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Rio Tinto to spend $1.5b on new WA deposits

More than $1.5 billion will be invested across Rio Tinto’s Robe Valley and West Angelas iron ore projects in the Pilbara.

Rio Tinto and Japanese joint venture partners Mitsui and Nippon Steel & Sumitomo Metal this morning approved the $1.55 billion investment — Rio will add $820 million for its 53 per cent share — to sustain production capacity at two projects which form part of the Robe River joint venture.

The partners will spend $967 million to develop the Mesa B, C and H deposits at Robe Valley and $579 million to build Deposits C and D at the existing West Angelas operation.

Rio said the investment would allow the partners to sustain production of the high-grade Pilbara Blend and its Robe Valley lump and fines products.

Construction of both projects is expected to start next year and create 1200 jobs, with first ore due in 2021.

More than 30 existing haul trucks will be retrofitted with driverless autonomous haulage system technology to run across both operations. Read more…

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