Rio Tinto unveils 3 billion dollar Australian mine expansion
Rio Tinto announced a 3.1 billion US dollar expansion of its Western Australia iron ore operations on Wednesday, two days after the demise of an ambitious merger with fellow mining giant BHP Billiton.
The dual-listed Anglo-Australian company said the investment, in new port and rail infrastructure, would take production capacity to 283 million tonnes a year in 2013, up from 220 million tonnes currently.
Iron ore and Australia chief executive Sam Walsh said Rio planned to expand capacity to 333 tonnes a year, a rise of more than 50 percent. The company has tipped a lengthy resources boom fed by rampant Asian demand.
"This is the largest mining project ever undertaken in Australia and highlights the quality of our growth options," Walsh said in a statement.
On Monday, Rio and BHP, the world's biggest miner, scrapped plans to merge their Australian iron ore operations after resistance from regulators and leading customers, including China, on anti-competition grounds.
© 2010 AFP