Feasibility study for new Rio Tinto iron ore development in the Pilbara

24 May 2017

Rio Tinto has approved an investment of $30.9 million to complete the project feasibility study for the development of its Koodaideri iron ore deposit in Western Australia.

The study, which is included in the group’s disclosed capital guidance, will examine the Koodaideri option as Rio Tinto’s next potential major mining development in the Pilbara, and is intended to replace existing production.1

Rio Tinto Iron Ore chief executive Chris Salisbury said "We are pleased to be investing a further $30.9 million in Western Australia, which will 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.

"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 our understanding of the orebody and 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 subsequent review by the Rio Tinto investment committee and board.

1 Pre-feasibility study level information for the Koodaideri project was released to the market as part of an investor seminar on 24 November 2016. The PFS project concept included a 40Mtpa capacity dry crushing and screening plant, non-process infrastructure, product stockyards, rail loop and load-out and a 170 kilometre rail link to the main line and suggested capital required of approximately US$2.2 billion with potential for construction to commence in 2019. The feasibility study will build on this work and consider a range of capital, timing and scale options.