Rio Tinto to invest $30.9m in Pilbara iron ore project

Rio Tinto plans to spend $30.9 million to complete the project feasibility study for the development of its Koodaideri iron ore deposit in the Pilbara region of Western Australia.

The study will examine Koodaideri as Rio’s next potential major mining development in the Pilbara. The proposed deposit has been earmarked to replace existing production.

Rio Tinto Iron Ore chief executive Chris Salisbury said the approved investment would be spent with local businesses and suppliers, as well as firms outside the state.

“The Koodaideri development will require an expected 1600 construction jobs and a further 600 operational staff if approved,” Salisbury said.

“We remain firmly focused on our value over volume strategy and maximising returns through enhanced productivity. We are examining the Koodaideri project as an option to help us maintain our low cost competitive position and assist in maintaining the Pilbara Blend product quality.”

The feasibility study will focus on obtaining necessary consent and permits, increasing Rio’s understanding of the orebody and technical elements, and providing the data necessary to validate the project, the company outlined.

The final decision on the progression of the Koodaideri iron ore development will be made following the completion of the feasibility study and subsequent review by the Rio investment committee and board.

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