SYDNEY – The Anglo-Australian mining group Rio Tinto announced on Monday in a statement that, together with its Japanese joint venture partners Mitsui and Nippon Steel & Sumitomo Metal, it would be investing $1.5 billion to increase the production capacity of two mining projects in the Pilbara region of Western Australia.
The investment will go through the joint venture company Robe River, which is formed by Rio Tinto (53 percent), Mitsui (33 percent) and Nippon Steel & Sumitomo Metal (14 percent).
The Robe Valley project will receive $967 million to develop deposits and the rest will be devoted to developing deposits in West Angelas, the statement added.
The development works, subject to approval by the government and environmental regulators, are scheduled to begin in 2019 and production is expected to start in 2021.
Rio Tinto reported that investment will maintain production of iron ore from Pilbara, as well as other products.