it in the production of specialty steel and also to the United States where it is used in the lighting Industry.

The Magnetite is sold to the Australian coal Industry where it is used as a dense medium to wash coal.

Toll Group

TasRail has a longstanding relationship with the Toll Group, with the two companies recently signing a twenty year contract. Toll has also recently commenced relocating its Hobart operations from our Macquarie Point yard on the Hobart waterfront to our new purpose built Brighton Freight Hub. TasRail and Toll in partnership with TasPorts are also undertaking a revitalisation of the port at Burnie. This project will see an increased capacity for containerised freight in addition to allowing for growing bulk freight volumes from an expansion of mining activities on the west coast.