The WA Premier has officially opened Rio Tinto’s newest Western Australian iron ore mine, the $468 million Silvergrass project, which has created about 500 construction jobs.
The Silvergrass project is located within Rio Tinto’s Greater Brockman mining operations about 70 kilometres north-west of Tom Price in the Pilbara region.
Production using the new primary crusher and conveyor will begin later in the year, with the project sustaining about 250 ongoing positions once construction is complete.
Silvergrass plays a role in Rio Tinto’s plans to reach a production rate of 330 million tonnes this year, and is also important for maintaining the quality of its ‘Pilbara blend’ of ore.
Rio Tinto’s Pilbara iron ore operations include 16 mines, four shipping terminals located at Dampier and Cape Lambert, a railway spanning 1,700 kilometres and a workforce of more than 11,000 employees.
The Silvergrass project was approved under the Iron Ore (Hamersley Range) Agreement Act 1963.
Premier Mark McGowan said “Western Australia’s leading iron ore sector produced 38 per cent of the world’s iron ore last year, and plays a vital ongoing role in the State’s economy through jobs and royalties.
“The Silvergrass mine is the latest in a series of new mine developments by a number of major companies, which show that confidence in the State’s sector remains high.
“I congratulate Rio Tinto on the opening, and on its commitment to local jobs, through initiatives like its new procurement program which will make it easier for local businesses to tender for work.
“Rio has also committed to creating 200 apprenticeship, traineeship and vacation work positions next year, which is great news for young Western Australians.”
Source: Government of Western Australia.