Rio Tinto opens $338 million Silvergrass iron ore mine

Rio Tinto (ASX:RIO) announced the official opening of its $338 million Silvergrass iron ore mine at its operations in Western Australia’s Pilbara.

The project is the Australian mining giant’s 16th mine in the Pilbara and will produce low-phosphorous ore crucial to Rio’s premium Pilbara Blend product, as well as adding 10 million tonnes of annual production capacity.

Silvergrass created more than 500 jobs and ‘opportunities for indigenous contracting’ during the construction period in addition to US$180 million worth of service contracts.

“Silvergrass is a further demonstration of our long-standing commitment to the Pilbara region in Western Australia where we’ve invested more than US$20 billion over the past decade,” said Rio Tinto chief executive J-S Jacques.

“Silvergrass is a great example of our value-over-volume approach in action as the mine will deliver the high-quality, low-cost ore used to maintain the world-class premium Pilbara Blend product our customers love so much.”

Rio Tinto Iron Ore chief executive Chris Salisbury affirmed that the project had been a major contributor to the local economy and supply chain through hiring local companies for crucial components.