Rio Tinto Expands Pilbara Mineral Resources by 2 Billion Tonnes

Rio Tinto has produced new drilling results in the Pilbara, revealing a 2 billion tonnes addition the Mineral Resource base.

The new results and the ongoing assessment of assets in the Pilbara have enhanced Rio Tinto’s strong iron ore position and added to the currently reported 14.4 billion tonnes of mineral resources and 2.8 million tonnes of Ore Reserves for the company.

Sam Walsh, Chief executive Iron Ore and Australia says the latest work of drilling, re-interpretation and re-estimation of 14 deposits would help the company’s development of the Pilbara operations to an annual capacity of 333 million tones in 2015.

 “The ongoing technical and study work carried out by Rio Tinto’s iron ore group has led to further increased confidence in Rio Tinto’s Resource position in the Pilbara,” he said.

“Over the last ten years, we have moved to strengthen our ore reserves and mineral resources, having drilled 3.3 million metres. We plan to drill 3.9 million metres in the next five years – a programme unprecedented in the history of the iron ore business, demonstrating our commitment to sustained development in the Pilbara.”

Rio Tinto is today holding its annual investor meeting in London, and repeating it in Sydney on Monday 29 at 9:00am.

They will provide investors with updates on capital expenditure and growth projections, including the spending of US$13 billion over 18 months from December 2011 and the expansion of Iron Ore business which will increase production by 50 per cent over the next five years.

“The long-term industrialisation and urbanisation story in developing countries continues apace. Over the next 15 to 20 years, this will lead to a doubling in iron ore, aluminium, and copper demand which will require a significant supply response”, says Rio Tinto chief executive, Tom Albanese.

They will also discuss the continuing effect of lower grades of copper in 2011, and expected rebound in 2012 as grades increase and production starts at Oyu Tolgoi.


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