Rio Tinto has approved $3.5 billion AUD for their intelligent Koodaideri mine project in Western Australia, with the investment focused heavily on augmenting production, technology and innovation in the Pilbara.
The project will develop a new production hub for Rio Tinto’s world-class iron ore business in the Pilbara, integrating a state-of-the-art processing plant along with a 166 km railway line.
On completion, the mine will boast a capacity of 43 million tonnes per annum, acting as a major producer for Rio Tinto’s flagship iron ore product, the Pilbara Blend.
Over 2000 jobs will be on offer during construction, with 600 permanent operational jobs available once completed.
“Koodaideri is a game-changer for Rio Tinto. It will be the most technologically advanced mine we have ever built and sets a new benchmark for the industry in terms of the adoption of automation and the use of data to enhance safety and productivity,” said Jean-Sébastien Jacques, Rio Tinto Chief Executive.
“As we pursue our value over volume approach, targeted high quality investments such as Koodaideri will ensure we continue to deliver value for our shareholders and Australians.”
Rio Tinto plans to make Koodaideri the company’s most technologically advanced mine.
In line with Rio Tinto’s overarching focus on innovation, the project will utilise an increased level of automation and digitisation.
Koodaideri has more than 70 innovations in scope including:
- A digital replica of the processing plant, accessible in real time by workers in the field
- Fully integrated mine automation and simulation systems
- Advanced automation including an automated workshop
- Numerous data analytics capabilities and control loops to optimise production and reduce downtime
The Koodaideri iron ore mine is 100% owned by Rio Tinto and is located about 110 kilometres from the town of Newman in the Pilbara region of Western Australia.
“This further investment in our iron ore business is also a multi-billion dollar vote of confidence in Western Australia.”
The project is expected to be Rio Tinto’s lowest cost contribute for its industry benchmark Pilbara Blend product along with being one of their safest and most productive mines.
“The project will also deliver significant opportunities for local companies and we expect more than A$3 billion will be spent with Australian-based businesses, with opportunities for about A$2.5 billion of spending for Western Australian-based businesses during its development.”
Construction will start in 2019 with first production expected by late 2021.
Source: Rio Tinto