Rio Tinto has inked an agreement to develop blending operations within the Port of Dalian in China as it moves to expand its offering to customers across Asia.
Dalian Port company will act as a transhipment hub where Rio Tinto plans to sell iron ore directly to customers who do not participate in the seaborne market, including portside customers in northern China.
This will be Rio Tinto’s first iron ore blending operation in a bonded area.
Rio Tinto vice president sales and marketing, iron ore, Simon Farry said the company was very pleased to be working with Dalian Port to establish blending capabilities within the bonded area.
“Dalian’s location, blending capabilities and willingness to support this initiative makes Dalian Port the right partner for us,” Farry said.
“Establishing a transhipment hub in China, which allows us to offer new blended products in other Asian markets, will enhance our ability to deliver quality and consistent products, and provide innovative solutions to meet our customers’ needs.”
The iron ore major stated that the Rio Tinto Blend Fines (RTBF) had been successful in the Chinese markets.
RTBF blends supplementary product (SP) 10 from Western Australia with high-grade concentrate from Iron Ore Company of Canada – a joint venture among Rio Tinto, Mitsubishi and the Labrador Iron Ore Royalty Income Corporation.
Dalian Port has built its revenue on the back of growing iron ore imports and steel markets in northern China – a region that is concentrated with steel production and proximate to major iron ore mines.