Rio Tinto has called for expressions of interest (EOI) to build 100 rail cars for its Pilbara iron ore mining operations.
The EOI callout follows Rio Tinto’s announcement in September it would look for opportunities for Western Australian suppliers to help grow the local rail car manufacturing industry and support local jobs.
Rio Tinto will initially purchase 50 rail cars from the successful Western Australian supplier, followed by an ongoing commitment of 10 rail cars a year for the next five years.
Rio Tinto Iron Ore chief executive Simon Trott said he strongly encourages Western Australian manufacturers to submit an EOI to build the iron ore rail cars to service the company’s Pilbara operations.
“We’re pleased to offer this opportunity to local businesses to support local jobs and the Western Australian economy,” Trott said.
“As the local manufacturing industry grows, we will continue to look at ways to engage local businesses to be part of our supply chain.”
The EOI supports the vision of the WA Government’s iron ore rail car action group, which was formed to develop Western Australia’s manufacturing capability and of which Rio Tinto is a member.
An independent pre-feasibility study, commissioned by the Western Australian Government, has identified initiatives for the manufacture, refurbishment and maintenance of iron ore railcar wagons.
By supplying the iron ore sector with railcar wagons and components, the local steel fabrication industry will support more Western Australian jobs into the future.
In September, State Development, Jobs and Trade Minister Roger Cook said he commended Rio Tinto for making the right decision in making a commitment to the local steel manufacturing industry and supporting more jobs for Western Australians.
“Local manufacturing of iron ore railcars is not only good for the State but helps lower risks associated with global supply chains,” Cook said.
“This is a significant announcement for the manufacturing industry in Western Australia, and is testament to the work of the Iron Ore Railcar Wagons Manufacturing and Maintenance Action Group, which will now undertake the full feasibility study.”
Western Australian manufacturers are encouraged to visit the Rio Tinto Buy Local portal for more information.