PERTH (miningweekly.com) – Mining major Rio Tinto has awarded a A$95-million pre-strip contract to ASX-listed NRW Holdings for its Koodaideri mine, in the Pilbara.
The scope of the contract will include the development of initial mining pre-strip and earthworks infrastructure to allow for the start of mining operations.
Work on the contract will start in November this year, and will last for about 78 weeks, NRW said on Thursday, noting that at peak, some 150 staff would be required.
Rio in November of last year approved a $2.6-billion investment in the Koodaideri operation, which will be the company’s first intelligent mine, incorporating the latest in high-tech advances in the industry and using an increased level of automation and robotics.
It is a large scale, low-cost, high-quality project, producing replacement tonnes and forming a new production hub for Rio in the Pilbara.
The Koodaideri lode would produce about 40-million tonnes a year by 2021, but could be expanded to yield 70-million tonnes or more at a later date.
Construction is scheduled to begin in 2019 with first production expected in 2021.