Scott Technology has been awarded a further multi-million dollar contract by Rio Tinto to provide and commission the equipment for a new sample preparation and analysis laboratory at the Robe Valley iron ore mine site in Western Australia.
This is the second significant iron ore sample laboratory project awarded to Scott Technology by Rio Tinto in 2020, building on the inaugural order for an automated lab at the Koodaideri project.
The automation and robotics solutions provider said this latest contract builds on the decades-long relationship between the two businesses and Scott’s expertise and experience in this area.
The Robe Valley project scope comprises equipment from Scott Technology’s Rocklabs business as well as third-party supply. Work has begun on the development and planning for the new laboratory, which is expected to commence operation in June 2021.
Rio’s majority-owned Robe Valley operation produces ore from mines at the Mesa A hub and Mesa J hub, with coarse ore from both processed to lump and fines in the process plant at Cape Lambert.
John Kippenberger, CEO of Scott Technology (pictured), said: “Scott has demonstrated success at many iron ore mine site laboratories in recent years, with our Rocklabs crushers and mills providing safe, reliable, productive operation for our clients. We are excited to be working with the Rio Tinto team on another important mining laboratory project.
“This comes on the back of the positive Rio Tinto Koodaideri project work, which is currently underway and also in Western Australia. As recently announced, building work and site mobilisation has commenced at Koodaideri, in line with the original timetable.
“This latest contract award further cements Scott’s evolution in the mining sector from a world leading supplier of sample preparation equipment, to a complete end-to-end automation and analysis solution provider.”
Kippenberger said the iron ore sector was continuing to experience positive interest and investment in automation given the underlying strength in demand for the steel raw material, which boded well for the company picking up more contracts.
“We see an increasing opportunity for our business, for more projects of the same scale with both existing and new customers as they seek increased safety and greater productivity,” he added.
The Robe Valley is around 140 km southwest of Karratha in the Pilbara region, with the Robe Valley deposits owned by the Robe JV, which is 53% owned by Rio Tinto, 33% by Mitsui Iron Ore Development and 14% by Nippon Steel Sumitomo Metals Corp.
The primary requirement of the Robe Valley Sustaining Project is to sustain production from the Robe Valley from the year 2020.