Premier and State Development Minister Colin Barnett today officially opened Rio Tinto Iron Ore’s Cape Lambert Port B facility, in another sign of confidence in the sector.
Mr Barnett congratulated Rio Tinto and its partners in the Robe River Iron Associates Joint Venture, Nippon Steel-Sumitomo Metal Industries and Mitsui, on their commitment to WA.
“Rio Tinto’s investment in expanding its iron ore export capacity is excellent news for Western Australia and the Pilbara,” he said.
“Creation of an initial two new berths and supporting infrastructure will enable Cape Lambert’s annual export capacity to grow to 140 million tonnes now, on the way to 210 million tonnes.”
Iron ore production in Western Australia increased 12 per cent to 512.6 million tonnes in 2012-13, representing 26 per cent of world production. Rio Tinto accounted for almost half the State’s 2012-13 iron ore production at 239 million tonnes.
The iron ore industry contributed approximately $3.65billion in royalty payments to the State in 2012-13, which the Premier said was vital to the Government’s ability to provide schools, hospitals, roads and services across Western Australia.
“The construction workforce peaked at more than 1,700 and the new facility will generate about 100 full-time operational jobs,” Mr Barnett said.
“The project has been accompanied by an expansion of housing, and upgrade of community facilities in Wickham, and impressively, this facility is being officially opened only 16 months after Rio Tinto took its final investment decision to commence construction.”
The Premier said that the Government and Rio Tinto had worked together to ensure all necessary approvals were in place ahead of the Port B development and for planned future expansions.
Press Release, October 2, 2013