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Rio Tinto expands Pilbara Mineral Resources by two billion tonnes

Friday, November 26th, 2010

Rio Tinto has enhanced its strong iron ore position, with new drilling results and ongoing assessment of assets in the Pilbara revealing a 2.0 billion tonnes addition to the Mineral Resource base.
This latest work, (drilling, re-interpretation and re-estimation of 14 deposits) has expanded Rio Tinto’s Mineral Resource base in the Pilbara by 2.0 billion tonnes, which will be in addition to the currently reported 14.4 billion tonnes of Mineral Resources (2) and 2.8 billion tonnes of Ore Reserves. (3)
Sam Walsh, chief executive, iron ore and Australia said the expanded resource base would help underpin Rio Tinto’s development of its Pilbara operations to an annual capacity of 333 million tonnes in 2015, and for decades to follow.
“The ongoing technical and study work carried out by Rio Tinto’s iron ore group has led to further increased confidence in Rio Tinto’s Resource position in the Pilbara,” he said.
“Over the last ten years, we have moved to strengthen our ore reserves and mineral resources, having drilled 3.3 million metres. We plan to drill 3.9 million metres in the next five years – a programme unprecedented in the history of the iron ore business, demonstrating our commitment to sustained development in the Pilbara.”
The additions to the Mineral Resources are from:
1. New deposits added to the Pilbara Mineral Resource base (reported on a 100% basis)
• Caliwingina (Detritals) 160 Mt @ 61.1% Fe
• Jimmawurrada (Channel Iron Deposit, CID) 125 Mt @ 55.9% Fe
• Fortescue Valley (Detritals) 75 Mt @ 61.7% Fe
• Juna Downs (Marra Mamba, MM) 75 Mt @ 61.9% Fe
• Welthandalthaluna (High Phosphorus Brockman, HPB) 45 Mt @ 63.4% Fe
• Brockman 4 (HPB) LG 40 Mt @ 58.9% Fe
• Marandoo West/South Fortescue (MM) HG 25 Mt @ 60.9% Fe
2. Updates to the reported Pilbara Mineral Resources (reported on a 100% basis)
• Caliwingina (CID) 1,380 Mt @ 56.8% Fe (up from 875 Mt @ 57.7% Fe)
• Syncline 19 (MM) 400 Mt @ 62.0% Fe (up from 135 Mt @ 62.8% Fe)
• Shivani (MM) 275 Mt @ 61.4% Fe (up from 110 Mt @ 61.6% Fe)
• Shovelana (HPB) HG 135 Mt @ 62.3% Fe (re-reported as tenure issues resolved)
• Shovelana (HPB) BPO 40 Mt @ 58.1% Fe (re-reported as tenure issues resolved)
• Mesa J (CID): 150 Mt @ 54.8% Fe (additional Mineral Resource)
• Mesa H (CID): 95 Mt @ 55.4% Fe (up from 30Mt @ 56.6% Fe)
• Brockman Syncline (MM) HG 190 Mt @ 61.5% Fe (up from 100 Mt @ 61.9% Fe)
• West Angelas Deposit D (MM) HG 120 Mt @ 61.3% Fe (up from 65 Mt @ 61.7% Fe)
Descriptions of the deposits, the classification, drilling and estimation methods are given in Appendices 1 to 14. As the additional Mineral Resources are typical of Pilbara iron ore mineralisation, cross sections have not been included.
(Ref 2154)

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