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rio tinto approves $749 million investment in pilbara iron ore mine | business wire

rio tinto approves $749 million investment in pilbara iron ore mine | business wire

LONDON--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Rio Tinto has approved a $749 million (A$1 billion) investment in its existing Greater Tom Price operations (100% owned) to help sustain the production capacity of its world-class iron ore business in the Pilbara of Western Australia.

The new conveyor system will help lower greenhouse gas emissions from the mine by 3.5 per cent compared to road haulage and the business is continuing to assess additional options to reduce emissions including renewable energy solutions.

Pending final government approvals, construction will start in the first quarter of 2020 with first ore from the crusher expected in 2021. Production of high-quality Brockman ore will support the companys flagship Pilbara Blend, which continues to be the preferred baseload product for Chinas steel mills.

The project is expected to deliver an attractive internal rate of return with a capital intensity of about $25 per tonne of production capacity. The investment is included in Rio Tintos existing guidance for Pilbara replacement capital for 2020 to 2022.

As part of the investment, the haul truck fleet at the mine will be fitted with Autonomous Haulage System (AHS) technology to enable autonomous haulage at WTS2 from 2021. The ongoing deployment of autonomous haulage at the companys Pilbara operations is delivering significant safety benefits as well as enhancing productivity and reducing costs.

Approximately 50% of the companys haul truck fleet will be capable of operating autonomously by the end of the year with plans being assessed to expand this in the years ahead. Consistent with its proven track record, the company is continuing to reskill, redeploy and retrain as automation technology is implemented.

Rio Tinto Iron Ore chief executive Chris Salisbury said Our iron ore business continues to deliver industry-leading margins as we drive performance from our mines. This significant investment in the Greater Tom Price hub is one of a pipeline of high-quality, low-cost options that will underpin production of our flagship Pilbara Blend product well into the future.

The investment in the WTS2 mine will help sustain the current workforce at Rio Tintos Greater Tom Price production hub. Additionally, at its peak, the construction workforce is expected to number more than 1,000 people.

Rio Tintos Greater Tom Price production hub includes the Tom Price, Western Turner Syncline Phase 1 and Western Turner Syncline Phase 2 satellite hubs. Rio Tinto commenced development of Western Turner Syncline Phase 2 in 2014.

paraburdoo iron ore mine, pilbara - mining technology | mining news and views updated daily

paraburdoo iron ore mine, pilbara - mining technology | mining news and views updated daily

Paraburdoo iron ore mine is situated 80km south of Tom Price in Pilbara, Western Australia. The mine is 100% owned and operated by Rio Tinto Iron Ore. It is one of the 12 mines supervised by Rio Tinto in the Pilbara region.

Paraburdoo lies in the Brockman bedded iron deposits within the 2.5m thick Hamersley group. The group hosts Archaean and Proterozoic aged rock formations. It is one of the major iron ore provinces in the world and hosts 80% of the reserves discovered to date in Australia.

The basalt rocks were introduced into the Hamersley group due to the volcanic eruption which occurred in the region. The group also hosts sedimentary rocks such as sandstones, which were formed during the Hamersley basins formation.

Brockman iron deposits (BID) contain four layers, which include the nethermost Dales Gorge followed by the Whaleback Shale, Joffre and the upmost Yandicoogina. The majority of the minerals in the BID are hosted in the Dales Gorge and Joffre layers.

The mineralisation occurs in the steeply dipping banded iron formation (BIF) which is deformed due to geological processes and eroded by weathering. The BIF contains highly-rated haematite and magnetite and low-graded goethite.

The Paraburdoo iron ore project is an open-pit operation which utilises the truck and shovel method. The ore extraction from the mine involves drilling, digging, exploring, blasting, loading and hauling.

Drilling is performed through Reedrill SKS12, SKS15, QXR920, QXR920 and QXR920 drill rig units. The drill holes are filled with ammonium nitrate or fuel oil, then blasted to create a decent size pit for excavation. The blasted material is loaded onto haul trucks by using Hitachi EX3600 and EX2500 excavators, an O&K RH200C face shovel and Caterpillar 992 and 998 and Komatsu WA250 and WA900 front-end loaders.

Ore conveyed from the Paraburdoo mine is treated at a central processing plant with a rated capacity of 23mtpa, before being loaded onto rail for export. It is transferred to the plant by 190t to 240t capacity Moxy 06H185 and Caterpillar 785C haul trucks. The processing facility boasts a primary crusher, a screening plant and a gravity separation system.

The ore undergoes two stages of crushing in a primary crusher. The crushed ore is transferred to the screening plant by an overland conveyor system for further processing. It is broken into small pieces at the screening plant to produce non-agglomerated iron ore products, including high-graded haematite and magnetite.

The gravity separation system removes impurities from the ore to produce haematite as an end product. The final product is stockpiled and blended to a maximum size of 31.5mm lump and 6.3mm sinter fines.

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