West Angelas mine
|Production||29.5 million tonnes/annum|
|Company||Rio Tinto Iron Ore (53%) Mitsui & Co. (33%) Nippon Steel (10.5%) Sumitomo Metal Industries (3.5%)|
|Website||Rio Tinto Iron Ore website|
|Year of acquisition||Rio Tinto: 2000|
The mine is owned by Robe River Iron Associates (53% Rio Tinto) and operated by Rio Tinto Iron Ore and is one of twelve iron ore mines the company operates in the Pilbara. In the calendar year 2009, the combined Pilbara operations produced 202 million tonnes of iron ore, a 15 percent increase from 2008. The Pilbara operations accounted for almost 13 percent of the world's 2009 iron ore production of 1.59 billion tonnes.
Rio Tinto's iron ore operations in the Pilbara began in 1966. The mine itself began operations in 2002. The mine has an annual production capacity of 29.5 million tonnes of iron ore, sourced from open-pit operations. The ore is processed on site before being loaded onto rail.
Ore from the mine is then transported to the coast through the Hamersley & Robe River railway, where it is loaded onto ships. Ore from West Angelas, like from Mesa J, is taken to Cape Lambert by rail to be exported as fines. The fines have a maximum size of 9.5 mm.
West Angelas is the site of Rio Tinto's "Mine of the future" project. The mine operates automated trucks, automated rockbreakers, automated drills and blasts, which are controlled from a Perth operations centre rather than local operators on site.
Robe River Iron Associates
Robe River Iron, owner of the mine, is jointly owned by the following companies:
- Rio Tinto Group - 53% - operator
- Mitsui and Co. (Australia) Ltd - 33%
- Nippon Steel Australia Pty Ltd - 10.5%
- Sumitomo Metal Australia Pty Ltd - 3.5%
- MINEDEX website: West Angelas search result accessed: 6 November 2010
- Pilbara Rio Tinto Iron Ore website, accessed: 6 November 2010
- Mining Rio Tinto Iron Ore website, accessed: 6 November 2010
- Preparing for the future Rio Tinto presentation, published: 23 March 2010, accessed: 7 November 2010
- Global iron-ore production falls 6,2% in 2009 - Unctad report miningweekly.com, published: 30 July 2010, accessed: 7 November 2010
- Production of iron ore fell in 2009, but shipments continued to increase, report says UNCTAD website, published: 30 July 2010, accessed: 7 November 2010
- Iron fact sheet - Australian Resources and Deposits Geoscience Australia website, accessed: 7 November 2010
- West Angelas mine Rio Tinto Iron Ore website, accessed: 6 November 2010
- Rail Rio Tinto Iron Ore website, accessed: 6 November 2010
- Iron fact sheet - Mining Geoscience Australia website, accessed: 7 November 2010
- Western Australian Mineral and Petroleum Statistic Digest 2009 Department of Mines and Petroleum website, accessed: 7 November 2010
- Automatic Response: Rio Tinto's Mine of the Future mining-technology.com, published: 29 September 2008, accessed: 8 November 2010
- The Australian Mines Handbook - 2003-04 edition, editor: Ross Louthean, publisher: Louthean Media Pty Ltd, page: 244