Rio Tinto's Paraburdoo stacker project to create almost 100 local jobs

29 June 2018

Rio Tinto Iron Ore has commenced a major sustaining capital project, spending almost $39 million (A$50 million) to replace the original stackers at the Paraburdoo mine which will create almost 100 jobs.

Global advanced technology provider Tenova TAKRAF is leading the design and implementation phases of the stacker replacement and has committed to sourcing all material and equipment from well known, reputable suppliers with a preference for local content.

Tenova's engineering technology centre in Perth will manage all the lead engineering work to replace the stackers, which are large pieces of machinery used to evenly distribute ore into stockpiles.

Premier Mark McGowan and Chris Salisbury with Paraburdoo stackersPictured (L-R): Rio Tinto's Iron Ore chief executive Chris Salisbury and The Hon Mark McGowan MLA Premier of Western Australia on site at Paraburdoo stackers announcement.

West Australian Premier Mark McGowan today visited Paraburdoo to mark the start of the project. The design of the new stackers is underway and fabrication is expected to begin later this year with installation and commissioning completed by 2020.

The design phase will create approximately 10 to 15 Perth-based roles. So far, the project has awarded a multi-million dollar subcontract to Western Australian company Paradigm Engineers to provide electrical engineering design and control system programming services, as well as the supply of electrical equipment.

Around 80 Western Australian based roles are likely to be required during implementation. Fabrication, including pre-assembly, will take place in a local Perth workshop. Up to 30 Pilbara-based roles will be required to prepare the site and install the plant.

Rio Tinto Iron Ore chief executive Chris Salisbury said "This is great news not only for Paraburdoo, but also for jobs here in WA. This project is an important part of our sustaining capital programme for 2018 and we're pleased to be supporting local businesses with this significant body of work.

"A further feature of our commitment to local jobs is our local procurement programme that we launched last year. The programme already has over 750 business registrations and more than 200 packages of work placed online."

The old stackers were part of the mine's original infrastructure, stacking the very first load of iron ore from Paraburdoo in 1972. In 46 years of operation, they've stacked just over 800 million tonnes of iron ore, requiring only minimal structural changes throughout that time.

The project forms part of Rio Tinto's broader sustaining capital programme estimated at $1 billion a year over the next three years. The company is also investing in replacing depleting assets with an estimated $2.2 billion expected to be spent on replacement mines over the next three years.

Features of the new stackers include:

  • Modern advances in engineering design and mechanical technology
  • Latest generation variable-speed drive control and fibre optic network infrastructure.
  • Anti-collision system with GPS back up.
  • Fully automated and monitored from the Operations Centre in Perth.

Notes for editors

Tenova TAKRAF is a leading supplier of systems and equipment to the bulk material handling, minerals processing and beneficiation industries.

Paradigm Engineers is a control systems engineering and electrical engineering company based in Perth, Western Australia.

Rio Tinto's Paraburdoo mine commenced operations in 1972 and is located in the Pilbara, approximately 80 kilometres south of the town site of Tom Price.

On average, in the past eight years, more than 75 per cent of Rio Tinto’s total procurement spend was with West Australian businesses.

For more information about Rio Tinto's Local Procurement Programme go to