A nine-kilometre conveyor is a key feature of Rio Tinto’s $450 million Silvergrass project in the Pilbara, which is on track for first iron ore this year, according to reports.
Several sources indicate Rio Tinto has recently ramped up work on the project, which it announced in August 2016, for commissioning in the fourth quarter of 2017.
Silvergrass will add 10 million tonnes of annual iron ore capacity to Rio’s Pilbara operation, and the miner says the investment will also lower mine operating costs by replacing road haulage with the lengthy conveyor option.
“We are committed to disciplined capital allocation and the approval of the final phase of the Silvergrass development, which is one of the most value-accretive projects across the mining industry, delivers high-quality, low-cost growth that will underpin future returns to shareholders,” Rio boss J-S Jacques said last year.
“The additional low-phosphorus tonnes that Silvergrass delivers will sustain the long-term viability of our Pilbara blend, ensuring continued premium pricing, whilst also lowering our operating costs through infrastructure improvements.”