#Rio Tinto#BHP Billiton#iron ore#Australia#Pocket and Bil#BHP Billiton#Rio Tinto#Australia

REPORT: Rio Tinto to Develop the Biggest Iron Ore Mine in Australia

UK miner Rio Tinto(LSE:RIO) is reportedly formalizing plans to develop a colossal iron ore mine at its Yandicoogina operation in Pilbara, capable of pro...

Admin
|Jul 23|magazine4 min read

UK miner Rio Tinto (LSE:RIO) is reportedly formalizing plans to develop a colossal iron ore mine at its Yandicoogina operation in Pilbara, capable of producing 70 million tons annually.

Rio has already filed an environmental application for the project and is currently carrying out prefeasibility studies on the new pit in the Pilbara region of Western Australia. The company is expecting to start production in 2017.

Known as Pocket and Billiard South, the mine will be roughly seven kilometers long and one kilometer wide. The pit will become Australia’s biggest iron ore mine, replacing BHP Billiton’s Mt. Whaleback site in size and production.

The company’s Yandicoogina project currently produces 75 million tons of iron ore annually through various open-pit mines. The Pocket and Billiard South mine will more or less match that production with one pit.  

In 2012, Rio Tinto revealed plans for a $3.4 billion expansion of iron ore operations in Western Australia. The company committed $2.2 billion to extending the life of its Nammuldi iron ore mine, including investing $1.2 billion in the expansion of its Cape Lambert port and rail facilities.

The company is currently focusing on the second phase of its expansion which will increase iron ore production to 360 million tons annually by the end of 2015.

Rio Tinto had previously planned to build a $3-billion mine at Koodaideri in central Western Australia. However, plans for the project have been delayed until 2017.