Pilbara

Pilbara

In the Pilbara region of Western Australia, we own an integrated portfolio of world-class iron ore assets

Iron Ore

Product

15,000

Employees

324.1Mt

Production (100% basis)

1966

Started

2022 figures

The Pilbara, Western Australia

In the Pilbara region of Western Australia, we own a world-class, integrated network of 17 mines, four independent port terminals, a rail network spanning nearly 2,000 kilometres and related infrastructure – all designed to respond rapidly to changes in demand. We are one of the world’s leading producers and exporters of iron ore.

Gudai-Darri: Our newest and most technologically advanced mine

In addition to technology already in use across our operations – such as autonomous trucks, trains, and drills – Gudai-Darri’s design is also far more automated and digitised, including advanced data analytics. This level of automation allows us to operate equipment and vehicles remotely from Perth, improving safety and efficiency. Significant innovations include a digital replica of the processing plant that’s accessible in real time by workers in the field; integrated mine automation and simulation systems. Innovations at Gudai-Darri include autonomous water carts, a rotable bucket wheel reclaimer, and a fully automated laboratory integrated within the mine. Gudai-Darri sets a benchmark for our industry in terms of automation and using real-time data to drive decisions – making mining safer and more productive.

  • Pilbara - Western Range

    Western Range

    In September 2022, we agreed to form a joint venture with China Baowu Steel Group to develop the Western Range iron ore project in the Pilbara, Western Australia (Rio Tinto 54%, Baowu 46%). Construction is expected to begin in early 2023 with first production anticipated in 2025. Western Range’s annual production capacity of 25 million tonnes of iron ore will help sustain Pilbara Blend production from our existing Paraburdoo mining hub.
  • Gudai-Darri

    Automated water carts

    Automated water carts at Gudai-Darri are operated from 1,500 km away in a control centre in Perth. They have a 160,000-litre tank, a 33% increase on our previous largest water carts.
  • Gudai-Darri

    Paperless sites

    Gudai-Darri’s private wireless data network improves site safety by giving our people access to relevant and current information while in the field.
  • Gudai-Darri solar farm, Pilbara

    Powering the Pilbara with renewables

    A new 34 MW solar plant at Gudai-Darri, together with the new battery electric storage system at Tom Price, is set to reduce our annual carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions by about 90,000 tonnes – the same amount produced by 6,000 homes in Australia every year.
  • Gudai-Darri site

    Rotable reclaimer bucket system

    Traditionally, reclaimer maintenance requires piece-by-piece removal of components while the machine is out of service, resulting in shutdowns that are complex and high risk for our people. The patent-pending, rotable bucket system allows the entire bucket wheel module to be changed out for maintenance, improving safety and reducing scheduled loss.
  • Gudai-Darri

    A mine of the future

    Located about 110 kilometres north-west of Newman in Western Australia, Gudai-Darri is a remote mine site nestled in the heart of the beautiful Pilbara region.
  • Gudai-Darri

    Remote-controlled haul trucks

    Gudai-Darri’s fleet of autonomous haul trucks allow us to operate equipment and vehicles remotely from Perth, improving safety and efficiency.
  • Gudai-Darri

    Building our iron ore capacity

    Gudai-Darri achieved first ore in 2022, and will reach full capacity in 2023. Our process plant has an annual, average capacity of 43Mtpa of iron ore.

Innovation in the Pilbara

Our integrated iron ore network is supported by our Operations Centre in Perth, a state-of-the-art facility that enables all the autonomous trucks, trains and drills at our mines, ports and rail systems to be operated from a single location. The Centre combines visualisation and collaboration tools to provide real-time information across our demand chain and allows us to optimise our mining, maintenance and logistic activities across the Pilbara in a way never before possible.

In 2019, we launched the world’s first automated heavy-haul rail network – named AutoHaul™ – capable of moving about one million tonnes of iron ore a day. AutoHaul™ improves safety by reducing risk at level crossings and through automated responses to speed restrictions and alarms, eliminating the need to transport drivers to and from trains mid-journey. This saves almost 1.5 million kilometres of road travel every year. It also improves cycle times by using information about network topography to calculate and deliver a safe, consistent driving strategy.

AutoHaul train, Pilbara

About 80% of our haul truck fleet across our Pilbara sites is also autonomous. These trucks, which use pre-defined GPS courses to automatically navigate haul roads and intersections, and which continuously track actual locations, speeds and directions of other vehicles, allow us to move more material, more efficiently and safely, increasing productivity.

We are a global industry leader in autonomous haulage and are the only organisation in the world to operate two different Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) Autonomous Haulage Systems (AHS).

We also continue to expand our Autonomous Drilling System (ADS) and now have a fleet of 32 production drills across seven sites, with plans to deploy another 18 drills by the end of 2023. ADS allows us to monitor multiple drills from different manufacturers across multiple sites from remote drill consoles in Perth.

  • Employee, Pilbara

    Our Pilbara mines

    Tom Price, Paraburdoo, Channar, Eastern Range, Marandoo, Brockman 2, Brockman 4, Nammuldi, Western Turner Syncline, Silvergrass, West Angelas, Hope Downs 1, Hope Downs 4, Yandicoogina, Robe Valley (Mesa A), Robe Valley (Mesa J) and Gudai-Darri.
  • Cape Lambert port, Pilbara

    Ports

    Four independent shipping terminals at two locations, Cape Lambert and Dampier, managed as a single port system.
  • AutoHaul train, Pilbara

    Rail network

    The largest privately-owned and operated rail system in Australia, including the world’s first automated heavy-haul rail network, AutoHaul™. Services 17 mines via mainline systems of nearly 2,000 kilometres.
  • Paraburdoo power plant, Pilbara

    Power plants

    We have four major power generation stations that provide power to our Pilbara community and operational sites. The four power stations are; Paraburdoo, Yurralyi Maya, West Angelas and Cape Lambert.
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Pilbara communities

By working together with our community partners, we strive to make a lasting positive impact with the people and communities where we operate and where our employees live and work

Growth

We are continually investing in our operations in the Pilbara, introducing next generation technologies that can deliver greater efficiency, lower production costs and improved health, safety and environmental performance.

In June 2022, we announced the production of first ore at Gudai-Darri, our first greenfield mine in the Pilbara, Western Australia, in more than a decade. With an expected life of more than 40 years and an annual capacity of 43 million tonnes, Gudai-Darri will underpin future production of our Pilbara Blend™ product.

The mine’s commissioning and ramp-up is expected to increase our iron ore production volumes and improve our product mix from the Pilbara. We expect to reach full capacity during 2023. We are also progressing a feasibility study to support an expansion of this new hub. The development of Gudai-Darri supported more than 3,000 jobs during the construction and design phase. The mine supports around 600 ongoing permanent roles.

 

I’d like to acknowledge the support of the Traditional Owners, the Banjima People, on whose country Gudai-Darri is situated. We have worked closely with the Banjima People to progress this project and we look forward to partnering with them into the future.

The commissioning of Gudai-Darri represents the successful delivery of our first greenfield mine in over a decade, helping to support increased output of Pilbara Blend, our flagship product. It sets a new standard for Rio Tinto mine developments through its deployment of technology and innovation to enhance productivity and improve safety.

Simon Trott, Iron Ore Chief Executive

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Careers

Discover more about life at Rio Tinto

Pilbara downloads

Pilbara Brockman Syncline
Pilbara Brockman Syncline Proposal ERD 2023
PDF
338.69 MB
Pilbara Brockman Syncline Proposal ERD 2023 - Appendices
PDF
379.19 MB
Pilbara Mesa A
Pilbara Mesa A Hub Environmental Management Plan
PDF
6 MB
Pilbara Mesa A Hub ERD 2018
PDF
28.01 MB
Pilbara Mesa A Hub ERD 2018 - Appendices
PDF
173.05 MB
Pilbara Mesa A Warramboo EPBC Compliance Report 2022
PDF
323 KB
Pilbara Mesa A Warramboo EPBC Compliance Report 2021
PDF
517 KB
Pilbara Mesa A Warramboo EPBC Compliance Report 2020
PDF
387 KB
Pilbara Mesa A Warramboo EPBC Compliance Report 2019
PDF
711 KB
Pilbara Mesa H
Pilbara Mesa H EPBC Compliance Report 2022
PDF
297 KB
Pilbara Mesa H EPBC Compliance Report 2021
PDF
486 KB
Pilbara Mesa H EPBC Compliance Report 2020
PDF
360 KB
Pilbara Mesa H Proposal ERD 2019
PDF
46.26 MB
Pilbara Mesa H Proposal ERD 2019 - Appendices
PDF
171.17 MB
Pilbara Paraburdoo
Pilbara Paraburdoo EPBC Compliance Assessment Report 2022
PDF
295 KB
Pilbara Paraburdoo Greenhouse Gas Management Plan
PDF
3.53 MB
Pilbara Paraburdoo Greenhouse Gas Report 2022
PDF
171 KB
Pilbara Cape Lambert
Pilbara Cape Lambert Port B Compliance Assessment 2021
PDF
354 KB
Pilbara Cape Lambert Port B Compliance Assessment 2020
PDF
312 KB
Pilbara Cape Lambert Port B Compliance Assessment 2019
PDF
361 KB
Pilbara Cape Lambert Port B Compliance Assessment 2018
PDF
488 KB
Pilbara Cape Lambert Port B Compliance Assessment 2017
PDF
587 KB
Pilbara Cape Lambert Port B Compliance Assessment 2016
PDF
777 KB
Pilbara Cape Lambert Port B Compliance Assessment 2015
PDF
429 KB
Pilbara Cape Lambert Port B Compliance Assessment 2014
PDF
493 KB
Pilbara Cape Lambert Port B Compliance Assessment 2013
PDF
665 KB
Pilbara Cape Lambert Port B Compliance Assessment 2012
PDF
1.52 MB
Pilbara Cape Lambert Port B Compliance Assessment 2011
PDF
1.03 MB
Pilbara Cape Lambert Port B Compliance Assessment 2010
PDF
188 KB
Pilbara Cape Lambert Port B Development Dredging and Spoil Disposal Management Plan 2011
PDF
18.73 MB
Pilbara Cape Lambert Port B Ecosystem Research 2017
PDF
437 KB
Pilbara Cape Lambert Dredging Environmental Management Plan 2021
PDF
2.62 MB
Pilbara Cape Lambert Port B Cetacean Management
PDF
16.56 MB
Pilbara Gudai-Darri
Pilbara Gudai-Darri EPBC Compliance Assessment Report 2022
PDF
603 KB
Pilbara Gudai-Darri EPBC Compliance Report 2021
PDF
295 KB
Pilbara Gudai-Darri EPBC Compliance Report 2020
PDF
264 KB
Pilbara Gudai-Darri EPBC Compliance Report 2019
PDF
179 KB
Pilbara Gudai-Darri Leaf-Nosed Bat Management Plan
PDF
4.69 MB
Pilbara Gudai-Darri Northern Quoll Management Plan
PDF
2.48 MB
Pilbara West Angelas
Pilbara West Angelas EPBC Compliance Report 2020
PDF
316 KB
Pilbara West Angelas EPBC Compliance Report 2021
PDF
276 KB
Pilbara West Angelas EPBC Compliance Report 2022
PDF
441 KB
Pilbara West Angelas Groundwater Environmental Management Plan 2022
PDF
9.54 MB
Pilbara Yandicoogina
Pilbara Yandicoogina EPBC Compliance Assessment Report 2022
PDF
277 KB
Pilbara Yandicoogina EPBC Compliance Assessment Report 2021
PDF
287 KB
Pilbara Yandicoogina EPBC Compliance Assessment Report 2020
PDF
15.86 MB
Pilbara Yandicoogina EPBC Compliance Assessment Report 2019
PDF
4.83 MB
Pilbara Yandicoogina EPBC Compliance Assessment Report 2018
PDF
484 KB
Pilbara Yandicoogina EPBC Compliance Assessment Report 2017
PDF
190 KB
Pilbara Yandicoogina EPBC Compliance Assessment Report 2016
PDF
307 KB
Pilbara Yandicoogina EPBC Compliance Assessment Report 2015
PDF
160 KB
Pilbara Yandicoogina Compliance Report TSOP 2015
PDF
21.63 MB
Pilbara Yandicoogina Revised Proposal Public Environmental Review
PDF
144.58 MB
Pilbara plans
Pilbara Dampier Dredging Long-Term Management Plan
PDF
4.12 MB
Pilbara Port Dust Management Plan
PDF
4.05 MB
Pilbara Marine Turtle Management Plan
PDF
8.33 MB
Pilbara Threatened Species Offset Plan
PDF
2.81 MB
Pilbara communities
Western Australia Community Giving Application and Guideline
PDF
127 KB
Pilbara Community Investment Guidelines
PDF
603 KB
Pilbara Community Investment
PDF
594 KB
Pilbara contractors
Pilbara Contractor Engagement Solution Playbook
PDF
6.34 MB
Pilbara Contractor Engagement Solution Biometrics Fact Sheet
PDF
246 KB
Pilbara High Load Movement (HLM) Application
DOCX
125 KB
Pilbara High Load Movement (HLM) Application
DOCX
125 KB
Pilbara Utilities ENSR Area Map
PDF
18.9 MB
PIlbara Port Handbook
PDF
4.4 MB
Pilbara Airconditioning Tips
PDF
755 KB
Pilbara Cyclone Information
PDF
889 KB
Pilbara Mining Process Diagram
PDF
278 KB
Pilbara Threatened Species Register
PDF
21 KB

Contact Pilbara

Office

152–158 St Georges Terrace
Perth WA 6000
Australia

Community Enquiries

Pilbara Service Desk

Rio Tinto Geraldton office

17/285 Foreshore Drive
Geraldton WA 6530

Rio Tinto Broome office

2/15–17 Dampier Terrace
Broome WA 6725

PO Box 1435 Broome WA 6725

Rio Tinto Busselton office

4/31–35 Queen Street
Busselton WA 6280