Rio’s Sil­ver­grass opens

The Australian Mining Review - - NEWS - El­iz­a­beth Fabri

RIO Tinto has opened its 16th iron ore mine – the $US338 mil­lion ($468 mil­lion) Sil­ver­grass mine.

The 10 mil­lion tonne per an­num iron ore mine is a satel­lite de­posit ad­ja­cent to Rio Tinto’s Nam­muldi mine and part of the Greater Nam­muldi precinct, 70 kilo­me­tres north west of Tom Price.

The low-phos­pho­rus Marra Mamba ore from Sil­ver­grass will be treated at the Greater Nam­muldi pro­cess­ing plant, and help Rio Tinto reach a pro­duc­tion goal of 330 mil­lion tonnes this year.

Rio Tinto chief ex­ec­u­tive J-S Jac­ques said Sil­ver­grass was a great ex­am­ple of its “value-over-vol­ume ap­proach” with the mine set to de­liver a high-qual­ity, low-cost ore to main­tain the com­pany’s world-class Pil­bara Blend prod­uct.

“Sil­ver­grass is a fur­ther demon­stra­tion of our long-stand­ing com­mit­ment to the Pil­bara re­gion in Western Aus­tralia where we’ve in­vested more than US$20 bil­lion over the past decade,” Mr Jac­ques said.

WA Premier Mark McGowan said Sil­ver­grass was the lat­est in a se­ries of new mine de­vel­op­ments that demon­strated con­fi­dence in the State’s iron ore sec­tor.

“Western Aus­tralia’s lead­ing iron ore sec­tor pro­duced 38 per cent of the world’s iron ore last year, and plays a vi­tal on­go­ing role in the State’s econ­omy through jobs and roy­al­ties,” Mr McGowan said.

“I con­grat­u­late Rio Tinto on the open­ing, and on its com­mit­ment to lo­cal jobs, through ini­tia­tives like its new pro­cure­ment pro­gram which will make it eas­ier for lo­cal busi­nesses to ten­der for work.

“Rio has also com­mit­ted to creat­ing 200 ap­pren­tice­ship, trainee­ship and va­ca­tion work po­si­tions next year, which is great news for young Western Aus­tralians.”

Im­age: WA Premier Mark McGowan.

Sil­ver­grass is the first new iron ore mine in the Pil­bara since Roy Hill, which loaded its first ship­ment for ex­port in De­cem­ber 2015.

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