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Rio to approve $US1b South of Embley project

Posted: 26/11/2015 11:04:40 AM by Mining Oil and Gas Jobs
Filed under: Construction, Job-seekers, Mining, Oil-and-gas, Career-resources

Rio Tinto Chairman Jan du Plessis and chief executive Sam Walsh are due to arrive in the port town of Weipa today for a site visit before making a decision on the nearby South of Embley project.

There are growing signs Rio Tinto will next week approve a $US2 billion ($2.74bn) bauxite project on Cape York Peninsula, which could employ as many as 630 people in the construction phase.

In August, Rio said the board would consider whether to commence the project at South of Embley by December this year. As recently as this week a report in Weipa’s local newspaper, the Western Cape Bulletin, indicated things are on track. The Rio Board is scheduled to visit Weipa today.

A Rio Tinto company spokesperson was quoted as saying “The Rio Tinto board is visiting Cape York to see first-hand the excellent performance of the Weipa operation and the tier one investment opportunity offered by the South of Embley project.”

In addition to this the bauxite project is one of three key new term growth options for Rio, along with the $US5bn Oyu Tolgoi underground project and a low-cost Pilbara iron ore expansion to add 30 million tonnes of annual capacity to current mining ability of 330 million tonnes a year.

It has been factored into the company’s 2016 capital spending guidance of less than $US6bn.

The first stage of South of Embley is being studied to have an initial capacity of 22.8 million tonnes a year and start production in 2018, with second stage expansion potential to go to 50 million tonnes. In August, Sam Walsh said “Rio believed there would be enough demand for South of Embley, despite extra Malaysian supply that has weighed on bauxite spot prices this year.”

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