Rio Tinto signs WA gas agreement with Santos

Rio Tinto autonomous haul Trucks. Credit: Christian Sprogoe Photography

Rio Tinto has secured a gas supply agreement with Santos, which will supply 15 petajoules of natural gas to the miner in Western Australia from late 2021.

The gas supply agreement continues the existing relationship between Santos and Rio Tinto.

Santos managing director and chief executive officer Kevin Gallagher said the agreement represented the importance of natural gas.

“We have been supplying natural gas to Rio for many years. This new gas supply agreement underlines the importance of natural gas for Australian manufacturers and industry,” he said.

“The agreement strengthens our position as Western Australia’s leading supplier of clean, affordable and reliable energy.

“Our disciplined, low-cost operating model has allowed us to manage the challenges of 2020, we are committed to continued investment in exploration and development of new domestic gas supplies in WA to meet the energy needs of local households and businesses for the long term.”

Rio Tinto set its Scope 3 goals to reduce emissions and decarbonise its operations in February. The company is striving for net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050.

In its March quarter report, Rio Tinto shipped 77.8 million tonnes of iron ore from its Western Australian operations.

“We achieved an overall solid operating performance in the first quarter. We have maintained guidance ranges in all our products, with site teams successfully managing the effects of significant rainfall, in particular at our Australian iron ore assets,” Rio Tinto chief executive Jakob Stausholm said in the March quarter report.

“Our focus is to become the best operator, strive for impeccable ESG (environmental, social and governance) credentials, excel in development and secure a strong social license.”

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