Saturday 23rd Oct, 2021

Rio Tinto to build new railcars in WA

Rio Tinto has made a commitment to use local suppliers to build iron ore rail cars for its Pilbara mining operations.

The company will also purchase 50 iron ore railcars, followed by an ongoing commitment of 10 ore cars a year for at least the following five years.

An independent pre-feasibility study, which was commissioned by the WA Government, has identified initiatives for the manufacture, refurbishment and maintenance of iron ore railcar wagons.

By supplying the iron ore sector with railcar wagons and components, the local steel fabrication industry is expected support more Western Australian jobs into the future.

Premier Mark McGowan said Rio Tinto’s commitment to purchasing Western Australian made reflects his Government’s commitment to boost local manufacturing, local content and local jobs.

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“I encourage other iron ore companies operating in Western Australia to join Rio Tinto in supporting local manufacturing, creating jobs and the diversification of the economy that has been the source of their success,” McGowan said.

“The independent pre-feasibility study has proven what we already knew – Western Australia has untapped potential to further support our major resource industries through local manufacturing.”

The WA Government is implementing its WA Jobs Plan and has established a $15 million local manufacturing investment fund to help existing businesses retool so that it can build iron ore wagons and components.

Former Minister for Emergency Services and Corrective Services Francis Logan has been appointed to Chair the WA Government’s Iron Ore Railcar Wagons Manufacturing and Maintenance Action Group.

The action group will continue the work from the pre-feasibility phase and will guide the development of a full feasibility study on the viability of manufacturing and maintaining iron ore railcar wagons and components in Western Australia.

Keogh Bay People, a registered Aboriginal business, has been re-engaged to deliver the full feasibility report which it is anticipated will be delivered during the first half of 2022.