Rio Tinto and Hancock Prospecting
Pilbara iron ore update
The Hope Downs iron ore project has finally started to ship iron ore from the Pilbara mine. This is a significant milestone for Gina Rinehart and her Pilbara mining operations.
The $1.12 billion project located 30km north of Newman and approximately 200 km east of Tom Price, is a significant operation with a 53 kilometre railway line and a 220 kilovolt transmission line to connect the mine to the infrastructure that already exists.
This is an equal joint venture mining operation with Rio Tinto and Hancock Prospecting. The West Australian government said the project was estimated to be valued over $400 million and it is envisaged 600 Pilbara mining jobs would be created, with an additional 1500 jobs being created at the Hope Downs 4 mine site. Rio Tinto has big plans to expand its iron ore mining and production operations in the Pilbara by 353 million tonnes of iron ore shipments by 2015. Other expansions in the area by Rio Tinto are at its Cape Lambert Port and the Nammuldi mine.
The Nammuldi mine has been in operation since 2006 and is located in the Shire of Ashburton, 60 kilometres north-west of Tom Price and is an open-pit mining operation with on-site iron ore processing. The estimated capacity per year of output is 6.6million tonnes. The plant and machinery consists of 20 Komatsu haul trucks (785-7 and 730E), with Caterpillar, Komatsu and Hitachi loaders which are responsible for the loading of the ore trains. Rio Tinto is investing heavily in autonomous haulage systems (AHS) to increase capacity and productivity.
Rio Tinto ordered 150 trucks from Komatsu, which will be delivered over the next four years. The introduction of automated trucks creates the opportunity for hi-tech jobs in the operational, servicing and maintenance side of mining. People who are currently trained in electrical systems should be looking to up-skill themselves in preparation for the future of mining automation. Rio Tinto has spent a lot of time promoting the deployment of these new haul trucks at Nammuldi, highlighting the potential new skills on offer to workers.
Various mining contracting companies have already worked extensively on the project, including Monadelphous and Leighton Contractors in a JV with Ngarda Civil and Mining. The pre-strip, earth works and civil engineering works were valued at $104 million.
People looking for mining job opportunities on this project should go to the following websites.
Here is a Rio Tinto overview of how Pilbara iron ore mining operations is conducted. This is a good source of information on iron ore mining and processing. If you are looking to work in the Pilbara, this is the best way to build your knowledge of how mining operations work..
Rio Tinto Pilbara mining operations are quite extensive and offer plenty of FIFO opportunities for people looking to get a foot in the door working for a big mining company like Rio Tinto. Download thehere. This overviews the mining operations in the following locations;
- Brockman 2/Nammuldi
- Brockman 4
- Robe Valley Operations
- West Angelas
- Mt tom Price
- Greater Paraburdoo (Paraburdoo, Channar and Eastern Range)
- Hope Downs
Refernec: Rio Tinto and Hancock Prospecting iron ore – Hope Downs Pilbara Iron Ore Production Starts