Rio Tinto has signed up another group as preferred contractor for its expansion of its iron ore operations in the Pilbara, inking a framework agreement with Downer EDI.
Downer will be Rio’s preferred contractor on electrical and instrumentation projects involved in the expansion to 353 million tonnes of iron ore exports per year.
Downer chief executive Grant Fenn said the company was pleased to be able to build on its relationship with Rio.
“Downer Mining is currently providing fleet maintenance at Rio Tinto’s Argyle diamond mine, open cut mining services as well as an indigenous recruitment and development scheme at Paraburdoo mine and tyre management through Otraco International at multiple sites across Western Australia,” Mr Fenn said in a statement.
“Downer Rail has previously delivered locomotives for Rio Tinto Aluminium’s Weipa operations and we now welcome the opportunity to supply Rio Tinto Iron Ore with the electrical and instrumentation works necessary to deliver critical projects as part of the expansion of its iron ore operations in the Pilbara.”
The contract is the seventh framework agreement Rio Tinto has signed since announcing its expansion plans last year.
Monadelphous Engineering and Leighton Contractors signed on for structural, mechanical and piping works as part of the expansion in February and early this month, respectively, while Southern Cross Electrical Engineering won preferred status for electrical and instrumentation works at Cape Lambert Port last year.
Ansaldo STS is Rio’s preferred railway communications and signalling contractor, and NRW Holdings signed on as preferred earthmover in June last year.
Decmil Australia also signed a preferred contractor agreement in February to provide civil works as part of the expansion.