Rio Tinto’s fleet of rail cars at its Pilbara iron ore operations in Western Australia is set to grow by 50, with the company to release a manufacturing tender for the project.
The tender will be released through the miner’s Buy Local portal, including the supply of 10 more rail cars per year for the next five years.
Rio Tinto Iron Ore chief executive Simon Trott said this process was key to the company’s success in Western Australia.
“Ore cars are a critical part of our mining operations and building capacity to manufacture ore cars locally in WA will deliver significant benefits for Rio Tinto and the WA economy,” Trott said.
Rio Tinto has put significant effort into supporting local suppliers with tenders of this nature. In 2020, it spent $7.5 billion with over 2000 Western Australian businesses.
“Building Rio Tinto’s ore rail cars here in WA will support local manufacturing and create jobs for West Australians,” Trott said,
“Rio Tinto is proud to lead the way in building iron ore rail cars in WA, in line with the vision of State Government’s iron ore rail car action group.”
Western Australia Premier Mark McGowan fully endorsed the actions of Rio Tinto.
“Rio Tinto’s purchase of Western Australian made railcars that will be used right here in our State is something I encourage other iron ore companies operating in WA to get on board with and increase local content and local jobs,” McGowan said.
The action group was launched as part of the WA Recovery Plan and McGowan said it followed significant research into ways to maintain one of Australia’s strongest economies.
“Rio Tinto’s commitment is a positive result off the back of the State Government’s independent pre-feasibility study, which identified initiatives for the manufacture, refurbishment and maintenance of iron ore railcar wagons,” McGowan said.
“This was about securing an ongoing pipeline of work for the long term manufacture of iron ore wagons and critical rail wagon parts, which will deliver jobs and economic benefit for the State into the future.”