The Australian government has approved an iron ore project which Rio Tinto and China’s Baowu Steel Group jointly developed. Baowu will make an investment in an iron ore joint venture with AUD 2 billion. The construction of the project will be in early 2023 and will start operation in 2025.Rio Tinto & China Baowu Steel had agreed in September 2022 to enter into a 54/46 joint venture with respect to the Western Range iron ore project in the Pilbara in Western Australia, investing AUD 2 billion to develop the mine. Western Range’s annual production capacity of 25 million tonnes of iron ore will help sustain production of the Pilbara Blend from Rio Tinto’s existing Paraburdoo mining hub. The project includes construction of a primary crusher and an 18 kilometre conveyor system linking it to the existing Paraburdoo processing plant. Construction is expected to begin in early 2023 with first production anticipated in 2025. Rio Tinto and Baowu had also agreed to enter into an iron ore sales agreement at market prices covering a total of up to 126.5 million tonnes of iron ore over approximately 13 years. This volume represents Baowu’s 46% interest in the anticipated 275 million tonnes of production from Western Range through the Joint Venture.