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The proposal involves the construction and operation of a greenfield mine and associated infrastructure including a 167km railway connecting into Rio Tinto’s main network, according to a filing on the website of Western Australia’s Environmental Protection Authority (EPA).
Located 110 kilometers from the mining town of Newman, the Koodaideri mine is expected to have an operational mine life of around 30 years.
Construction is scheduled to start in the third quarter of 2014 once all regulatory approvals are secured. Rio Tinto aims to commission the project in the second half of 2016.
The proposal is now open to public consultation until September 2 before the EPA makes its recommendation to the government.
The project is estimated to cost $3.2 billion, as reported by local media.
Rio Tinto is planning to develop a new mine in Australia’s central Pilbara region which could produce up to 70 million tpy of iron ore.