Koodaideri iron ore study gets nod

Taylar AmoniniNorth West Telegraph

A feasibility study for a new Rio Tinto ore development in the Pilbara has been approved.

An investment of $30.9 million has been approved by the mining giant to complete a feasibility study for the development of its Koodaideri iron ore deposit, 110km north-west of Newman.

The project, which is needed to replace existing productions as other deposits deplete, is predicted to produce up to 70 million tonnes a year of ore and have an expected operational mine life of about 30 years.

The study will examine the Koodaideri option as Rio Tinto’s next potential major mining development in the Pilbara and it is intended to replace existing production.

Chief executive Chris Salisbury said the money would be spent with local businesses and suppliers as well as firms outside the State. “The Koodaideri development will require an expected 1600 construction jobs and a further 600 operational staff if approved,” he said.

“We remain firmly focused on our value over volume strategy and maximising returns through enhanced productivity.

“We are examining the Koodaideri project as an option to help us maintain our low-cost competitive position and assist in maintaining the Pilbara Blend product quality.”

The feasibility study will focus on obtaining necessary consent and permits, increasing the understanding of technical elements, and providing the data necessary to validate the project.

The final decision on the progression of the Koodaideri iron ore development will be made following the completion of the feasibility study and review by the Rio Tinto investment committee and board.

If the new location is successful, it will cost $US2.2 billion and is projected to consist of open pits, a 40mtpa dry crushing and screening plant and supporting infrastructure, including a 167km railway.

Rio Tinto this month celebrated the five-billionth tonne of iron ore exported from its Pilbara operations.

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