Rio Tinto has awarded two indigenous joint venture (JV) contracts, collectively worth $184m, for to its Hope Downs 4 mine site located in the Pilbara region of Western Australia.

The mining giant awarded an earthworks contract worth $104m to a JV between Leighton Contractors and Ngarda Civil and Mining, and an $80m contract to a JV between Pilbara Logistics and Cimeco for the construction of the mine support facilities.

Rio Tinto Iron Ore and Australia CEO Sam Walsh said that the contracts demonstrated the high priority the firm placed on developing sustainable indigenous business capacity and long-term employment and training opportunities in the region.

“These latest two contracts are another step towards the successful implementation of our goal to achieve 333Mtpa capacity in the Pilbara in 2015,” Walsh said.