Rio Tinto and Dalian Port Company Ltd have signed a memorandum of understanding that could lead to the development of the miner’s first iron ore blending operation in a bonded area.
The joint development within Dalian port, in China, will blend material to create Rio Tinto Blend Fines from Rio’s high-grade IOC concentrate from Canada and its SP10 from Western Australia. This blend has been a success with customers in China, Rio says.
“The partnership with Dalian Port to blend within a bonded area allows Rio Tinto to offer this product to customers across Asia, using Dalian Port as a trans-shipment hub,” it said. “Establishing portside capabilities at Dalian Port will also allow Rio Tinto to serve portside customers in Northern China.”
Simon Farry, Rio’s Vice President of Sales and Marketing, Iron Ore, said: “We are very pleased to be working with Dalian Port to establish blending capabilities within the bonded area. Dalian’s location, blending capabilities and willingness to support this initiative makes Dalian Port the right partner for us.
“Establishing a transhipment hub in China, which allows us to offer new blended products in other Asian markets, will enhance our ability to deliver quality and consistent products, and provide innovative solutions to meet our customers’ needs.”
Rio Tinto portside trading operations were established to sell Rio Tinto iron ore directly from Chinese ports. Portside trading of iron ore is transacted in RMB, which allows Rio Tinto to serve new customers who do not participate in the seaborne market, it says.