Iron Ore Expansion To Go Ahead

Iron Ore Expansion To Go Ahead

Western Australia Premier Colin Barnett

Approval Granted For First Stage Of Massive Pilbara Expansion

Victor P Taffa

Premier Colin Barnett has given the official go-ahead to the first stage of a Multi-Billion Dollar Expansion Project by Iron Ore Giant Rio Tinto, which will see significant growth in the company’s Pilbara Operations.

A $3.9 Billion expansion will boost Rio Tinto’s Pilbara Iron Ore capacity by more than 50 %, to potentially more than 300 Million tonnes p.a.

The Premier has approved early works for the Project, which is centred on the expansion of the Cape Lambert port facilities to include an additional 1.8 Km Jetty and Four-Berth Wharf, which will support a two-stage increase in capacity.

The Approval is the first under the recently varied State Agreements that gave Rio Tinto and BHP Billiton the flexibility to improve efficiency and facilitate integration and expansion of their operations.


“This is the first stage of a multi-billion development with the potential to significantly increase the capacity of Pilbara infrastructure while delivering a massive boost to Western Australia’s iron ore industry.” Premier Barnett said.

“As the first proposal received under the new State Agreement integration provisions, this marks the beginning of the next stage for the Pilbara region where companies are able to maximise their efficiencies across mines, ports and infrastructure.”

“This project will lead to Rio Tinto undertaking the biggest mining project ever undertaken in Australia.” Premier Barnett said.

“The Project is an investment in Western Australia and will ensure the long-term supply of iron ore while creating employment opportunities and significantly boosting State Royalties.”

Rio Tinto has committed $1 Billion in funding to undertake early works for the Project, which will commence immediately.

Early Works Include:

  • Dredging Works;
  • Marine Works, including Jetty Pile Driving;
  • Jetty Abutment Construction;
  • An extension of the existing Cape Lambert Construction Camp;
  • A range of Minor Support Works.

The Cape Lambert Wharf and Jetty will support a two-stage increase in capacity of approximately 50 Mtpa each and have been designed to enable further potential growth beyond Rio Tinto’s current operating capacity of 220 Mtpa to 333 Mtpa.