Rio Tinto ramps investment in Tom Price
The world’s second largest iron ore producer is continuing to hike its operations in Western Australia’s (WA) Pilbara region. Local WA and Pilbara Aboriginal businesses have benefited from continued investment to the tune of $385mn (A$500mn). This figure represents 85% of the spend so far by Rio Tinto, and principal contractor Mondium, on construction of the Western Turner Syncline Phase 2 (WTS2) expansion which began early last year.
At its peak level of construction, the development work will support a workforce of over 1,000 people with the majority employed by WA businesses, including Guma Warnii, Monadelphous, Mondium, Kerman Contracting, Whittens, North West Mining & Civil, MACA Civil, Linkforce and Aerison.
Rio Tinto approved a planned $749mn (A$1 billion) investment in the mine in November 2019 to sustain production capacity of its iron ore business in the Pilbara. The investment allows for the mining of existing and new deposits at WTS2 and includes construction of a new crusher and a 13-kilometre conveyor which will help lower greenhouse gas emissions from the mine by 3.5 percent compared to road haulage. First production from the new deposits at WTS2 is expected in the second half of 2021.
Premier and Minister for State Development, Jobs and Trade, Mark McGowan commented: “The Pilbara region is the engine room of the nation, and thanks to Western Australia’s strong management of the pandemic, we can expect more job-creating projects to come online in the coming years.
“Rio Tinto has been embedded in the Tom Price community for decades and have made a significant contribution to the town. I congratulate Rio Tinto for its commitment to this important project.
“This project will ensure Tom Price has a bright future and my government is committed to ensuring mining communities have first class services to support local families.”
Rio Tinto Iron Ore managing director of Pilbara Mines, Matthew Holcz, said Rio Tinto’s commitment to Tom Price and regional communities remains as strong as ever.
“We are proud the vast majority of contracts we have awarded to date have been to Western Australian businesses, including Pilbara Aboriginal businesses. This investment demonstrates our commitment to spending with local businesses, buying locally and supporting our communities through the creation of jobs."
De Beers passes Newmont to lead ESG ranking of global miners
The world’s biggest diamond producer may not be the first name that comes to mind in a ranking of top environmental, social and governance (ESG) performers. But that’s what the latest industry survey revealed.
De Beers scored the highest in London-based Alva’s quarterly rating of ESG perceptions this week gleaned from publicly available content from social media to NGO research. The unit of Anglo American Plc snagged the top spot in the first quarter from gold heavyweight Newmont due to an increased focus on equality and sustainability.
The report showed the mining industry as a whole lifted its ESG rating amid a string of greenhouse-gas pledges, which offset water management and waste concerns. Companies around the world, particularly raw-material producers, are stepping up sustainability efforts amid heightened scrutiny by the general public and investors. ESG and value-focused exchange-traded funds recorded net inflows of $89 billion in 2020, almost three times 2019 levels, according to Bloomberg Intelligence.
Sibanye Stillwater Ltd. scored the second-highest in Alva’s ratings report and showed the biggest improvement from the previous quarter due to its partnership with Johnson Matthey Plc to find more efficient uses of critical metals used in batteries.
Vale SA scored the lowest ESG rating despite reaching a settlement with Brazilian authorities over a 2019 dam disaster. Vale’s result “is a combination of greater visibility around the original negative story and then dissenting voices on the settlement itself,” said Alastair Pickering, co-founder and chief strategy officer at Alva.