Rio Tinto has awarded Perth-based company Mondium a contract valued at approximately US$276 million (A$400 million) for the design and construction of the Western Turner Syncline Phase 2 (WTS2) mine in the Pilbara region of Western Australia. The WTS2 is part of Rio Tinto’s Greater Tom Price operations in the Pilbara. In November, Rio Tinto approved a $749-million (A$1 billion) investment in the mine. (Earlier post.)
The investment will facilitate mining of existing and new deposits and includes construction of a new crusher as well as a 13-kilometer conveyor.
Mondium will undertake all engineering and design, procurement and site construction works associated with the WTS2 development, including the process plant, overland conveyor and non-process infrastructure.
The new conveyor system will help lower greenhouse gas emissions from the mine by 3.5% compared to road haulage and the business is continuing to assess additional options to reduce emissions including renewable energy solutions.
As part of the overall investment, the haul truck fleet at the mine will be fitted with Autonomous Haulage System (AHS) technology to enable autonomous haulage at WTS2 from 2021. The ongoing deployment of autonomous haulage at the company’s Pilbara operations is delivering significant safety benefits as well as enhancing productivity and reducing costs.
The work is expected to create 450 jobs starting in the first quarter of 2020 and is expected to be completed in 2021. Mondium and Rio Tinto will work closely to ensure the contract provides local and Indigenous employment as well as business opportunities in the region.
Mondium is a joint venture involving two Perth-based companies in Monadelphous and Lycopodium.