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Rhodes Ridge has 100Mt/y hub potential, says Rio Tinto

5th December 2023

By: Creamer Media Reporter

     

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The Rhodes Ridge project, considered to be one of the world’s best undeveloped iron-ore deposits, is progressing to a prefeasibility study (PFS), with Rio Tinto approving A$110-million to advance studies.

The start of a PFS follows the completion of an order of magnitude study that considered development of an operation with an initial capacity of up to 40-million tonnes a year, subject to approvals.

The PFS is expected to be completed by the end of 2025 and will be followed by a feasibility study. First ore from the initial development is expected by the end of this decade.

Rio Tinto is planning to spend more than A$400-million on exploration over five years from 2024 to 2028 as part of the ongoing study phases. Study work to date indicates a staged development with an initial hub likely to be located in the northern part of the project, adjacent to existing rail infrastructure.

Longer term, the resource could support a “world-class mining hub with a potential capacity of more than 100-million tonnes a year of high-quality iron-ore”, said Rio Tinto iron-ore CEO Simon Trott.

“The size and quality of the resource base at Rhodes Ridge has the potential to underpin our iron-ore business in the Pilbara for decades to come,” he commented in a statement.

Rhodes Ridge contains 6.8-billion tonnes of mineral resources at an average grade of 61.6% iron, including 5.3-billion tonnes at 62.2% iron and 0.6-billion tonnes at 63.9% iron.

Last year, Rio Tinto and Wright Prospecting agreed to modernise the joint venture (JV) covering the Rhodes Ridge project, located 40 km northwest of Newman.

The JV will utilise Rio Tinto’s existing rail, port and power infrastructure, including the planned instalment of renewable power assets in the Pilbara.

Edited by Creamer Media Reporter

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