The Port Pirie channel is pretty long - almost to Port Germein. Barging loads out to capesize ships offshore would be a long tow indeed.
I can only assume the mining company has done its homework.
Wallaroo would be a better choice for the task - the line from Snowtown would need overhauling and there would need to be a fair bit of track relaying in Kadina and Wallaroo and a balloon loop built at Wallaroo.
The proposed port at Port Bonython would be better still.
There is no rail I thought to PB.
Would much be required at Wallaroo?
Why would Wallaroo require a balloon loop?
Correct, no rail to Port Bonython, but the Whyalla line is close (22km branch required)
Also note that the jetty at Port Bonython is approx. 2 kms long (e.g. Berthing in deep water)
Previous mining proposals in respect to Wallaroo involved building a new port
some 10 kilometres north of the current wharf.
Wallaroo has seen substantial housing developments in the past 10 - 15 years, with much of the old rail yards now built over.
The local Nimby's would have a field day protesting about ore trains being re-introduced through town.
Balloon Loops are seen as an efficient means to unload (and load) bulk trains. No shunting required, don't even need to uncouple locos, so no need for shunt locos or additional staff.