Rio Tinto's $77M Leap: Advancing Rhodes Ridge Marvel

Rhodes Ridge project
Rhodes Ridge projectImage Source: SteelGuru


Rio Tinto greenlights a $77 million pre-feasibility study (PFS) for the Rhodes Ridge project, an untapped iron ore treasure in Western Australia. Boasting 6.8 billion metric tons of high-grade resources, the development signals a potential mining hub with a yearly capacity exceeding 100 million metric tons. The PFS, set for completion by 2025, aligns with Rio Tinto's commitment to invest over $400 million in exploration, cementing its dedication to sustainable growth. The venture, modernized in collaboration with Wright Prospecting Pty Ltd, taps into existing infrastructure, with an initial ore yield anticipated by the decade's end.


In a strategic move, Rio Tinto has given the green light for a $77 million pre-feasibility study (PFS) to propel the development of the Rhodes Ridge project, nestled in the East Pilbara region of Western Australia. This initiative marks a crucial step forward for one of the globe's premier untapped iron ore deposits.

The Rhodes Ridge project, renowned for its immense potential, houses a staggering 6.8 billion metric tons of Mineral Resources, characterized by an average grade of 61.6% Fe. The substantial reserves include 5.3 billion metric tons at 62.2% Fe and an additional 0.6 billion metric tons at an impressive 63.9% Fe.

Rio Tinto's commitment to invest more than $400 million in exploration from 2024 to 2028 underscores its long-term vision. The Rhodes Ridge project is poised for a staged development, with an initial hub likely to find its place in the northern precinct, adjacent to existing rail infrastructure. The venture promises to be a cornerstone for Rio Tinto's iron ore business in the Pilbara region, potentially sustaining the industry for decades.

Last year witnessed Rio Tinto (50%) and Wright Prospecting Pty Ltd (50%) joining forces to revitalize the joint venture governing the Rhodes Ridge project. Positioned 40 kilometers northwest of Newman, the collaboration aims to modernize operations and unlock the project's full potential.

Simon Trott, Rio Tinto Iron Ore Chief Executive, emphasized the commitment to collaborate closely with the Traditional Owners, the Nyiyaparli and Ngarlawangga People. This commitment underlines the company's dedication to responsible and sustainable mining practices.

The PFS, slated for completion by the end of 2025, is a crucial precursor to a comprehensive feasibility study. Rio Tinto envisions the first ore from the initial development making its debut by the end of this decade, marking a significant milestone in the Rhodes Ridge project's progression.


Rio Tinto's bold investment in the Rhodes Ridge project signals not only a strategic move for the company but a pivotal moment for the entire iron ore industry. With billions of metric tons in high-grade resources and a meticulous approach to development, the project has the potential to shape the future of iron ore extraction in the Pilbara region. Rio Tinto's commitment to sustainability, collaboration with Traditional Owners, and strategic investments positions Rhodes Ridge as a beacon for responsible mining practices and long-term industry sustainability.

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