Australian iron-ore miner Brockman Mining has secured approval from the Economic Regulation Authority (ERA) of Western Australia, to commence negotiations with Foretescue's subsidiary The Pilbara Infrastructure (TPI) on rail access in the state.

The company had earlier made an access proposal to TPI for its railway infrastructure, TPI Mainline, from nearly the 219km point from Port Hedland, intending to construct a rail spur to its Marillana iron ore project.

However, TPI sought ERA’s approval in May 2013, claiming that Brockman’s access proposal would limit other third-parties’ access to the line.

With authority’s approval in place, the company is expecting to enter the rail access negotiations with the floor-to-ceiling determination from the ERA expected within 30 days.

Brockman stated that the miner is working on a submission to TPI on the company’s managerial and financial capability, and the availability of spare capacity required by TPI.

The access rights would allow the miner to haul nearly 20 million tons a year of hematite iron-ore product from its Marillana project to Port Hedland over a mine life of up to 20 years, starting in 2016.