Rio Tinto has committed to employing local workers for the $70 million upgrade to its bulk handling facilities at East Intercourse Island in the Port of Dampier, Western Australia.
The project includes the manufacture, installation and commissioning of three replacement stackers and associated equipment. It is expected to create around 150 local jobs including 30 Pilbara-based jobs to prepare the site and install the equipment.
According to Rio, 97 per cent workers will be sourced from Western Australia, with three quarters of the heavy machinery to be manufactured in Australia.
WA businesses will receive contracts for site development work, quality assurance and engineering inspections.
Rio Tinto Iron ore chief executive Chris Salisbury said the project maintains the company’s portfolio of assets in Dampier.
“A significant proportion of the design, fabrication and installation work will be completed here in Western Australia, creating jobs at every stage of the project,” he said.
“We look forward to using these new, locally made machines to help deliver iron ore to our markets for many decades to come.”
Rio is also collaborating with Thyssenkrupp to identify additional work that will involve WA, Pilbara and Aboriginal businesses.
Thyssenkrupp will manufacture, assemble and fabricate the stackers needed for refurbishment before transporting the 1860 tonnes of stacker weight to the Pilbara.
Design and fabrication work is set to begin in 2019, with installation and commissioning expected by late 2020.
Rio Tinto recorded improved financial performance during the first half of 2017, citing earnings of $US3.94 billion ($4.97 billion). The company’s iron ore division dominated the improved results, contributing $US3.25 billion of the earnings.