Green light for Koodaideri fea­si­bil­ity study

Pilbara News - - News - Stuart McKin­non

Rio Tinto has re­ac­ti­vated longde­layed plans for its $US2.2 bil­lion ($2.94 bil­lion) Koodaideri iron ore project, 110km west-north­west of New­man.

The min­ing gi­ant ad­vised yes­ter­day it had ap­proved a $30.9 mil­lion fea­si­bil­ity study on the green­fields project, ex­pected to cre­ate 1600 jobs in con­struc­tion and re­quire 600 staff in op­er­a­tion.

Rio could make a fi­nal in­vest­ment de­ci­sion next year, with con­struc­tion start­ing in 2019 and pro­duc­tion be­gin­ning in 2021.

Koodaideri and the com­pany’s 20mtpa Sil­ver­grass project — which is on track to be in pro­duc­tion by the sec­ond half of the year — are needed to hit and main­tain Rio’s 360mtpa ex­port tar­get.

In re­cent times, Rio has pushed back de­vel­op­ment of new projects, al­low­ing it to de­fer more than $US3 bil­lion in cap­i­tal spend­ing.

The brown­fields-first strat­egy in­volved sweat­ing ex­ist­ing as­sets, look­ing for pro­duc­tiv­ity im­prove­ments and seek­ing cost sav­ings across its Pil­bara net­work.

How­ever, Rio’s iron ore chief ex­ec­u­tive Chris Sal­is­bury said the com­pany re­mained firmly fo­cused on its “value over vol­ume” strat­egy and max­imis­ing re­turns through en­hanced pro­duc­tiv­ity.

“We are ex­am­in­ing the Koodaideri project as an op­tion to help us main­tain our low-cost com­pet­i­tive po­si­tion and as­sist in main­tain­ing the Pil­bara Blend prod­uct qual­ity,” he said.

Pre­lim­i­nary stud­ies for Koodaideri fo­cused on an open pit op­er­a­tion, a 40mtpa pro­cess­ing plant, a 170km rail link to the com­pany’s main line and as­so­ci­ated in­fra­struc­ture.

Picture: Tom Zaun­mayr

A bulk car­rier docked at Rio Tinto's Parker Point fa­cil­ity in Dampier.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.