Rio Tinto to invest US$3.4-B in expansion of Pilbara iron ore operations in Western Australia

RIO

Rio Tinto (NYSE:RIO) will invest another US$3.4-B in the major expansion of its Pilbara iron ore operations in Western Australia, the global mining giant announced Wednesday.

Rio said it would invest US$2.2-B to extend the life of its Nammuldi mine and US$1.2-B in Cape Lambert port and rail early works needed for the proposed capacity expansion to 353-M tons of iron ore a year by the end 1-H of Y 2015.

The Nammuldi project would boost iron ore production capacity in Pilbara to 283-M tons a year by 2-H of Y 2013, Rio said.

Today, we are announcing another significant milestone in our drive towards a more than 50% increase in the size of iron ore operations in Western Australia, Rio Tinto Iron Ore and Australia Chief Executive Sam Walsh said in a statement.

The program remains on track and we are bringing new iron ore production on stream at a time when demand from Asian markets is forecast to grow strongly, while industry supply growth remains constrained.

The Nammuldi project would extend existing mining below the water table, increasing the mine's life by 14 yrs, Rio said.

The miner said the expansion for the Cape Lambert port and rail infrastructure was in final feasibility study stage, with a final investment decision expected later in Y 2012.

Paul A. Ebeling, Jnr.

Paul A. Ebeling, Jnr

Paul A. Ebeling, Jnr. writes and publishes The Red Roadmaster's Technical Report on the US Major Market Indices, a weekly, highly-regarded financial market letter, read by opinion makers, business leaders and organizations around the world.

Paul A. Ebeling, Jnr has studied the global financial and stock markets since 1984, following a successful business career that included investment banking, and market and business analysis. He is a specialist in equities/commodities, and an accomplished chart reader who advises technicians with regard to Major Indices Resistance/Support Levels. www.livetradingnews.com