Tag Archives: Rio Tinto

Draslovka to bring glycine leaching expertise to OZ Minerals TAD incubator

Draslovka Holding a.s., a Czech family-owned global leader in cyanide-based specialty chemicals, says its glycine leaching technology has been selected to be part of the OZ Minerals’ Think & Act Differently (TAD) incubator and Waste-to-Value Challenge.

The latter challenge, announced back in December, sees Rio Tinto and Boliden working in collaboration with OZ Minerals to eliminate, minimise, reuse or find new value in mine tailings and ultimately reduce the global carbon footprint of the mining industry. Draslovka said: “The Waste-to-Value Challenge aims to unlock innovative technologies for managing tailings, helping the mining industry to reduce risk while extracting more of the materials the world needs from what was previously regarded as waste for the energy transition at large. Benefits that the initiative hopes to deliver include lower emissions and reduced waste.”

Draslovka offers a range of sustainable solutions to the global mining industry, and its glycine leaching technology (branded as its GlyLeach™ and GlyCat™ processes) represents the best environmentally-friendly alternative to traditional acid and cyanide leaching, according to the company. Due to its selectivity over gangue minerals and the recyclability of glycine, its use enables the recovery of both base and precious metals from lower-grade resources like tailings. This leads to a more sustainable production process and improved economics that are desperately needed to close the looming critical metal supply deficit.

Ivor Bryan, Draslovka’s Mining Innovation Director, said: “I am proud that Draslovka has been invited to participate in the Waste-to-Value Challenge with forward looking companies that understand the need to reimagine solutions for the mining industry. This aligns with our ambition to become the leading supplier for innovative and sustainable solutions for the wider mining industry.”

Speaking to IM on the sidelines of the recent Resourcing Tomorrow conference, in London, Bryan said the company was embarking on around 10 projects in the mining space, which will prove up the 3,500 hours of testing that has been conducted at MPS’ facilities in Perth, Western Australia.

Excelsior Mining to explore Nuton leaching options at Johnson Camp mine

Excelsior Mining says it has entered into a collaboration agreement with Nuton LLC, a Rio Tinto venture, to evaluate the use of its Nuton copper heap leaching technologies at Excelsior’s Johnson Camp mine in Cochise County, Arizona, USA.

Rio Tinto has developed the Nuton technologies, an extensive portfolio of advanced copper heap leaching technologies targeted at primary sulphde minerals (including lower-grade minerals), which could not otherwise be processed using traditional leaching or sulphide processing technologies. These technologies offer the potential to produce additional copper in a cost-effective manner that has significant environmental benefits and reduces waste from new and ongoing operations.

The agreement with Excelsior adds to similar pacts Nuton has signed with Regulus Resources, McEwen Copper, Lion Copper and Gold Corp and Arizona Sonoran Copper Company.

The first stage of the collaboration involves Nuton completing certain test work on materials collected from the company’s Johnson Camp mine project to confirm that suitable conditions exist to deploy the Nuton technologies. Assuming this test work is successful, the parties would then work toward negotiating commercial terms for a full-scale deployment of the Nuton technologies at the Johnson Camp mine.

Test work is expected to commence during the March quarter of 2023 with a view toward potentially negotiating commercial terms dependent on the test results and other factors during the September quarter of 2023.

Excelsior is a mineral exploration and production company that owns and operates the Gunnison copper project in Cochise County, Arizona. The project is an in-situ recovery copper extraction project permitted to 125 million pounds (56,699 t) per year of copper cathode production. Excelsior also owns the past producing Johnson Camp Mine and a portfolio of exploration projects, including the Peabody Sill and the Strong and Harris deposits.

The Komatsu AZPG: bringing unique mining concepts to life

Seeing Komatsu’s Arizona Proving Grounds (AZPG) in person, it is easy to understand why the OEM is in a leading position when it comes to both surface mining automation and electrification.

The 660-acre (270-ha) facility is a living and breathing example of mining’s past, present and future; touring round, one can see 20-plus-year-old machines, the latest -5 ultra-class haul trucks and concept vehicles that will form the basis for future commercial autonomous and/or electric solutions.

These concept vehicles – at least when IM visited in November – included the company’s EVX battery proof of concept vehicle and the cabless IAHV autonomous mining truck concept.

The EVX is based off the basic 860E platform (a 254-t payload machine) and was shown off at MINExpo 2021. Prior to that, it had been testing out its all-battery power functionality at AZPG.

The IAHV, which debuted at MINExpo 2016, was developed by Komatsu as an unstaffed vehicle designed to maximise the advantages of such operation. It remains on show, with the company incorporating several learnings from this vehicle into its standard Electric Drive Trucks (EDT) and autonomous products.

Pat Singleton, Product Director, EDT, refers to AZPG as the “ultimate laboratory to be able to bring unique mining concepts to life”.

He added: “The testing we do at AZPG gives us the opportunity to reduce product development risk and take the validation process one step further before the products make it to the mine.”

The original focus at AZPG was the EDT product line, yet, as Komatsu has expanded its product offerings, more solutions continue to be tested or validated at the facility each year.

This testing is extensive, as was made obvious to IM while navigating an autonomous vehicle ‘assault course’ and hearing about new wet- and dry-disc brake trial combinations, higher speed tramming on autonomous haul trucks and more.

It is not just trucks subject to these try outs either, with hydraulic shovels, surface drill rigs, water trucks, dozers and other vehicles having a presence on site.

“If anything, the importance of AZPG has increased as technology has continued to evolve,” Singleton said. “AZPG allows for a single location to harmonise development efforts of all the Komatsu entities, providing research and development into our products.”

What’s more, the facility is located in Arizona’s renowned copper heartland.

This has been very useful for Komatsu, with Asarco’s Mission mine next door to the facility representing a real life mine site testing opportunity for solutions that have graduated from AZPG.

AZPG has 23 full-time staff, but its desk count is much higher, indicating the number of visitors and partners AZPG welcomes on a weekly basis from across the globe.

Some of these visitors include FrontRunner® autonomous haulage system (AHS) customers, who have, more recently, been invited to send operators to the facility for invaluable training ahead of planned autonomous deployments.

Anthony Cook, Vice President, Autonomous Systems, Mining Technology Solutions, told IM that this approach is enabling mining operations to leverage more of the benefits of AHS from day one of deployment, reducing the need to conduct a ‘soft start’ with the technology as operators come to terms with the transition from staffed to autonomous operations.

A representative from Komatsu’s dealer network was receiving training on the AHS system during IM’s visit, with Cook confirming another major mining customer and Komatsu distributors had sent operators to Arizona earlier in 2022 ahead of a planned deployment in 2023.

AHS developments are a key focus area for AZPG, with the on-site trucks testing out many different scenarios that customers could experience at their operations.

Software updates make up many of the ongoing FrontRunner AHS developments, but the company also continues to explore the use of more sensors and cameras on board its vehicles for obstacle detection and positioning. This is all geared towards improving visualisation, communication and safety, reducing potential false positives during operation and ultimately helping to improve productivity.

As for software upgrades to FrontRunner AHS, all developments are initially tested in a bench environment where the company can simulate the system. This may be within the former Modular Mining facility, also in Tucson, or at another one of Komatsu’s many testing hubs.

“Once it has passed virtual testing then final functional and stability testing is validated at AZPG before release to the customer,” Singleton said.

Some recent testing related to mixed fleet operations of staffed and autonomous trucks that originated in the lab to later emerge at AZPG has since led to a FrontRunner first at Anglo American’s Los Bronces mine in Chile.

The mining company only recently started its AHS deployment at the copper mine, initially going live with ten 930E-5 trucks, but Cook confirmed to IM that these vehicles are now interacting with staffed trucks in the mining environment.

“We’ve got off to a very strong start at Los Bronces, with Anglo American really embracing the technology and pushing it to its limits,” he said.

The full Los Bronces deployment could see 62 electric drive Komatsu 930E trucks running by 2024.

Those who visited MINExpo 2021 in Las Vegas will also remember the PC7000-11 shovel that was being teleremote operated live from the show, while the unit was over 600 km away at AZPG. This unit (above) is still positioned on site and the teleremote operation is continuing to be refined from inside the facility, with AutoSwing and AutoDump functions a few recent notable additions for improved operability.

Komatsu expects to replace this shovel with a backhoe version later this year, to also be teleremotely operated.

Trolley transformation

The first vehicle IM saw when driving up to AZPG was the EVX; its shiny yellow exterior providing the perfect contrast to the rich blue backdrop of the Tucson sky.

Since leaving Las Vegas in September 2021 and heading for Tucson, the company has made preparations to remove the small on-board battery which was displayed on the Komatsu stand and begin replacing it with a larger one from one of its integration partners.

The connectors for trolley were still on board and the team was awaiting final commissioning of the on-site trolley line ahead of further testing.

IM Editor Dan Gleeson (left) on site at AZPG with some of the Komatsu team

Singleton explained: “The EVX was a proof of concept to demonstrate that a large electric drive haul truck could be powered by a battery. Now that we better understand the ability of this technology to work in our EDT products, we must continue to advance the technology to drive increased performance and reduced operating costs.”

To date, Komatsu has continued with truck testing to learn how the various subsystems work with batteries while finalising its battery chemistry.

“We’ve also installed trolley infrastructure, which will allow us to conduct further testing on batteries and other alternative power sources,” Singleton said.

This infrastructure – made up of 39 poles that are ‘movable’ and ‘self-supporting’ – could support two 980E-5s running on the line at the same time.

Initially, it will support both the EVX and one 930E running in tandem.

The line itself is powered by a 9 MW substation, which Siemens and a local electrical and engineering company established.

The trolley course has been designed with a 60° corner to demonstrate to operators that this technology is for more than just straight hauls.

“This highlights the flexibility of the system and shows mining operators where the technology can already go today,” Cook said. “The concrete pillars, which can be moved with wheel loaders and other support equipment, are an indication that the trolley can ‘move with the mining’, too.”

Singleton said the next development for the EVX will focus on an increase in the battery capability and the investigation of proof of concept on a variety of static and dynamic charging options.

The trolley line will, no doubt, play a role in this testing, although it is not yet known if a single or hybrid power setup will be selected initially.

What is more certain, however, is the status of fuel cell electric vehicle (FCEV) testing on the EVX. Singleton said research into this area continues, yet a practical test where fuel cells and a battery were mounted on the chassis was some way off.

At this early stage, Singleton says the first commercial power-agnostic offering the company establishes will likely be diesel and/or diesel trolley.

He explained: “This approach delivers reduced risk to the overall portfolio by blending the power-agnostic chassis with a refined version of an existing technology (diesel engine + overhead dynamic trolley).”

“It also serves the secondary purpose of allowing battery technology the opportunity to mature from a performance perspective as we work to define overall truck fleet performance. Additionally, static and dynamic charging options (including development of an industry-standard connector) are within the scope of this product.”

And the first commercial power-agnostic truck will be in the 291 t (320 ton) class – the same size as a 930E – Singleton confirmed, adding that scalability was something being considered at every stage of the truck’s development.

“Scalability is the overall goal and is in alignment with the general power-agnostic approach to our design,” he said. “The major challenge will be the scalability of the energy storage componentry from a cost and performance standpoint. This is the primary driver behind the continued deliberate development cadence designed to give the battery technology time to mature over the intervening period before the design is finalised.”

When asked about fixed fast charging – a concept that has risen up the mine truck charging rankings of late with Charge On Innovation Challenge work from Hitachi Energy and a consortium led by Shell, respectively – Singleton referred to developments as a “two-way street” and a “work in progress”.

“Essentially those solutions need better definition and ‘mining proofing’ before we introduce them into AZPG,” he said. “Perhaps an opportunity exists to co-develop these technologies and improve speed to market but, again, this is still being defined.”

The trolley infrastructure at AZPG – made up of 39 poles that are ‘movable’ and ‘self-supporting’ – could support two 980E-5s running on the line at the same time, according to Komatsu

All this work sounds encouraging for those companies interested in adding to their ultra-size class truck fleets in the 2030s in line with industry-wide decarbonisation plans, but Komatsu customers looking to buy trucks today will be after future-proofed solutions.

Komatsu is all too aware of this and planning to provide a battery retrofit solution for its current -5 products, Singleton said.

GHG Alliance and beyond

As has been well documented, Komatsu has aligned with a core group of customers under its GHG Alliance to accelerate developments on the electric haulage front.

Rio Tinto, BHP, Codelco, Boliden, Teck, Antofagasta Minerals SA and Freeport-McMoRan are key stakeholders within the alliance and will be keen to see what testing emerges on that trolley line into 2023.

While Singleton said the communication process with these customers was still being refined, he acknowledged AZPG’s role in future developments.

“There is no question AZPG will provide a critical backdrop to accelerating our efforts and streamlining our ability to communicate and advance the development progress with our customers,” he said.

Whether the company chooses to initiate an early-learner program like the other big yellow equipment maker it competes with is yet to be seen, with Singleton saying its plans will leverage the “Komatsu approach” regardless of what the competition is doing.

What is clear is that AZPG will continue to keep Komatsu on the leading edge of mobile mining equipment technology developments.

As evidence, Cook reeled off several ongoing projects the company was engaged in, including an autonomous water truck in Australia, automated dozers in Brazil and plans to semi-automate electric blasthole drills.

Going forward, another consideration will be the ability to integrate AHS with trolley operations.

“Komatsu, as an organisation, is committed to solving our customer’s and the industry’s challenges, and we will continue to leverage AZPG and the wider Komatsu network to do this,” Cook said.

Vela’s Datamine keeps track of mineral tenements with LandTrack Systems buy

Vela Industries Group’s Datamine has acquired Australia-based mining compliance training and software company, LandTrack Systems, in a deal that could see LandTrack’s tenement management solution reach expand.

LandTrack Systems’ asset management system focuses on protecting, managing and tracking mineral title compliance, agreements and environmental activities worldwide.

Vela Industries Group’s Exploration General Manager, John Shippick, said: “We’re really excited to have this fantastic group of products and people under the Datamine umbrella. Any error can be costly, disruptive and stressful and, as LandTrack Systems delivers specialised tenement management software assisting with any aspect of your tenement management, it was almost too fitting to have them join us.

“We look forward to working closely with LandTrack Systems to enable the delivery and support of LandTrack products – taking their reach beyond Australia and around the globe.”

LandTrack Systems General Manager, Rachel Whiteman, said the acquisition is a positive movement for the company and its clients, as opening its game-changing solutions to a wider audience means more can benefit from LandTrack Systems products.

“Already supporting more than 140 Australian mining companies – including BHP Billiton, Rio Tinto, Northern Star, Newcrest and Mineral Resources – this collaboration will enhance our abilities enabling us to show the world the difference we can make to the mining tenure process,” she said.

Rio’s Nuton venture eyes up leaching opportunities at Regulus’ AntaKori project

Regulus Resources Inc has announced a $15 million non-brokered private placement by Nuton, which will see the Rio Tinto Venture take an approximate 16.5% interest in the company and jointly undertake copper sulphide leach testing using Nuton’s copper sulphide leach technologies with samples from the AntaKori project in Peru.

The Nuton™ technologies, Rio says, have the potential to process arsenic-bearing copper sulphides with less impact on the environment and water resources than traditional concentrator processing.

Regulus has granted exclusivity to Nuton in the area of novel, patented or trade secret leaching technologies, for a period of one year after the delivery of metallurgical samples from AntaKori to Nuton for testing.

Rio, through its Nuton venture, has tabled a solution to treat primary copper sulphides such as chalcopyrite. At its centre is a portfolio of proprietary copper leach related technologies and capability that, Nuton says, offer the potential to economically unlock known low-grade copper sulphide resources, copper bearing waste and tailings, and achieve higher copper recoveries on oxide and transitional material. This allows for a significantly increased copper production outcome, according to the company.

Regulus Resources has outlined a 250 Mt at 0.48% Cu, 0.29 g/t Au and 7.5 g/t Ag indicated resource at AntaKori, in addition to a 267 Mt at 0.41% Cu, 0.26 g/t Au and 7.8 g/t Ag inferred resource.

John Black, Chief Executive Officer of Regulus, said: “The investment by Rio Tinto, one of the largest miners in the world, is another strong endorsement for the AntaKori project. Through Nuton, Rio Tinto has developed sulphide leach processing technologies that could allow for the processing of high arsenic ores without the need for additional on-site treatment or paying heavy penalties to a smelter. Utilising the Nuton sulphide leach technologies could truly be a gamechanger for the AntaKori deposit. The private placement will significantly bolster our financial position and enhance our ability to optimise the value of the existing resources in the project area.”

Rio Tinto’s Chief Executive, Copper, Bold Baatar, added: “This agreement will allow us to evaluate the potential to commercially deploy Rio Tinto’s innovative Nuton technologies for copper leaching at Regulus’ AntaKori project. Our Nuton technologies have the capacity to increase copper production for Rio Tinto and our partners, with a lower carbon footprint and leading environmental performance. Unlocking value from high-arsenic copper sulphides is a particularly exciting prospect for Nuton.”

Mitsui and Rio Tinto to explore low-emission supply chain options

Mitsui & Co has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Rio Tinto to jointly explore opportunities for reducing emissions and transforming the world’s supply chains.

Under the MoU, Mitsui and Rio Tinto will work closely together to examine more sustainable measures such as reducing the carbon content of raw materials for iron and steel production; developing new renewable energy; supplying alternative fuels such as ammonia, methanol and hydrogen; decarbonisation in marine transportation; decarbonisation of mobility at mining sites; and initiatives like nature-based solutions, carbon credits and others.

The new partnership builds on Mitsui and Rio Tinto’s long history of collaboration, stretching back to the beginnings of the Robe River Joint Venture in Western Australia, which this year celebrated 50 years of iron ore shipments to Japan. The MoU combines Mitsui’s vast network, assets and accumulated industry knowledge with Rio Tinto’s grand-scale supply chain and leading position in the mining & metal industry, the companies said.

OZ Minerals, Boliden and Rio Tinto to collaborate on tailings initiative

OZ Minerals, Boliden and Rio Tinto have agreed to collaborate to unlock new and innovative technologies for managing tailings, helping the mining industry to further reduce risk while extracting the materials the world needs for the energy transition from what was previously regarded as ‘waste’, they say.

Under the umbrella of the Think & Act Differently (TAD) incubator initiative, the three companies will fund and support innovators who are working to reimagine mining and processing to eliminate, minimise, reuse or find value in mine tailings. The three companies will also collaborate on other selected innovations to pursue improved productivity while delivering benefits such as lower emissions and reduced waste.

The collaboration will support innovators by providing materials, funding, technical guidance and the potential for field trials at mine operations, the companies said. Innovators will retain ownership of their intellectual property rights, with a licence to use those rights granted to the companies that support them.

Michelle Ash, OZ Minerals’ Technology Executive, said: “We can accelerate technology much faster by working together and this is an example of how the industry can collaborate to support technology development. We hope this way of working and supporting innovators provides a model that can be replicated because accelerated technology development is likely to have a positive impact on our industry and society.”

Joanna Lindahl, Boliden Mines’ Sustainability Director, added: “By collaboration on generic challenges for the mining industry in a pre-competitive setting we will be able to make progress faster and more resource efficient. For the inventors and startup companies in the TAD incubator, it is also an excellent opportunity to get insights and business understanding from several different mining companies. We are very much looking forward for this collaboration and hope to find new opportunities to strengthen the industry in the future.”

Mark Davies, Chief Technical Officer for Rio Tinto, said: “It isn’t very often that competitors come together to collaborate on industry-critical work. One such area historically has been health, safety and environment, where we learned that sharing leading practices boosts our collective performance. We think collaborating on tailings management capability improvement could have a similar, industry-wide impact. We’re excited to be partnering with Boliden and OZ Minerals through the TAD program.”

The Think & Act Differently program, powered by OZ Minerals, works towards building an ecosystem of partners who will explore and accelerate themes that prioritise social and environmental responsibility for the development of the modern mine, the company says.

Photo courtesy of Exact Consulting

Rio Tinto to start construction on 100 MW solar PV system in Pilbara next year

Rio Tinto says it is planning to invest a further $600 million in renewable energy assets in the Pilbara as part of the company’s efforts to decarbonise its Western Australian iron ore operations.

The investment will fund the construction of two 100 MW solar power facilities as well as 200 MWh of on-grid battery storage in the Pilbara by 2026. This is in addition to the 34 MW of solar power installed at the recently commissioned Gudai-Darri iron ore mine (pictured).

Initial funding for Rio Tinto’s first major standalone solar farm on the Pilbara coast has been approved, a 100 MW solar photovoltaic system and associated transmission infrastructure. Construction, which will involve the installation of approximately 225,000 solar panels built to withstand the Pilbara’s cyclonic conditions, is expected to start next year ahead of project commissioning in 2025.

Rio Tinto is engaging with state and local authorities as well as Traditional Owners about the project and relevant approvals. Final capital approval is expected in the June quarter of next year.

These new projects combined are expected to abate around 300,000 t of CO2, equivalent to a 10% reduction in total Scope 1 and 2 emissions from Rio Tinto’s iron ore business in the Pilbara based on 2021 levels. It will also reduce gas costs by approximately $55 million per year at current prices by displacing around 30% of the company’s current gas consumption in the Pilbara.

This new investment forms part of Rio Tinto’s previously announced plan to complete installation of a 1 GW renewable energy system in the Pilbara as part of a global commitment to invest approximately $7.5 billion to halve emissions by 2030. This will include significant investment in transmission infrastructure to support full decarbonisation of the Pilbara including electrification of mobile and rail equipment beyond 2030 which is estimated to require up to 3 GW of installed renewable energy assets.

Rio Tinto Iron Ore Chief Executive, Simon Trott, said: “The Pilbara is extremely well-positioned to take advantage of renewable power with land, access to people, and abundant wind and solar resources. Our Pilbara electricity grid is the largest privately-owned grid in Australia, ensuring that we have the initial infrastructure required to enable a transition to renewable energy.

“We expect to invest around $3 billion to install renewable energy assets as well as transmission and storage upgrades in the Pilbara as part of our commitment to halve our emissions from the Pilbara by the end of this decade.”

Rio Tinto verifies use of Pilbara ore for low-carbon iron-making using BioIron

Rio Tinto says it has proven the effectiveness of its low-carbon iron-making process using ores from its mines in Australia in a small-scale pilot plant in Germany, and is now planning the development of a larger-scale pilot plant to further assess its potential to help decarbonise the steel value chain.

The process, known as BioIron™, uses raw biomass instead of metallurgical coal as a reductant and microwave energy to convert Pilbara iron ore to metallic iron in the steelmaking process. BioIron has the potential to support near-zero CO2 steelmaking, and can result in net negative emissions if linked with carbon capture and storage, according to the company.

Over the past 18 months, the process has been tested extensively in Germany by a project team from Rio Tinto, Metso Outotec and the University of Nottingham’s Microwave Process Engineering Group. Development work was conducted in a small-scale pilot plant using batches of 1,000 golf ball-sized iron ore and biomass briquettes.

Rio Tinto Chief Commercial Officer, Alf Barrios, said: “Finding low-carbon solutions for iron and steelmaking is critical for the world as we tackle the challenges of climate change. Proving BioIron works at this scale is an exciting development given the implications it could have for global decarbonisation.

“The results from this initial testing phase show great promise and demonstrate that the BioIron process is well suited to Pilbara iron ore fines. BioIron is just one of the pathways we are developing in our decarbonisation work with our customers, universities and industry to reduce carbon emissions right across the steel value chain.”

BioIron’s potential was confirmed in a comprehensive and independent technical review by Hatch, the global engineering, project management and professional services firm, Rio said. Hatch noted the thorough work completed by the team and BioIron’s capacity to reduce greenhouse gas emissions while converting Pilbara iron ore into iron and steel.

The BioIron process will now be tested on a larger scale, at a specially designed continuous pilot plant with a capacity of 1 t/h. The design of the pilot plant is underway and Rio Tinto is considering suitable locations for its construction.

The BioIron process works using lignocellulosic biomass including agricultural by-products (eg wheat straw, canola stalks, barley straw, sugar cane bagasse) or purpose-grown crops. The biomass is blended with iron ore and heated by a combination of combusting gases released by the biomass and high-efficiency microwaves that can be powered by renewable energy.

Rio says it is aware of the complexities around the use of biomass supply and is working to ensure only sustainable sources of biomass are used. Accordingly, the company is undertaking a benchmarking study of biomass certification processes. Through discussions with environmental groups, as a first step Rio Tinto has ruled out sources that support the logging of old growth and High Conservation Value forests.

Rio Tinto, BHP, Hancock among miners supporting new Western Australia community initiative

The McGowan Government in Western Australia has launched what it says is a state-first Resources Community Investment Initiative, backed by major mining companies, which will facilitate investment in iconic state infrastructure projects and community and social initiatives across Western Australia.

Established with founding partners Rio Tinto, BHP, Hancock Prospecting, Roy Hill, Atlas Iron, Woodside Energy, Chevron Australia and Mineral Resources Ltd, the initiative provides a state government-backed platform for direct contribution to iconic infrastructure and social projects in the Western Australia community that will make the state an even better place to live for generations, the government said.

The initial commitments total A$750 million ($496 million) from Rio Tinto (A$250 million), BHP (A$250 million), Hancock Prospecting, Roy Hill and Atlas Iron (A$100 million), Woodside Energy (A$50 million), Chevron Australia A($50 million) and Mineral Resources (A$50 million).

Government will work with The Chamber of Minerals and Energy of Western Australia and other companies to encourage additional investment from across Western Australia’s resources sector, it said.

An initial pipeline of projects has already been identified, including the Aboriginal Cultural Centre, the Perth Zoo Master Plan, the Remote Aboriginal Communities Fund, the Perth Concert Hall redevelopment and additional contributions to Telethon.

It will also extend to include transformational projects across the state, to enable companies to collectively contribute to achieving long-term social and economic outcomes in the regions they operate in, in areas such as education and training, health, Aboriginal wellbeing and energy decarbonisation projects.

Each company will decide the projects they wish to nominate funding to and individual project agreements will be established with agreed project milestones.

An advisory committee, comprising of an independent chair as well as government and industry representatives, will be convened to oversee the initiative and ensure the highest standards of governance.

Rio Tinto Iron Ore Chief Executive, Simon Trott, said: “This initiative is a great example of government and industry working together to support critical projects that will enable our community to prosper for generations to come. We want to leave a lasting, positive legacy wherever we operate, and this initiative will build on our more than 50 years of work helping to create thriving and resilient communities across Western Australia.”

BHP Asset President WA Iron Ore, Brandon Craig, said: “BHP has a long and proud history in Western Australia, and we welcome the collaborative approach taken by the Western Australia Government and the mining industry to strengthen our significant contribution to this great state. We look forward to furthering our support for long-term social and economic outcomes in the regions where we operate, and for all West Australians.”

Hancock Prospecting Executive Chairman, Gina Rinehart, said: “Hancock Prospecting, Roy Hill and Atlas Iron have invested in programs and infrastructure in West Australia over many years and we are pleased to make a further A$100 million contribution through the RCII initiated by Premier McGowan.”

Mineral Resources Ltd Managing Director, Chris Ellison, said: “Western Australians have played a vital role in the success of MinRes and our industry. As a proud Western Australian company, MinRes is continuing to grow, creating jobs and building projects in this great state. It is only natural that we support an initiative that is building a better future for all Western Australians.”