Rio Tinto Supports Pilbara Businesses Through New Partnership

- July 27th, 2018

Rio Tinto has collaborated with the Regional Chambers of Commerce & Industry Western Australia to help support businesses in the Pilbara region.

Through a new partnership with the Regional Chambers of Commerce & Industry Western Australia (RCCIWA), Rio Tinto (ASX:RIO,NYSE:RIO,LSE:RIO) is hoping to help support more local businesses in the Pilbara region of Western Australia.

The idea behind the partnership is to support and enhance the capabilities of local businesses in Karratha and the Pilbara region, starting off with an initial 12-month program. The service will be delivered locally by the Karratha & Districts Chamber of Commerce & Industry and the Pilbara Inland Chamber of Commerce & Industry.

Plans to strengthen the community will be implemented through a series of workshops and events aimed at engaging businesses and locating gaps in local capacity and capability. Rio Tinto also launched a local procurement program in 2017 geared at supporting local businesses by making it easier to compete for contracts; this newest partnership will lend additional strength to that program.

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Ivan Vella, Rio Tinto’s iron ore managing director of rail, port and core services, commented on the partnership in a statement, detailing how the company’s iron ore business will help support the initiative.

“We’re partnering with RCCIWA because of its unique understanding of local suppliers and communities in the regions where we operate. Together, we’re aiming to strengthen and develop the capabilities of local businesses in the Pilbara to improve their chances of securing work from Rio Tinto,” Vella said.

“Our iron ore business is planning to spend more than US$5 billion of replacement and sustaining capital through to 2020, providing increased opportunities for local businesses to participate in these projects,” Vella also explained.

He continued, “[t]his new partnership is also an important enhancement of our Local Procurement Programme which is designed to boost local economies and create jobs by progressively increasing spend with local suppliers across Western Australia.”

Rio Tinto is one of many major mining companies that has laid down investments in the Pilbara region in recent years, with 16 iron ore mines, four port facilities and a 1,700-kilometer rail network all in the region. The company’s most recent addition to the area is its US$338-million Silvergrass iron ore mine, which opened for business in August 2017.

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Securities Disclosure: I, Olivia Da Silva, hold no direct investment interest in any company mentioned in this article.

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