Australian rail freight giant Aurizon has clinched exclusive rights to the port and rail development for a major Pilbara iron ore project, a deal which could help resolve the fraught nature of infrastructure access in the mineral-rich region as a whole.

The Infrastructure Framework Agreement (IFA) executed by Aurizon with the backers of the West Pilbara Iron Ore Project promises to see the construction of a new railway network in the Pilbara to facilitate the transportation and delivery of the development’s output. Under the infrastructure agreement, Aurizon has until January 2016 to produce a commercially…