A joint venture agreement has been amended to allow the development of the Rhodes Ridge iron-ore project. The current agreement dates back to 1972 and resides between Rio Tinto and Wright Prospecting.
The updates to the binding JV agreement allow a pathway for the development of the Rhodes Ridge deposits using Rio’s rail, port and power infrastructure.
One of the world’s largest and highest quality iron-ore deposits is located at the Rhodes Ridge Project. It is estimated to contain over 5.8 billion tonnes of high-grade mineral resources. The projects total resources represent approximately one-third of Rio’s existing resource base in the Pilbara.
The initial plant capacity is estimated to be up to 40-million tonnes a year.
“Rhodes Ridge contains one of the biggest and best undeveloped iron-ore deposits on the planet with proximate access to existing infrastructure. We are very excited we have been able to strengthen our relationship with Wright Prospecting and have a pathway to bring this high-quality resource to market,” Rio Tinto iron ore CEO Simon Trott said.
“With its significant resource base, the Rhodes Ridge project has the potential to underpin production of the Pilbara Blend in the decades ahead.
“We are committed to working closely with the Traditional Owners, the Nyiyaparli and Ngarlawangga People, to ensure sites of significant cultural, environmental, and biodiversity value are protected as part of any future development at Rhodes Ridge. Consistent with our revised approach for new operations, a co-management approach to any future mining activity will be developed in partnership with Traditional Owners.”
The project was at the centre of a major legal battle between Wright Prospecting and the Gina Rinehart-owned Hancock Prospecting. It was eventually settled in favour of Wright Prospecting.