Rio Tinto today announced plans to spend $400 million on plant equipment and modification to boost iron ore production in Western Australia’s Pilbara region.
The miner said the expansions would help boost production from 290 million tonnes a year by mid-2014 to 330 million tonnes in 2015 and 360 million tonnes a year by 2017.
It said the production gains would cost less than originally planned as it expanded existing mine sites, and increased productivity through its Mine of the Future technology program for example.
“The breakthrough pathway we have identified, combining brownfield expansions and unleashing low-cost productivity gains, means we will deliver the expansion at an estimated capital cost of more than $3 billion below previous expectations,” CEO Sam Walsh told investors after the ASX closed today.
There’s more in Rio Tinto’s announcement.