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