Industry News

Indigenous-run quarry to supply Rio Tinto mine build

Mining support services company White Springs will form the Bea Bea Creek Quarry to provide more than 600,000 tonnes of railway ballast for Rio Tinto’s Koodaideri iron ore mine, located 110km from the town of Newman in WA’s Pilbara region.

Rio Tinto has awarded more than $60 million of work to local Pilbara Aboriginal businesses in recent months, with White Springs receiving the largest contract of all.

It will require the company to develop the new Bea Bea Creek Quarry, which will be the first Indigenous-owned and operated quarry in Western Australia.

{{quote-A:R-W:175-I:2-Q:“We couldn’t have built the world-class iron ore business we have today without the support of local and Pilbara Aboriginal businesses” -who:Chris Salisbury, Rio Tinto Iron Ore}}Rio Tinto confirmed the quarry had obtained the necessary approvals, and would supply ballast for 170km of railway line over a 20-month term.

White Springs director Paula White told Quarry the company had another quarry in Karratha. Once Bea Bea Creek was operational, both quarries would work in tandem to supply their respective ends of the extensive rail line.

Aboriginal employment, training

White Springs is based near Perth Airport, and aims to provide meaningful long-term employment and training for Aboriginal people in the mining support services across the state.

Its civil construction capabilities include earthworks, roadworks, rail and plant site construction, drainage, underground services and concrete. In the mining sector it provides pre-strip and mine development, and offers contract mining and miscellaneous services.

Rio Tinto Iron Ore CEO Chris Salisbury said: “We’ve been operating in the Pilbara for more than 50 years and we couldn’t have built the world-class iron ore business we have today without the support of local and Pilbara Aboriginal businesses.

“These contract awards highlight the growing level of expertise that sit within these businesses and we are proud to be partnering with them to help develop our most technologically advanced mine.”

Koodaideri Mine is 100 per cent owned by Rio Tinto and is located approximately 35km northwest of the mining company’s Yandicoogina site.

The project was approved in November last year with construction commencing earlier this year. The production capacity of the mine will be 43 million tonnes per annum and is expected to commence by the end of 2021.


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