PERTH (miningweekly.com) – Construction at mining major Rio Tinto’s $2.6-billion Gudai-Darri iron-ore project, in the Pilbara, is progressing well, with the company cutting the ribbon at the project’s airport.
Gudai-Darri, previously known as the Koodiaderi mine, will be the company’s first intelligent mine, incorporating the latest in high-tech advances in the industry and using an increased level of automation and robotics.
“The construction phase of the project is progressing well with a significant amount of infrastructure at the mine now built, millions of cubic metres of material moved, a new access road, a significant amount of the rail formation installed, two new bridges constructed and now a brand new airport,” said Rio’s project GM for Gudai-Darri, Anthony Radici.
Production ramp-up is expected in early 2022, and the project is expected to produce an initial 40-million tonnes a year, but could be expanded to yield 70-million tonnes or more at a later date.
“The construction phase of Gudai-Darri, our most technologically advanced mine, has a strong focus on supporting local businesses with contracts valued at more than $2.3-billion awarded to date,” said Rio acting iron-ore CEO Ivan Vella.
“These contracts have supported approximately 2 000 jobs in the construction phase and the mining operation is expected to support about 600 jobs on an ongoing basis. We are proud to support West Australian businesses as we progress a pipeline of investment opportunities in the Pilbara valued at more than A$10-billion over the three years to 2022.”
Contracts at Gudai-Darri valued at more than $2.3-billion have been awarded to local Pilbara, Pilbara Aboriginal and West Australian businesses.