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Rio TInto has received its 1000th dump truck body from Austin Engineering at its iron ore operations in Western Australia, marking the occasion with the high-performance ULTIMA truck body. 

The milestone was marked with a ceremony held at the global mining equipment design and manufacturer’s facility in Kewdale, which was attended by WA Premier Mark McGowan, Rio Tinto Iron Ore chief executive officer Simon Trott, and Austin chairman Jim Walker and chief executive officer David Singleton. 

Austin has supplied approximately $300 million of its designed and engineered equipment to Rio Tinto’s Iron Ore operations over the past 30 years and also supplies equipment to Rio Tinto’s global operations from Austin’s manufacturing sites spread across four continents. 

“In the dynamic and constantly evolving mining industry it is becoming an increasing rarity to see a long-standing partnership, particularly one deeply rooted in the local community, going from strength to strength,”  Singleton said. 

Austin and Rio Tinto’s partnership commenced in 1988 with WA-based John’s Engineering and Cranes, which is now part of the Austin business, providing truck body components to Robe River, a Rio Tinto Group company. 

“This makes today’s milestone all the more extraordinary, and like the other 999 truck bodies we’ve made for Rio Tinto Iron Ore in Western Australia, it will be manufactured locally,” Singleton said. 

“Austin is proud of its role in helping Rio Tinto successfully deliver the iron ore that is the economic lynchpin of our great state.” 

Austin is also investing $6.5 million to implement advanced manufacturing processes and capabilities at its Perth site and Batam site in Indonesia. 

“The manufacture of the 1000th truck body for our Iron ore operations here in WA is a testament to the Austin-Rio Tinto relationship that spans three decades and covers the globe,” Trott said. 

“The partnership is an example of our commitment to working with local business to create ongoing employment and to develop world-class products. 

“We are committed to sourcing local content wherever possible to support our suppliers, our business and the communities in which we operate.” 

The Kewdale facility is currently receiving the first manufacturing upgrade, which will benefit customers, such as Rio Tinto, and enhance the supply of WA-made dump truck bodies and other hauling and loading products.  

“Rio Tinto’s commitment to purchasing WA made truck bodies, that will be used right here in the state, reflects the WA State Government’s commitment to boost local manufacturing, local content and local jobs, enabling our state to become more self-sufficient and prosperous into the future,” McGowan said. 

“I encourage other companies operating in WA to join Rio Tinto in supporting local manufacturing, employment opportunities and the diversification of the economy that has been the source of its success.”