Rio Tinto’s Silvergrass iron ore mine open

Rio Tinto officially opened its Silvergrass iron ore mine in Western Australia. The US$ 338 million project is the 16th mine at Rio Tinto’s world-class iron ore operations and will produce lowphosphorous ore crucial to maintaining Rio Tinto’s premium Pilbara Blend product. Rio Tinto chief executive J-S Jacques said: “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 premium Pilbara Blend product.”

West Australian Premier Mark McGowan led the formalities at a ceremony in the Pilbara to mark the opening, with full commissioning scheduled before the end of the year. The brownfields expansion project will lower mine operating costs as a result of the construction of a 9 km conveyor system that will replace traditional road haulage routes linking Silvergrass to the existing processing plant at Nammuldi. More than 500 jobs as well as opportunities for indigenous contracting were created during the construction of the mine. Contracts worth more than US$ 180 million were awarded during the construction phase, including contracts to Western Australian company Decmil and Perth headquartered company RCR Resources. Rio Tinto Iron Ore chief executive Chris 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.”

www.riotinto.com

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