Hancock Prospecting and Rio Tinto officially open Baby Hope mine at $1.3bn Hope Downs

By Dale Benton
A fourth major open pit mine has been officially opened as part of a A$1.3mn mega iron or project in the Pilbara region of Western Australia. Hancock...

A fourth major open pit mine has been officially opened as part of a A$1.3mn mega iron or project in the Pilbara region of Western Australia.

Hancock Prospecting, with its joint-venture partner Rio Tinto, has officially opened the Baby Hope mine, the fourth open pit mine at the Hope Downs project. Hope Downs comprises three successful major open pit mines (Hope 1 North, Hope 1 South and Hope 4) producing high-grade lump and fines products and now the Baby Hope mine.

It is the latest mine to be successfully developed at Hope Downs since Hancock Prospecting and Rio Tinto’s joint venture in mid-2005.

Speaking at the opening ceremony, Gina Rinehart, Executive Chairman of Hancock Prospecting Group praised the hard work it had taken to get Hope Downs into the position it is today.

As Hancock and some at Rio know, I have been pushing to see the development of Baby

Hope, and I am excited that now the Baby Hope will be a welcome contributor to the future

success of Hope Downs,”
 

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“Hancock, had over years, completed a feasibility study, albeit with ore destined to go out not on Rio Tinto’s infrastructure, but our money was very limited, and we couldn’t do all we wanted to do at Hope Downs. We needed a bigger company like Rio for investment.”

I hope everyone who has been involved along the way are proud of our industry, and our contribution to the Pilbara and our state that Hope Downs makes. It has changed West Australia from being a mendicant handout state, which couldn’t support itself, to one which supports other states.”

Hope Downs currently has total production capacity of approximately 47 Mtpa and represents one of Australia’s largest and most successful iron ore projects in the lower cost quartile. 

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