Rio Tinto will invest $338 million to complete the development of the Silvergrass mine in its world-class Pilbara iron ore operations in Western Australia. The brownfield expansion of the high-grade Silvergrass mine will add 10 million metric tons (mt) of capacity.

The investment will lower mine operating costs by replacing road haulage with a more efficient conveyor system that links the Silvergrass operations to the existing processing plant at Nammuldi.

“We are committed to disciplined capital allocation and the approval of the final phase of the Silvergrass development, which is one of the most value-accretive projects across the mining industry, delivers high-quality, low-cost growth that will underpin future returns to shareholders,” said Rio Tinto Chief Executive Jean-Sébastien Jacques. “The additional low-phosphorus mt that Silvergrass delivers will sustain the long-term viability of our Pilbara blend, ensuring continued premium pricing, whilst also lowering our operating costs through infrastructure improvements.”

This final stage of the Silvergrass development is subject to obtaining necessary approvals from the West Australian government.

Silvergrass is a satellite deposit located adjacent to Rio Tinto’s Nammuldi mine and is part of the Greater Nammuldi precinct, located approximately 70 kilometers northwest of Tom Price. Ore from the Silvergrass mining operations is high-quality, low-phosphorus Marra Mamba ore that is treated at the Greater Nammuldi processing plant and blended into Rio Tinto’s premium Pilbara blend product.

Silvergrass is a wholly owned operation conducted under the Iron Ore (Hamersley Range) Agreement Act 1963.