According to Rio Tinto, the company’s Amrun bauxite project in Far North Queensland, Australia has liaised with over 1000 Australian businesses in order to develop the project.
A total of 1095 Australian businesses have been directly and indirectly involved with the project, including more than 700 Queensland companies.
Rio Tinto Amrun Project Director, Marcia Hanrahan, said: “From the very beginning of the Amrun project in 2015 we have been committed to prioritising Australian, and in particular Queensland companies for goods, services and expertise. The engagement of more than 1000 Australian businesses on the project so far has provided a significant economic boost with overall Australian commitments now at AUS$1.93 billion including Queensland commitments of AUS$1.37 billion. It is important to us that the benefits of our investment are returned to home soil and that we play an active role in developing sustainable Australian communities for the future.”
As part of the company’s local and Indigenous participation strategy, opportunities have been provided for local and Indigenous businesses and for community members to benefit from the project. 17 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander businesses have been engaged by the project to date.
At a visit to Rio Tinto’s Weipa operations Acting Premier, Treasurer and Minister for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Partnerships, Jackie Trad, said: “We know that for true reconciliation and to close the gap both government and the private sectors need to step up in terms of Indigenous participation. It’s fantastic to see that this project takes this responsibility seriously, bringing on board local Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander businesses and directly employing a significant Indigenous workforce.”
A total of AUS$218 million of the commitments can also be attributed to the Western Cape York where 70 companies have been awarded aspects of the overall project.
Locally Goodline, a company founded in Weipa, was awarded a contract to deliver two significant infrastructure packages for the Amrun Project - the Hey River Terminal including the barge and ferry berths and the accommodation village.
Goodline Queensland manager Weipa, Rob Potter, said: “Having started out as a small locally-owned business, we are proud to have secured contracts of this scale in competition with some of Australia’s largest construction companies. The packages of work secured on the project to date have allowed us to expand our local Indigenous engagement through direct employment and partnering with local Indigenous businesses.”
Australian construction company McConnell Dowell’s Queensland branch has also experienced benefits of working on the project after being engaged to construct the state-the-art Chith Export Facility at the site.
Graeme Brown, McConnell Dowell Queensland Project Manager, said: “Via a collaborative effort we had the opportunity to use an innovative construction method for wharf building that in the future will pave the way globally for similar projects. We are delighted to have had the chance to work with Rio Tinto on this exciting new development.”
Rio Tinto announced its AUS$2.6 billion investment in the Amrun project in late 2015. The project is about 40 kilometres south of Rio Tinto’s existing East Weipa and Andoom mines on the Cape York Peninsula in Far North Queensland and involves the construction of a bauxite mine, processing and port facilities.
Production and shipping are expected to commence in the first half of 2019, ramping up to full production by the end of the year.