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|Rio Tinto To Boost Pilbara Iron Ore Operation Capacity To 330 Mtpa|
|= US$200 million funding approved for contracting dredging works at Cape Lambert port =|
Rio Tinto has approved its US$200 million funding to prepare for the expansion of its iron ore operations in Western Australia. The funding will allow dredging contracts to be issued as part of early works on the expansion of the Cape Lambert port (CLB), supporting the Pilbara operations' overall capacity increase to 330 million tonnes per annum (Mtpa), the Company announced July 14.|
On top of expansion of its production capacity to 320 Mtpa, Rio Tinto is now to proceed with another port capacity expansion program. In 2008 the Company completed expansion of iron ore shipping capacity at CLB from 55 Mtpa to 80 Mtpa by injecting US$952 million.
The dredging is associated with the proposed construction of an additional 1.8 kilometer, four-berth jetty and wharf at Cape Lambert to increase its current annual capacity of 80 Mt by a further 100 Mt.
Rio Tinto's planned growth of its Pilbara iron ore operations to 330 Mt/a capacity consists of the following steps:
- 225 Mt/a by Q1 2011 - Dampier port systems efficiencies (in implementation)
- 230 Mt/a by Q2 2012 - Dampier port incremental gains (in feasibility study)
- 280 Mt/a by H1 2014 - CLB 1st 50 Mt/a increment (now in feasibility study)
- 330 Mt/a by H1 2016 - CLB 2nd 50 Mt/a increment (pre-feasibility completed)
Rio Tinto chief executive Iron Ore and Australia Sam Walsh said the dredging works would help ensure that subsequent decisions on the expansion of operations could be implemented as quickly and efficiently as possible.
Mr. Walsh further said, "While the Australian Government's decision to abandon its Resource Super Profits Tax in favor of the proposed Minerals Resource Rent Tax was a major step forward, we remain cautious over what legislation will finally be in place."
The dredging works are dependent upon a number of government and other approvals, most notably that of the Robe River joint venture partners with regard to the Cape Lambert port, according to Rio Tinto.
|last modified : Thu 22 Jul, 2010 [11:01]|