Rio marks 50 years

Pilbara News - - News -

Mon­day marked 50 years since Rio Tinto’s first con­tracted ship­ment of iron ore de­parted Dampier for the Yawata Iron and Steel Com­pany in Ja­pan.

Ahead of this mile­stone, thou­sands of Aus­tralian con­trac­tors and sup­pli­ers laid al­most 300km of rail­way, moved 12 mil­lion cu­bic me­tres of earth and rock and in­stalled 300,000 tonnes of plant and equip­ment.

The com­pany also built the towns of Dampier and Tom Price, and dredged a port to ac­cept the big­gest ore car­ri­ers of the day.

Rio Tinto Iron Ore chief ex­ec­u­tive Chris Sal­is­bury said when the MV Houn Maru set sail 50 years ago, no­body could have pre­dicted that Pil­bara iron ore would un­der­pin Aus­tralia’s growth.

“The Pil­bara’s vast iron ore de­posits, and the peo­ple who de­vel­oped them, have helped build mod­ern Aus­tralia and some of the world’s lead­ing economies,” he said.

“Over the past 50 years, Rio Tinto has in­vested more than $37 bil­lion to grow our Pil­bara op­er­a­tions. We now em­ploy 12,000 peo­ple who op­er­ate our net­work of mines, rail and ports, and sell our iron ore to cus­tomers all around the world. The re­la­tion­ships formed with lo­cal Pil­bara com­mu­ni­ties, com­mu­nity and gov­ern­ment part­ners, tra­di­tional own­ers, and busi­ness part­ners and cus­tomers have been vi­tal to our suc­cess.

“Rio Tinto is proud to be part of WA’s trans­for­ma­tion where new com­mu­ni­ties have been cre­ated, world-lead­ing tech­nol­ogy de­vel­oped and in­ter­na­tional re­la­tion­ships forged.”

Rio Tinto’s 50th an­niver­sary Ground­break­ers ex­hibit has been tour­ing the re­gion. More in­for­ma­tion on the his­tory is at ri­ot­in­toground­break­ers.com.

The Houn Maru sets sail with the first ship­ment of iron ore from Dampier in 1966. Pic­ture: Rio Tinto

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