WESTERN AUSTRALIA – RIO TINTO of London, U.K., is ready to start construction immediately on the US$1-billion development at the Hope Downs iron ore project.
Rio Tinto and HANCOCK PROSPECTING will share the initial US$590-million capital cost to develop a mine with an annual capacity of 22.0 million tonnes. First production is expected in early 2008. A second phase of development will boost annual capacity to 30 million tonnes.
Rio Tinto has agreed to supply an additional US$390 million to cover capital costs of the rail, rolling stock and power development for Hope Downs.
The project is a 50/50 joint venture of Rio Tinto and Hancock. There are six deposits, but mining will begin at the Hope Downs One deposit. That deposit contains the Marra Mamba proven and probable reserves totalling 356 million tonnes at 61.6% Fe. There are also 9.0 million tonnes of measured, 174 million tonnes of indicated, and 461 million tonnes of inferred resources, all having similar grades.
Visit www.HancockProspecting.com.au/hope.html for more information about the project. Rio Tinto’s website is available at www.RioTinto.com.