$1 billion investment for major Pilbara resources project

Rio Tinto’s decision to invest an additional $1 billion in its existing Greater Tom Price operations is great news for Western Australian job seekers, with more than 1,000 people expected to be recruited at the peak of construction.

The investment in the Western Turner Syncline Phase 2 (WTS2) mine will facilitate mining of existing and new deposits and includes construction of a new crusher as well as a conveyor, which will help lower greenhouse gas emissions from the mine by 3.5 per cent compared to road haulage.

The Chamber of Minerals and Energy of Western Australia’s (CME) Chief Executive Paul Everingham said the investment decision was great news for the North West region, which would benefit from the construction activity starting early next year.

“This is great news for Pilbara businesses and the community at large, and a positive sign of confidence in the WA resources sector,” he said.

“It means that Rio Tinto can sustain its current workforce, as well as employ an extra 1,000 Western Australians to work on construction at the production hub. 

“A survey CME conducted of 41 of its member operations in 2017-18 revealed the Pilbara region received a direct contribution of $1.2 billion from the WA resources sector through wages and salaries, business purchases, community contributions and payments to government.

“The continuing investment by Rio Tinto in its Pilbara operations comes at an exciting time for the WA resources sector, given the next wave of billion-dollar projects coming online across the State over the next few years.”

As of September 2019, WA had resource projects in the pipeline valued at an estimated $108 billion.