Rio Tinto Expands Pilbara Operation with $242 million Investment

Rio Tinto is planning a AUD$242 million expansion at its iron ore facility in the Pilbara region, Western Australia. The Dampier Port expansion works will allow the global mining giant to process an additional 5 million tonnes of ore annually.

This will push up the yearly capacity to 230 million tonnes by the first quarter of 2012. This new investment is in addition to the $96 million which was approved at the beginning of the year for the first stage of the expansion.

The expansion will raise ship loading capacity and increase rail stock. It is not likely to affect current operations at the port. Sam Walsh the Chief Executive of Rio Tinto’s iron ore division said that the Parker facility at Dampier port was their single largest and busiest port operation.

The incremental capacity will add substantial value to Rio Tinto and help to consolidate the position of the company in the Pilbara region. Eventually the company is looking at a yearly capacity of 330 million tonnes and beyond.

In the Pilbara, Rio Tinto owns Hamersley Iron's six mines and also operate the Hope Downs mine (50:50 joint venture between Rio Tinto and Hancock Prospecting Pty Limited), the Channar mine (Rio Tinto: 60 per cent) and the Eastern Range mine (Rio Tinto: 54 per cent). Rio Tinto's iron ore operations in the Pilbara also include a 53 per cent interest in Robe River Iron Associates' three mines, Mesa J, Mesa A/Warramboo and West Angelas.

Joel Scanlon

Written by

Joel Scanlon

Joel emigrated to Australia in 1995 and worked for five years in the mining industry as an exploration geotechnician, using GIS mapping and CAD software. Upon moving to the North Coast of NSW, Australia Joel worked as a graphic designer for a leading consultancy firm. After that, he ran a successful business providing web services to businesses along the eastern seaboard of Australia. During this time, he developed and launched News-Medical.Net. Joel has been working with AZoNetwork since the company was founded in 2000.

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