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The Mount Tom Price iron ore mine in the Pilbara Region of Western Australia, that is fully owned by global mining company Rio Tinto, is part of Rio Tinto's Hamersley iron ore operations. The mine is located about 370 kilometres south east of Karratha and began mining operations in 1966.

Hamersley Range in the Pilbara Contains 80 Percent of Australia's Iron ore Reserves
The Mount Tom Price open cut operation is situated within the mineral rich Hamersley Range that has been reported to contain up to 80 percent of all known reserves of iron ore in Australia, making it one of the worlds major iron ore deposits. Mount Tom Price was the first Rio Tinto mining operation to take place in the Pilbara Region where it now has 14 other mines, three shipping terminals and the largest private railway network in Australia.

Mount Tom Price Began Iron Ore Production in 1965
The mining of iron ore began at Mount Tom Price in 1965 and its products are railed 260 kilometres to the port at Dampier for exporting overseas to the company's, mainly Chinese, customers. The mine is operated by Hamersley Iron Pty Ltd on behalf of its parent company Rio Tinto. The company is continually expanding operations at its Mount Tom Price Pilbara operations by introducing next generation technology that gives increased efficiency and lowers production costs.
The iron ore deposit at Mount Tom Price is around 1.6 kilometres wide at its widest point but averages just over half a kilometre. It is 7.5 kilometres long and extends to a depth of 250 metres.

Big Expansion Programs at Mount Tom Price to Lift Production to 330 Million Tonnes Annually by 2016
Rio Tinto are currently expanding the Hope Downs Mine at Mount Tom Price to enable it to produce 15 million tonnes of iron ore a year. It has also completed a new Western Turner Syncline and expanded the Brockman 4 Mine that brought its annual iron ore production up to 40 million tonnes from a previous 22 million tonnes. These improvements, plus others, will bring Rio Tinto's total Pilbara iron ore production to 283 million tonnes a year by the end of 2013. The expansion at the Brockman 4 open cut has resulted in it becoming the second largest iron ore mine in the entire Pilbara Region. To help handle all this increased production Rio Tinto has carried out further construction at its Cape Lambert port facility. The company is working towards producing up to 330 million tonnes of iron ore a year by 2016 but before this can occur the Cape Lambert port will have to be able to cater for an extra 100 million tonnes of ore a year than it is currently achieving.

Mount Tom Price Ore Ideal for HIsmelt Processing
Iron ore mined at the Mount Tom Price Mine is subjected to the world's first commercial direct smelting procedure through a process known as high-intensity smelting, or HIsmelt. This process produces iron straight from the ore. This is achieved by injecting non-coking coal and fine iron ore directly into a molten iron bath that is constructed within a SRV (smelt reduction vessel). This procedure produces a high quality molten pig iron. HIsmelt has the potential to eventually replace the blast furnace as it is far cheaper and produces ideal units for steelmakers.
Rio Tinto is one of the world's largest mining groups and has its world headquarters in London. It is also listed on the Australian Securities Exchange (ASX).

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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