Rio Tinto has announced plans to invest $30.9m into a project feasibility study to develop its Koodaideri iron ore deposit in the Pilbara region of Western Australia.
The study's objective is to examine the Koodaideri option as Rio Tinto’s next potential major mining development in the region. The company noted that the upcoming deposit will replace existing production.
Rio Tinto iron ore chief executive Chris Salisbury said: “We are pleased to be investing a further $30.9m in Western Australia, which will be spent with local businesses and suppliers, as well as firms outside the state.
"We are examining the Koodaideri project as an option to help us maintain our low-cost competitive position and assist in maintaining the Pilbara Blend product quality.”
The Koodaideri development project is expected to create 1,600 construction jobs and will further need 600 operational staff.
The feasibility study will lay emphasis on securing requisite consent and permits and increase Rio Tinto’s understanding of the orebody and technical elements, providing the data necessary to validate the project.
A final decision on the progression of the Koodaideri iron ore development will be in place upon the completion of the feasibility study and subsequent review by the company’s investment committee and board.