Rio Tinto has officially opened its 16th iron ore mine in the Pilbara region in Western Australia.
Located next to the company’s Nammuldi mine some 70 kilometres north-west of Tom Price, the new Silvergrass mine will produce low-phosphorous ore crucial to maintaining Rio Tinto’s premium Pilbara Blend product.
Chief Executive J-S Jacques said Silverglass will contribute about 10 million tonnes of annual production.
“Silvergrass is a great example of our value-over-volume approach in action as the mine will deliver the high-quality, low-cost ore used to maintain the world-class premium Pilbara Blend product our customers love so much,” Mr Jacques added.
“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.”
Rio Tinto Iron Ore chief executive Chris Salisbury said the company awarded contracts worth more than $180 million during the construction phase, creating some 500 construction jobs in the process.
“Silvergrass is another Rio Tinto project delivering value for Western Australia with design, construction and commissioning all undertaken by WA companies,” Mr Salisbury said.
“Dozens of local businesses have benefitted from the purchase of major items including modular buildings, gantry cranes and a waste water treatment plant.”
According to the company, full commissioning of the US$338 million project is scheduled before the end of the year.