(MENAFN - ProactiveInvestors - Australia) Rio Tinto (ASX: RIO) has successfully quashed fellow iron ore miner Fortescue Metals Group's (ASX: FMG) bid to obtain access to its Hamersley and Robe railway lines in Western Australia's Pilbara region.
The Australian Competition Tribunal has ruled that the rail lines should not be opened up to other users.
Fortescue previously won its High Court challenge to have its rail access application remitted back to the Australian Competition Tribunal for further consideration.
Rio Tinto originally appealed a decision handed down in 2008 by Federal Treasurer Wayne Swan to open up the company's Hamersley and Robe railway lines to third party access for 20 years to 2028.
Today's ruling by the Australian Competition Tribunal sets aside the original decision of the Treasurer.
Rio said the decision to allow third party access would have "severely hindered" its port and mine operations and would cause a knock-on negative effect on the Western Australian and national economies.
Fortescue said while it was regrettable that the Competition Tribunal did not see the merits of providing third party access to this infrastructure, it would continue to advocate for third party access for all Pilbara rail infrastructure.
The company continues to provide third party access to its own rail system.