HomeEnergy MineralsRio Tinto awards major Pilbara contract

Rio Tinto awards major Pilbara contract

Iron ore stockpiles
at Rio Tinto’s
Pilbara operations
London, England — MININGREVIEW.COM — 18 December 2009 – Rio Tinto “’ the leading international mining group headquartered in the United Kingdom “’ has awarded a major new mining contract in its Pilbara iron ore operations in Australia to a joint venture of native title holders in the region.
A statement issued here revealed that the US$200 million (R1.5 billion) contract to build, mine and transport iron ore from Rio Tinto’s Western Turner Syncline deposit was the first significant mining joint venture for the Eastern Guruma people, and continued the comprehensive Rio Tinto commitment to indigenous contracting in the Pilbara region.

It explained that NRW and Eastern Guruma would build a haul road and truck the ore 15 km to the Tom Price mine for processing and blending with other Pilbara Blend stocks. Required regulatory approvals were being finalised and production was expected to start in July 2010, delivering six million tonnes of high-grade iron ore per year.

The four-year contract has been designed to increase Eastern Guruma equity in the joint venture from 25 to 35% as the group builds capacity in mining services.

Rio Tinto Iron Ore chief executive Sam Walsh said: “This is a great initiative. It enables a local Aboriginal contractor as part of the joint venture to develop and mine the Western Turner Syncline deposit. It will allow the Eastern Guruma people to develop capacity in mining services, and have increased participation in the resource development taking place on their country.”

“It is also an important production step for us, as the Western Turner Syncline will support an increase in our production capacity in the Pilbara to 230 million tonnes a year,” he added.