Rio Tinto revises Pilbara expansion

Rio Tinto CEO Sam Walsh says the company will go ahead with its Pilbara iron ore expansion, and will spend $3 billion less than previously planned.

"We will deliver the expansion at an estimated capital cost of more than $3bn below previous expectations."

"Under the revised plans for the project, mine production capacity would increase by more than 60m tonnes by 2017 and reach more than 330m tonnes in the next two years," as reported last week by

The original "Pilbara 360" plan targeted a production boost from 290 million to 360 million tonnes annually.

Iron ore accounts for the largest share of Rio's profits and Walsh expects the Pilbara expansion to drive company growth going forward.

The Pilbara is "the most attractive investment opportunity in the sector,” Walsh said.