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Rio Tinto approves US$1.6 billion investment in Hope Downs 4 mine
30 August 2010
Rio Tinto today announced an investment of US$1.6 billion to develop the Hope
Downs 4 iron ore project in Western Australia and link with Rio Tinto’s existing rail,
power and port infrastructure in the Pilbara.
Rio Tinto and its joint venture participant, Hope Downs Iron Ore Pty Ltd, will proceed
with the development of the mine at an estimated capital cost of US$1.2 billion (Rio
Tinto share US$607 million), to be shared equally by the JV partners.
The new open-cut mine will have an annual capacity of 15 million tonnes of high-
quality iron ore, with first production anticipated in 2013.
The project is in the south eastern Pilbara, 30 kilometres north of Newman, and will
include a permanent staff village for more than 600 personnel, mine dewatering, an
open cut shovel and truck mining fleet and wet ore processing infrastructure. The
project ore body has recoverable product Ore Reserves (at a Fe cut-off of 59.5 per
• Proved Reserves of 73Mt @ 63.0% Fe
• Probable Reserves of 64Mt @ 63.2% Fe
Rio Tinto will also commit an additional US$425 million to fully cover the capital cost
of the rail, rolling stock and power infrastructure owned by Rio Tinto required for this
development. The 52-kilometre spur line connecting to the Lang Hancock Railway
will link the mine to Rio Tinto’s existing rail and port infrastructure.
Rio Tinto Iron Ore chief executive Sam Walsh said: “Commencing the Hope Downs
4 project highlights the prospectivity of Rio Tinto’s excellent reserves portfolio, and
our ability to offer customers a reliable long term source of high quality ore.
“This demonstrates the extensive high-grade resources Rio Tinto can bring on line
to sustain our current output at 225 million tonnes a year – an equally important
consideration as we seek t