Rio Tinto has awarded $250 million worth of contracts to BGC Contracting and Monadelphous Group for work at the Robe River Joint Venture’s West Angelas iron ore mine in the Pilbara.
In 2018, Rio Tinto approved a $579 million investment alongside JV partners Mitsui & Co and Nippon Steel to develop Deposits C and D at the Western Australian operation.
BGC has been awarded a contract for earthworks and civil construction for the two new deposits at the mine.
The contractor’s work will include constructing the concrete foundations for the new iron ore facilities, in addition to utilities infrastructure and heavy and light vehicle road networks that will connect the existing processing plant with the deposits.
BGC is due to commence work on site in early October 2019, with the contract scheduled for completion in December 2020.
The West Angelas project will display the multidisciplinary capability of BGC’s construction team to deliver the large earthworks and civil works project, according to BGC chief executive Greg Heylen.
“This latest contract award is a further step in the company’s diversification strategy,” Heylen said.
Monadelphous, meanwhile, will supply and install the structural, mechanical, piping and electrical and instrumentation works associated with the construction of new iron ore facilities, as well as modifications to existing plant.
Perth-based Monadelphous will immediately commence the work, which is scheduled for completion in April 2021. Its share of the contracts is worth in excess of $100 million, according to a company ASX announcement.
Rio Tinto Iron Ore chief executive Chris Salisbury said the contract awards were further demonstration of the company’s commitment to buy locally as it invested in a strong pipeline of development projects.
“This pipeline will continue to provide opportunities for WA businesses to compete as we look to local components to support our mines of the future,” Salisbury said.
Rio Tinto expects to deliver first ore from the expansion projects in 2021. The development of the new West Angelas deposits will help the company sustain production of its premium Pilbara Blend iron ore product.
The company is taking a technology focus with the project, including plans to retrofit haul trucks with autonomous technology.