Rio Tinto says it is supporting iron ore rail car manufacturing in Western Australia with a commitment to use local suppliers to build ore rail cars for its Pilbara mining operations.
A tender will soon be released to the local market for an initial purchase of 50 ore rail cars, followed by an ongoing commitment of 10 ore cars a year for the next five years.
The tender will be released through the Rio Tinto Buy Local portal, a resource dedicated to making local suppliers aware of opportunities to partner with Rio Tinto and be part of our supply chain, the miner says.
“Western Australia has been an important part of Rio Tinto’s history for more than 50 years as the company built a world-class iron ore business,” it says. “In 2020, the company spent A$7.5 billion ($5.4 billion) with more than 2,000 local businesses based in Western Australia.”
Rio Tinto is also part of the Western Australia Government’s iron ore rail car action group, launched as part of the Western Australia Recovery Plan to develop a competitive iron ore rail car manufacturing industry in Western Australia.
Rio Tinto Iron Ore Chief Executive, Simon Trott, says: “Building Rio Tinto’s ore rail cars here in Western Australia will support local manufacturing and create jobs for West Australians. Rio Tinto is proud to lead the way in building iron ore rail cars in Western Australia, in line with the vision of state government’s iron ore rail car action group. I look forward to partnering with local businesses to support and grow the local manufacturing industry in Western Australia.
“Ore cars are a critical part of our mining operations and building capacity to manufacture ore cars locally in Western Australia will deliver significant benefits for Rio Tinto and the Western Australian economy.”
Western Australia Premier, Mark McGowan, says: “This is a pleasing outcome and I commend Rio Tinto for taking the first step and committing to our local steel manufacturing industry which will support more jobs for Western Australians. Rio Tinto’s commitment is a positive result off the back of the state government’s independent prefeasibility study, which identified initiatives for the manufacture, refurbishment and maintenance of iron ore railcar wagons.
“This was about securing an ongoing pipeline of work for the long-term manufacture of iron ore wagons and critical rail wagon parts, which will deliver jobs and economic benefit for the state into the future. Rio Tinto’s purchase of Western Australian made railcars that will be used right here in our state is something I encourage other iron ore companies operating in Western Australia to get on board with and increase local content and local jobs.”