Continuing with its efforts to keep Australia as the world's number one iron ore producer, giant miner Rio Tinto (ASX, LON, NYSE:RIO) is creating over 2,000 jobs in the Pilbara region, reports Mining Australia.
The company, which is the second biggest miner, has decided to prioritize Western Australia’s Pilbara capex over other developments, such as the Simandou iron ore project in Guinea.
Last year the diversified mining giant announced a massive $3.4 billion expansion to its Pilbara iron ore operations with the majority of the investment used to extend the life of the Nammuldi mine, which received a bit over $2bn. These investment are set to create thousands of new positions in the area.
By October the company had achieved a 5% increase in its iron ore output from the region and last month it logged record production figures for iron ore in 2012 with total annual output of 253 million tonnes, which beat Rio's own guidance.
The miner added it would now forge ahead with plans to raise production capacity in the Pilbara to 283 million tonnes by the end of 2013 and 353 million tonnes by the middle of 2015.
Local authorities are more than pleased with Rio’s latest moves in the Pilbara region.
Premier and State Development Minister, Colin Barnett, told Mining Australia that the WA economy was set to benefit from the investment.
“This major investment by Rio Tinto will create almost 1,500 construction jobs and secure ongoing employment for more than 700 people,” Barnett was quoted as saying.
“The Nammuldi mine, 60km north-west of Tom Price, includes a major investment in mine infrastructure, which will see iron ore mined below the water table and increase the mine’s production limit from eight to 23 million tonnes a year,” he added.
The expansion is expected to deliver first ore in the third quarter of 2014 and will increase the Nammuldi 's life by 14 years.