Civmec to Equip Rio Tinto’s Western Range Iron Ore Project for $230mn

Civmec to Equip Rio Tinto’s Western Range Iron Ore Project for $230mn

The diversified mining conglomerate Rio Tinto has awarded engineering company Civmec a contract worth 330 million Australian dollars ($229 million) to build and modify facilities for its Western Range project in the iron ore-rich Pilbara region in Western Australia, Civmec announced on 9 January.

Under the contract, Civmec will build a new run of mine (ROM) pad, a primary crushing facility, an overland conveying circuit, and a 17-kilometre overland conveyor to deliver ore to the existing Paraburdoo processing plant, as well as modify the coarse ore stockpile (COS) and downstream conveying system.

The project, which will involve over 400 staff on site at peak, is now scheduled to start on-site in mid-2023 and be commissioned by the end of 2024.Why it matters

In mid-September 2022, Rio Tinto formed a joint venture with the world’s top steelmaker and its largest customer, China Baowu Steel Group, to develop Western Range, which is expected to produce 25 million tonnes of iron ore annually. Production is expected to begin in 2025.

Rio Tinto is set to invest $1.3 billion and hold a 54% stake in the venture, while the Chinese state-owned steel giant will provide $700 million and have a 46% stake. The two companies have already teamed up on the nearby Eastern Range project in a similar manner.

The deal also secured 126.5 million tonnes of iron ore for China Baowu from Western Range in the first 13 years of production, which corresponds to its stake in the expected 275 million tonnes of iron ore extracted from Western Range over this period. icon

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