Hamersley Iron, a wholly owned subsidiary of Rio Tinto has operations located in the Pilbara region of Western Australia. Hamersley has a 100% interest in each of its mines with the exception of Channar, which is a joint venture with Hamersley owning 60% and a subsidiary of China Iron and Steel Industry and Trade Group Corporation owning 40% and Eastern Range which is owned 54% by Hamersley and 46% by Shanghai Baosteel Group Corporation.
The operation consists of seven open pit mines, a concentrator, a fines processing plant, dedicated heavy haul rail line, and port facilities in Dampier. The ore is carried from the mines on the largest private rail network in the world, operated by the Pilbara Rail Company, to the port at Dampier, in north west Western Australia. The workforce for each of the mines lives near the mine with the exception of Brockman No 2, Marandoo and Yandicoogina which operate on a fly in basis.Ownership
The first mine to open was Mount Tom Price from where the first shipment of Hamersley ore left the Dampier port in August 1966, with 52,000 tonnes of ore for delivery to the Yawata Iron and Steel Company in Japan. Output increased with the commissioning of other mines. Paraburdoo in 1972, Channar, Brockman and Marandoo in 1990, 1992 and 1994 respectively, Yandicoogina in 1998 and Eastern Range in 2003. In 1996 the company shipped its 1 billionth tonne of ore.
The whole operation currently has the capacity to produce 89 Mtonnes of iron ore per year with expansion initiatives currently underway to expand the Mount Tom Price, Marandoo, Nammuldi and Yandicoogina for an additional 31 Mtonnes at an estimated cost of US$820 million.
Extending from the Indian Ocean to the Northern Territory border, the Pilbara covers more than 500,000 square kilometres. The region comprises four local government authorities - the Shires of Ashburton, East Pilbara and Roebourne, and the Town of Port Hedland.