Rio Tinto has approved a $US 933 million investment to extend the life of the Marandoo iron ore mine by 16 years to 2030.
By developing adjacent reserves below the water table, the project will extend the life of the Marandoo mine, located 35 kilometres north east of Rio’s Tom Price mine, which currently produces 15 million tonnes a year.
Sam Walsh, Rio Tinto chief executive Iron Ore and Australia said the extension is important for the sustainability of the Pilbara’s annual capacity rate and compliments the major expansions now underway.
“With a high iron and low phosphorus content, Marandoo’s Marra Mamba ore assists in maintaining the Pilbara Blend grade requirements and maximising the value of our integrated Pilbara operations.
“It also underlines our ability to develop projects to sustain tonnage at the same time as expanding our overall production capability.”
A component of the Marandoo project is a water management strategy which seeks to manage the operations dewatering, including priority water delivery to the Tom Price township and mine operations, as well as the reinjection of water into the Southern Fortescue bore field to the north and a proposed irrigated agriculture scheme.
Construction of a wet processing plant and on-site facilities is involved in the project, as well as an accommodation village and construction camp and additional mining fleet.
The Government and regulatory approvals required for the project have been received and are progressing well, according to the company.