Mid West iron ore miner Gindalbie Metals has locked in a $1.2 billion loan to bankroll its Karara project.
The 12-year loan is being provided by China Development Bank and the Bank of China and is seen by many as the final hurdle for the Karara development.
Conditions of the agreement and terms of the loan are expected to be finalised by June 30.
In a statement, Gindalbie chief executive Garret Dixon said the deal paves the way for the Karara mine to begin production next year.
Gindalbie has also awarded a multi-million-dollar rail contract to QR Freight.
The deal is the largest individual long-term contract awarded for the Karara project to date and covers the transport of iron ore by rail from the mine site to Geraldton and later the Oakajee Port.