Rio Tinto Iron Ore

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  • 8/2/2019 Rio Tinto Iron Ore


    Fact sheet

    Iron ore

  • 8/2/2019 Rio Tinto Iron Ore


  • 8/2/2019 Rio Tinto Iron Ore




    Our integrated iron ore operations includemines, rail and port infrastructure.

    Our iron ore business

    Rio Tinto is the second largest

    supplier to the worlds iron ore trade.Iron is one o the most commonelements on Earth, comprising about

    fve per cent o the Earths crust.Iron is the key ingredient in theproduction o steel, one o the most

    important and durable products ormodern living.

    We are the only iron ore producerwith a truly global production andgrowth platorm. Our integratedoperations including mines,

    rail and port inrastructure aredesigned to respond rapidly tochanges in demand or iron ore.

    Rio Tintos key iron ore operationsare in Western Australia and North

    America. From these locations, weare well positioned to take advantageo demand in developed countries,

    and meet growth in demand rom

    developing regions such as in Asia.

    Rio Tinto is a leading internationalbusiness involved in each stageo metal and mineral production.The Group combines Rio Tinto plc,which is listed on the LondonStock Exchange, and Rio TintoLimited, which is listed on theAustralian Securities Exchange.

    Through projects such as our Mine o

    the Future, were ocusing on ways toproduce more tonnes, more efciently,in ways that minimise our impact on

    the environment and improve the liveso the people who work or us and thelocal communities.

    We are investing in projects in newregions or the Iron Ore group, notably

    in Guinea, west Arica, and Orissa,India. Through these projects, newmines in the Pilbara and expansionsat our existing operations, we have

    the scope to maintain and extendour leading role in the global ironore sector.






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    Producing iron

    We extract iron ore rom beneath the surace rock, crushit and sort it, then either transport it by ship to customers,

    or send it to smelters in which we extract iron metal romthe ore.

    Most o the iron ore we sell is smelted by our customers inblast urnaces. The ore is ed into the urnace along withcoke, and very hot air is blasted in. The chemical reactionsthat take place orm a mixture o molten iron and slag.

    The dense iron sinks to the bottom o the urnace andis tapped o. Once cooled, it is called pig iron. This

    is used to produce steel, or urther refned to producecommercially pure iron.

    Our HIsmelt subsidiary (Rio Tinto: 60 per cent) hasdeveloped an alternative process that is lower cost, more

    efcient and environmentally cleaner than the traditionalblast urnace. HIsmelt is short or high intensity smelting.It is the worlds frst commercial direct smelting process,

    meaning that it produces premium quality pig iron withno slag directly rom iron ore. The process allows iron orefnes with signifcant impurities to be used, and cheaper,

    non coking coal instead o coke.

    Using iron

    Iron is the most useul metal in the world. It is usedin a variety o orms, in a multitude o applications

    in everyday lie:

    Cast ironPartly refned iron containing up to fve per cent carbon.Cast iron is very hard, but brittle, and is ideal or mouldedparts like car engine blocks.

    Wrought ironNearly pure iron mixed with a glass-like material. Wroughtiron is soter than cast iron and does not rust. It is used in

    outdoor urniture, railings and other decorations.


    The most common orm o iron. It contains aroundone per cent carbon and has thousands o uses.

    Stainless steelThis contains chromium, making it very rust resistant.Stainless steel is ideal or vehicle parts, hospital

    equipment and cooking utensils.

    Tool steel

    Extremely hard, heat treated steel that is usedin metalworking tools.

    Iron is the most useul metal in the world.

    It is used in a variety o orms, in a multitudeo applications in everyday lie.


    Our Pilbara operations comprise 13 mines,three shipping terminals at two ports anda rail network spanning almost 1,400km.






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  • 8/2/2019 Rio Tinto Iron Ore




    The Iron Ore product group is thelargest shipping user in our business.

    Our iron ore operations

    Pilbara operationsRio Tintos iron ore operations are

    concentrated in the Pilbara regiono north west Western Australia.This includes our assets owned by

    Hamersley Iron and Robe River IronAssociates. Our Pilbara operationscomprise 13 mines, three shipping

    terminals at two ports and a railnetwork spanning almost 1,400km.

    We export iron ore rom our portson the Western Australian coastpredominantly to steelmakersin eastern Asia and Europe.

    Our development programme or ourPilbara operations includes plans

    or brownfeld expansion o existingmines, greenfeld development onew mines and expansion o our key

    inrastructure that allows us to getour products to market.

    In 2009, our share o production rom

    our Pilbara operations was more than170 million tonnes. We have already

    doubled our capacity in the Pilbarasince 2000, and have introduced asuite o projects to expand capacity

    up to 220 million tonnes per year andbeyond. To this end, a number o newmines are in various stages o

    pre-development study.

    Our port acilities at Dampier(comprising Parker Point and

    East Intercourse Island terminals)

    and Cape Lambert are managedas a single port system. We will

    upgrade our inrastructure to cateror increased mine capacity. CapeLambert has been nominated as the

    preerred site or expansion o ourPilbara port acilities. We have alsoinvested more than US$500 million

    in cleaner, more sustainable powergeneration to supply electricity toour port and mine operations.

    Rio Tinto has a vision to develop theMine o the Future, introducingnew and improved ways o mining

    through automation and remoteoperation. Weve started workingtowards this vision in the Pilbara as

    part o our current iron ore expansionplans. Weve started an OperationsCentre in Perth that will eventually

    direct most operations some 1,500kmrom our mines; remote controlleddrills to enable drill-and-blast

    extraction o our ore; satellite guidedhaul trucks to transport ore at themine site; driverless trains to carry it

    to port and tele-operated shiploading.These initiatives, and others, willlet us reduce our environmental

    ootprint and operating costs, bemore efcient, and oer our stamore exible working conditions

    and career options.

    The Iron Ore group also has

    responsibility or Rio Tintos interestin Dampier Salt, which produces salt

    and gypsum, because o the proximityo Dampiers operations to the Pilbara

    iron ore operations.

    As the largest shipping user in the

    Group, Iron Ore is also responsibleor Rio Tinto Marine, which owns andcharters vessels or the transport o

    Rio Tintos bulk products, includingiron ore.






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  • 8/2/2019 Rio Tinto Iron Ore



  • 8/2/2019 Rio Tinto Iron Ore




    The St Lawrence river, Quebec. IronOre Company of Canada exports iron

    ore concentrate and pellets from itsports at Sept-Iles on the St Lawrence.Left

    We operate 13 iron ore mines inthe Pilbara, with another mineunder construction.

    Hamersley Iron

    Hamersley Iron operates ten iron oremines, three o which are held in joint

    venture. Two o the joint venturesare with members o the Chinesesteel industry. The third mine HopeDowns a Rio Tinto joint venture

    with Hancock Prospecting startedproduction in November 2007.Brockman 4, is expected to be

    operational rom quarter two, 2010.Hamersley Iron has a dedicated heavyhaul railway that transports the iron

    ore rom our inland mines to the portterminals at Dampier.

    Robe River Iron Associates

    Rio Tinto has a 53 per cent stakein Robe River, which is the worlds

    ourth largest seaborne trader iniron ore. Rio Tinto gained its stake inRobe River through the acquisition

    o North Limited in 2000. Robe Riverhas three open pit mines: Mesa A,Mesa J and West Angelas. Rio Tinto

    has plans to expand Robe Rivers portat Cape Lambert to accommodate anyincreased production that may come

    rom Pilbara expansion projects.

    Iron Ore Company o CanadaIron Ore Company o Canada (IOC)has been Canadas leading supplier

    o iron ore or more than 50 years.Rio Tinto acquired a 59 per centstake in IOC when it acquired NorthLimited. This gave us our frst iron

    ore production in North America, andalso a new product iron ore pellets.

    IOC mines iron ore rom its open pitmine in Labrador City, Newoundlandand Labrador. The company

    processes the ore to produce ironore concentrate and pellets, railsthese products to its port at Sept-Iles,

    Quebec, then exports them to major

    North American, European and Asiansteelmakers.


    Rio Tinto has a 60 per cent interestin the HIsmelt iron making plantin Kwinana, Western Australia.

    The plant is ramping up towardsplanned capacity o 800,000 tonnesper year. HIsmelt is a lower cost,

    more efcient, cleaner alternative toconventional iron making technology.It can oer iron and steelmakers

    around the world signifcantenvironmental benefts compared tothe traditional blast urnace process.

    Our keyoperations arein WesternAustralia andNorth America






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    We are evaluating newiron ore opportunitiesin Guinea and India.

    Our iron ore projects

    The Iron Ore groups growth strategy has involved acommitment o more than US$9 billion to expand theglobal production platorm or iron ore since 2003. In

    addition to urther planned expansions in WesternAustralia, we have an exciting portolio o new projects,

    in Arica and Asia.

    Pilbara projectsRio Tinto has previously prepared or an aggressiveexpansion programme in the Pilbara over the next decade

    and remains well positioned to execute the next phasein its strategy. An array o projects designed to supportincreased capacity up to 330 million tonnes per year is

    under way or awaiting decision.

    Cape Lambert was early identifed as the preerred site

    or any signifcant expansion o Pilbara port acilities,with plans to construct a new terminal.

    In the Robe Valley, a new mine Mesa A/Warramboo has just commenced production and is expected toramp up to 25 million tonnes per year capacity rom 2011.

    Brockman 4 mine is expected to begin production rommid 2010, as is the Western Turner Syncline developmentnear Tom Price, and the proposed Hope Downs 4

    development is awaiting a fnal investment decision.


    A pre-easibility study has been undertaken or thedevelopment o the Simandou iron ore project in Guinea.This greenfeld discovery is in one o the best undeveloped

    major iron ore provinces in the world. Initial capacity o70 million tonnes per year was targeted, with estimateso potential uture capacity ranging as high as

    170 million tonnes a year.


    Rio Tinto has a joint venture with the state owned OrissaMining Corporation, which is seeking to develop iron oreleases in Orissa, India, one o the key iron ore regions o

    the world. With expectations o signifcant inrastructureand industrial development in India in the mediumand long term, Rio Tinto is keen to contribute to the

    development o the Indian iron ore sector.






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    Robe River mines (53%)Mesa A

    Mesa JWest Angelas

    HIsmelt (60%)

    Iron Ore Company o Canada (59%)

    Iron ore projects

    Orissa (51%)

    Simandou (95%)


    Iron ore operations and projects

    Iron ore operations

    Hamersley Iron mines

    Brockman 2Brockman 4Channar (60%)

    Eastern Range (54%)Hope Downs (50% joint venture)Marandoo

    Mt Tom PriceNammuldiParaburdoo













    Locations on the map are indicative

    Operations and projects are wholly ownedunless otherwise shown.






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    Rio Tinto plc

    2 Eastbourne Terrace

    London W2 6LG

    United Kingdom

    T +44 (0)20 7781 2000

    Rio Tinto Limited

    120 Collins Street

    Melbourne, Victoria 3000


    T +61 (0)3 9283 3333