WEST AUSTRALIA – The Hope Downs iron ore mine in the Pilbara is to begin production early in 2008, but plans are already afoot to boost production to 30 million t/y. The project is a 50:50 joint venture of London, U.K.-based RIO TINTO and HANCOCK PROSPECTING of West Perth.
The expansion will be complete by early 2009 and cost US$350 million. The original project cost US$1 billion and created a mine with an output of 22 million t/y. The expansion will include the installation of primary and secondary crushing facilities adjacent to the Hope Downs 1 south orebody and an additional railway siding. It will also include new overland conveyors, train loadout facilities, mining fleet and rolling stock.
Hope Downs is a high-grade Marra Mamba iron ore deposit amenable to open pit methods. Rio Tinto’s fact sheet about its iron ore (and other) business unit may be downloaded from www.RioTinto.com; click the Media link and look in the Reports & Publications section.