Rio Tinto has awarded RCR Tomlinson with the $120m contract for the handling systems at its Silvergrass mine.
The contract includes the engineering, procurement and construction of a brand new primary crusher, 9km of overland conveyors, and 33kV power lines at the site.
Paul Dalgleish is the managing director for RCR, and he said his company’s design was innovative while providing Rio Tinto with a solution that will efficiently use capital.
Mr Dalgleish said that the award of the contract “…demonstrates that RCR is leading the iron ore processing industry.” He also called it a result of the company’s “innovative approach to cost competitive solutions.”
Silvergrass is expected to be producing ore by October 2017, and will be delivering 219 million tonnes of Marra Manba ore over the 12-year life of the mine, which works out to be approximately 20 million tonnes each year.
Construction is due to begin on site in the fourth quarter after Rio Tinto has all necessary approvals from the government.
Chris Salisbury is Rio Tinto’s chief executive of iron ore, and he said that while market conditions are currently tough, the company is committed to maximising its expenditure, particularly with local companies such as RCR.
He said the company’s $338 investment for the entire development of the mine is a demonstration of its reinvestment in WA, and the mine is creating jobs both during the construction and during operation.
The project was originally expected to be worth more than $1 billion (US), although it has now been split into three separate stages. The first two stages are called “Nammuldi Incremental Tonnes” (stages one and two) and include the construction of infrastructure and mine haul roads.
The investment is expected to lower operating costs of the mine since road haulage will be replaced with the conveyor system which will link operations with the Nammuldi processing plant.