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Pilbara iron ore milestone

WESTERN Australia’s resources industry celebrated a major milestone this week when the Pilbara iron ore industry turned 40. On August 22 1966, mining giant Rio Tinto, through its Hammersley Iron subsidiary, shipped its first load of iron ore from Dampier port to Japan on the fully laden ore carrier, Houn Maru (pictured), marking the birth of one of the state’s economic powerhouses. When the Houn Maru set sail in 1966, annual exports on iron ore from Tom Price were expected to be 4.5 million tonnes. Four decades on, Rio Tinto Iron Ore exports 143mt from its nine mines and three ports in the Pilbara.

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