Rio Tinto commits to local suppliers for projects in Pilbara

CEO Iron Ore of Rio Tinto, Simon Trott comments on the company’s latest initiatives to support local suppliers of iron ore rail cars in Western Australia

Mining operations in Australia make up a significant portion of Rio Tinto’s portfolio. With around 13,600 employees in the Pilbara region of Western Australia and operates a network of 16 mines, four independent port terminals and 1,700km of railway and infrastructure. The company is also committed to the continuous support of the local industry, within around 12% of its residential workforce originating from Aboriginal communities in the area. 

Local sourcing for Pilbara mining operations

Continuing its work within the locality, Rio has announced it will support rail car manufacturing in Western Australia, by committing to the purchase of ore rail cars from its local suppliers. A tender is due to be released for the initial purchase of 50 ore rail cars and 10 cars per year for the following five years. 

To ensure that local suppliers are aware of the tender, it will be released through its Rio Tinto Buy Local portal, which is a platform specifically created for partner opportunities. ‘Building Rio Tinto’s ore rail cars here in WA will support local manufacturing and create jobs for West Australians’, says Simon Trott, Chief Executive Officer of Iron Ore at Rio Tinto

‘Rio Tinto is proud to lead the way in building iron ore rail cars in WA, in line with the vision of State Government’s iron ore rail car action group. I look forward to partnering with local businesses to support and grow the local manufacturing industry in WA. Ore cars are a critical part of our mining operations and building capacity to manufacture ore cars locally in WA will deliver significant benefits for Rio Tinto and the WA economy’. 

Premier Mark McGowan also commented on the commitment and initiative taken by the company. ‘This is a pleasing outcome and I commend Rio Tinto for taking the first step and committing to our local steel manufacturing industry which will support more jobs for Western Australians, says McGowan. ‘Rio Tinto’s commitment is a positive result off the back of the State Government’s independent pre-feasibility study, which identified initiatives for the manufacture, refurbishment and maintenance of iron ore railcar wagons’. 

‘This was about securing an ongoing pipeline of work for the long term manufacture of iron ore wagons and critical rail wagon parts, which will deliver jobs and economic benefit for the State into the future. Rio Tinto’s purchase of Western Australian made railcars that will be used right here in our State is something I encourage other iron ore companies operating in WA to get on board with and increase local content and local jobs’. 


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