Mitsui & Co., Ltd. ("Mitsui", President and CEO: Tatsuo Yasunaga) and Nippon Steel & Sumitomo Metal Corporation ("NSSMC", Representative Director and President: Kosei Shindo) are pleased to announce that Robe River Iron Associates ("Robe River J/V", Rio Tinto 53%, Mitsui 33%, NSSMC 14%) has decided to invest in the development of new iron ore deposits, namely, the Mesa B/C/H in the Robe Valley mine and the Deposit C/D in the West Angelas mine in the Pilbara region of Western Australia.
The existing deposits in both Robe Valley mine and West Angelas mine, currently in operation, are nearing the end of their lifespan. The Robe River J/V will develop these new deposits utilizing the existing rail and port infrastructure, with the objective of sustaining current rates of iron ore production as existing mines decline. Subject to government and environmental approvals, development of new deposits is expected to start next year, and first ore is currently anticipated from 2021.
The total investment in the subject development is estimated to be US$1,546 million (equivalent to approximately 170.1 billion yen), of which Mitsui and NSSMC will invest US$510 million (approximately 56.1 billion yen) and US$216 million (approximately 23.8 billion yen), respectively, in proportion to each of their equity stakes.
Mitsui and NSSMC will work together with Rio Tinto through the Robe River J/V to stably procure and supply iron ore, for which further demand is expected.
Map of Pilbara region
West Angelas Mine
Cape Lambert Port