Rio Tinto has extended its Channar Mining joint venture (JV) with Sinosteel, in the Pilbara region of Western Australia.

The firm said the extension will lead to a further 50 million tons of iron ore production, under the JV.

The original Channar agreements for the production of 200 million tons were signed in 1987, marking the first major Chinese foreign investment in the Australian mining industry, with first ore produced in 1990.

Located 60km south of Tom Price, the mine is managed by Rio Tinto and owned by the Channar JV.

The agreement provides Sinosteel with 100% take-off rights for the Pilbara Blend product into which Channar ore feeds.