RIO TINTO will spend a further $833m (£527m) to speed up its iron ore expansion plans in Western Australia’s Pilbara region, the mining giant announced yesterday.
The extra spending adds to a $15bn-plus project to increase its capacity in the mineral-rich region by 50 per cent to 330m tonnes a year by 2015.
The Anglo-Australian company said $520m of the investment would be spent on upgrading the miner’s power and gas networks, while $313m was earmarked for fuel infrastructure facilities.
“These projects provide certainty in meeting our power and fuel supply requirements, both now and into the future,” Sam Walsh, chief executive of Rio Tinto Australia, said.
Other iron ore producers including Fortescue Metals have also stepped up expansion in the Pilbara region.