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Perilya contemplating private road for trucks

Tuesday, 5th November, 2013

By Erica Visser

Perilya says building a private haul road is not off the agenda, but in the meantime it is happy with its trucks using the city’s streets.

The news comes after City Council last week scrapped four-year old plans to build an $8 million heavy vehicle bypass to link the Barrier and Silver City highways on the eastern side of the city.

The bypass would have been used mainly by Perilya’s trucks to cart ore from its Potosi mine to the Southern operations.

Perilya had offered to build a private road but Council pitched a plan for a public bypass with the ambition of eventually turning it into a ring road around the entire city.

After spending $150,000 on a consultant and convincing the State and Federal governments to contribute millions of dollars, Council deferred the project in January before ditching it last week. 

A change in Federal Government was linked to the decision, with the Coalition unlikely to uphold Labor’s $3 million pledge to Council.

Perilya’s Managing Director Paul Arndt yesterday told the BDT that it had not heard directly from Council about scrapping the project.

The company was set to contribute $2 million to the road.

Mr Arndt said that it would look at building its own haul road but was happy to use the approved route, which goes via the Barrier Highway, Crystal Street and South Road.

Two trucks an hour use the route through the city’s streets, but this number could triple when full production begins.

“We will review our options in regards to the issue soon. We’ve had no direct discussion with Council about the matter as of yet,” Mr Arndt said.

“At the moment we’ve got a legal transport route and there have been no problems with that.”

However, he said that the move would affect plans to reopen the North Mine, which has been closed for 20 years.

“We certainly have not made any decisions. We didn’t have any expectations in relation to what was happening with the project after (the Federal election).”

Mr Arndt said that the next step would be decided in “due course.”

Perilya’s Potosi mine, which has a mineral base of 1.6 million tonnes, began trial production in March with a plan to begin full production by the end of the year.

Mayor Wincen Cuy said earlier this year that he regretted the damage and disruption Perilya’s trucks would cause to the city’s streets.

“If I had two wishes, my first would be that we could build the heavy vehicle bypass. If I had a second wish, it would be that there was a haulage road so the community wasn’t disadvantaged by Perilya bringing trucks through the city,” Mayor Cuy said.

“I think that a heavy vehicle bypass road, whether it’s private or not, would be of advantage.”

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