Rio Tinto making more moves at Pilbara

A six-week public review of Rio Tinto's plan for its Koodaideri iron ore deposits in Australia's Pilbara region is now underway.

Rio Tinto expects production to begin at 35 million tonnes a year (70Mtpa), eventually reaching 70 Mtpa at the proposed mine only 23km from the Karinjini National Park.

The proposed project involves mainly above water table open cut pits and Rio expects the mine life to reach 30 years. Projected costs have reached A$3.5 billion.

If the plan gets a green light from the Australian Environmental Protection Authority (EPA), construction would get going by Q3 2014, with commissioning set for Q3 or Q4 2016.

Rio Tinto's current Pilbara operations: