Rio Introduces New Iron Operation

Submitted by Jim Thesiger on 22 February, 2010 - 08:09

Rio Tinto (RIO), one of the largest mining companies of Australia have seen the beginning of a new era for its iron ore operations as the first load of iron ore was dispatched from its new Mesa A/Warramboo mine which is located 50 km. west of the township of Pannawonica. It is to be mentioned that the Mesa A/Warramboo is the part of the Robe River Joint Venture where Rio Tinto holds 53 percent ownership. The operation is expected to generate as much as 20 million tonnes of iron ore initially a year and the amount is likely to hit 25 million tonnes by the year 2011.

The first full-length train with 163 ore cars started from the mine on Friday following the rail extension in order to link up with the Deepdale railway which is running from Pannawonica, heading towards the Cape Lambert port. Rio Tinto termed the Mesa A project as its future aspirations. It is to be mentioned that the project has cost the miner as much as $US900 million. The residents of Pannawonica were working in the Mesa J mine for the recent years where the production went down significantly from 35 million to 7 million.

Rio Tinto is currently looking forward to boost its total production of iron ore to 330mtpa- a plan that is based on the Warramboo and Mesa A mine sites that are located in either side of the North West Coastal Highway which runs parallel with northwestern coast. Currently the pair is enjoying a reserve of 250 million tonnes and has justified the spurline to the Pannawonica rail line which is expected to boost up the economics of a range of minor deposits between Pannawonica and Warramboo. Rio Tinto is likely to come up with detail plans regarding a second extension of its mining operation at the Brockman 4 mine site which is located close to Tom Price.