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The Brockman No. 4 open cut mine in Western Australia's iron ore rich Pilbara Region is owned and operated by Rio Tinto's fully owned subsidiary Rio Tinto Iron Ore. It is one of 13 other Rio Tinto iron ore mines currently operating in the same region.

Brockman No 4 has an Expected Life of 20 Years
The Brockman No. 4 Mine is in the Hamersley Range where 80 percent of
all identified iron ore reserves in Australia are located. The Brockman No. 4 open cut mine, a massive operation that cost Rio Tinto one and a half billion dollars to build, is sitting on an ore body three kilometres wide by 15 kilometres long and has an expected life of 20 years based on current reserves.

Large Fleet of Heavy Machinery Used at the Brockman No 4 Open cut Mine
Mining at the Brockman No. 4 open cut is carried out using a fleet of 16 Komatsu 830E and two Komatsu 730E haulage trucks that transport the ore from the mine site to the on-site processing plant that uses a primary jaw crusher, two secondary cone crushers, a six bin screening process and a gravity separation system to produce lump and fines iron ore. There is also a stockyard on site that is able to hold over a million tonnes. This stockpiled iron ore is loaded onto rail trucks and taken to the coast on the Hamersley and Robe River Railway for loading onto ships that take it to the company's customers throughout the world. Workers at the mine are flown in and out of the nearby Boolgeeda Airport to work their rosters. While at work they are housed in company village accommodation.

Explosives at the Brockman No 4 Mine Consist of Fuel oil or Ammonium Nitrate
The iron ore deposit at Brockman No.4 is recovered using conventional open cut mining procedures of drilling a hole for blasting after which the loosened ore is loaded onto the trucks and hauled to the processing plant. The drilling is done in specially selected areas with the use of three Reedrill Drill SKSS-16 and two Cubex QXR 1120 blasthole drill rigs. The explosives used at the site consist of either fuel oil or ammonium nitrate that is placed into the drill holes and exploded. This results in the creation of a reasonably sized pit that is suitable for digging out a hauling away.

Preliminary Work Started at the Brockman No 4 Mine in 2008
Prior to actual production getting underway in 2010, work started on the Brockman No 4 Mine in early 2008 to carry out the necessary preliminary work in getting the project ready for mining. Excavators and shovels moved in during 2009, this heavy equipment comprised an EX3600-6 Hitachi Excavator, two Le Tourneau L 1850 wheel loaders and three X5500-6 Hitachi Shovels.

Processing ore at Brockman No 4 Includes Refining
The processing plant at Brockman No. 4 separates the ore into small particles of either high grade magnetite or haematite materials. This is obtained through the gravity separation system. The resulting iron ore pallets are then smelted on site by using a process known as Hlsmelt in preference to using a blast furnace. HIsmelt is an abreviation for high intensity smelting. It is the the worlds first commercial smelting process that produces iron ore directly from the ore itself. The result being a pure pig iron or iron product. This is then stored in a 10 million tonne storage facility at the site.

Pig iron produced by the HIsmelt process is taken from the storage facility and loaded onto railway trucks and taken to the Dampier Port for exporting to steel makers in Europe and Eastern Asia.

Rio Tinto

Rio Tinto is a major producer of iron ore, coal, bauxite, alumina, aluminium, uranium, copper, gold, diamonds, salt and energy across the globe. Businesses include open pit and underground mines, refineries, smelters, mills and power stations. Also a number of research facilities more


Rio Tinto
152-158 St George s Terrace
Perth, WA 6000



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