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Gina Rinehart and Rio Tinto have won final approval to develop their next $1.12 billion joint venture project north of Newman in the Pilbara.
Late last week the Western Australian Government granted a licence to the two companies to develop a 53-kilometre railway line for the future Hope Downs 4 mine.
Plans to build a 220-kilovolt electricity transmission line to connect the new mine to existing infrastructure were also approved.
The Government said the rail and power project was estimated to be worth over $400 million and would generate over 600 jobs.
It said the Hope Downs 4 mine would also create an extra 1,500 new jobs.
The new project forms part of Rio Tinto’s plans to expand iron ore production in the Pilbara by 353 million tonnes per annum by 2015.
Rio has also flagged expansions at its Cape Lambert port and its Nammuldi mine as part of the expansions.
Production from Hope Downs 4 is expected to commence in the second quarter of 2013, later than the initial target of 2012.
Image: Rio Tinto