Rio Tinto Ltd said on Wednesday it had approved a $749 million investment in its Greater Tom Price operations to help sustain production capacity in its iron ore business in the Pilbara region of Western Australia.
The Anglo-Australian miner said the investment in the Western Turner Syncline Phase 2 mine will facilitate mining of existing and new deposits and includes construction of a new crusher as well as a 13-kilometre conveyor.
The new conveyor system will help lower greenhouse gas emissions from the mine by 3.5%, compared with road haulage, the company said in an exchange filing.
Construction will start in the first quarter of 2020, with first ore from the crusher expected in 2021.
“Production of high-quality Brockman ore will support the company’s flagship Pilbara Blend, which continues to be the preferred baseload product for China’s steel mills,” Rio Tinto said.
The company said the project is expected to deliver internal rate of return with a capital intensity of about $25 per tonne of production capacity.
Australian iron ore producers accounted for the largest share of operating profits in the entire resources sector, including upstream oil and gas and coal mining, during the 2018-19 fiscal year to 30 June. The resources sector, at 8pc of the economy, accounted for more than a fifth of all industry profits.
Rio Tinto’s (NYSE: RIO ASX: RIO) subsidiary Kennecott has kicked off an initial four-hole 2,000m drill program at Alderan Resources’ Frisco copper/gold/silver project in Utah.
Rio Tinto (ASX, LON, NYSE: RIO) announced this weekend that it is introducing covid-19 testing at its Diavik diamond mine in Canada.
Rio Tinto shareholders in Australia voted on Thursday against forcing the miner to set targets for the emissions of its steel-making customers, but the issue is unlikely to go away as more than a third supported the motion.
Rio Tinto’s top investors are set to face off at the company’s upcoming annual meeting, with only some of them in favor of pushing the miner to extend the range of its targets to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
Rio Tinto came out with open hands to support local community efforts to fight COVID-19 and its social and economic impacts. The metals and mining giant is contributing $10 million in a multiple of grassroots projects across Canada and the United States.