Genesee & Wyoming Australia (GWA) has signed a rail haulage agreement to transport 3.3Mpta of hematite iron ore from WPG Resources’ Peculiar Knob mine in South Australia.

GWA will operate unit trains of iron ore from a rail siding near Wirrida to a new bulk export facility in Port Pirie, South Australia.

The haulage service, which is expected to start in the second quarter of 2012, will continue for a minimum of five years and might be extended depending on the development of iron ore deposits.

GWA has entered into a locomotive purchase agreement to acquire nine new 4400hp locomotives and other rolling stock and facilities with an investment of about A$67m ($72m) to provide haulage services.