Rio Tinto News Release: Celebrating 50 years of Iron Ore in Western Australia

Rio Tinto has announced a tribute to the “groundbreaker” employees and stakeholders who have helped build the company’s iron ore business in Western Australia over the past 50 years.

2016 marks the 50th anniversary of the company’s first contracted shipment of iron ore from the Pilbara. The Houn Maru departed Dampier port for the Yawata Iron and Steel Company in Japan (later to become Nippon Steel & Sumitomo Metal) on 22 August 1966.

“Groundbreakers” is a theme that captures much of what the past 50 years has been about – significant achievements, remarkable effort, big change and thinking very differently from one year to the next.

The anniversary activities will acknowledge the many thousands of people who have helped Rio Tinto’s iron ore business be the success that it is – employees, government and community partners, customers and investors – each playing their part to enable Rio Tinto to contribute to Western Australia and beyond.

Chief executive Iron Ore, Australia, China, and Korea Andrew Harding said people always have, and always will be, the backbone of Rio Tinto’s business.
“I am proud to say that for the past 50 years we have continued to attract employees who work hard and are determined to create a bold and bright future for this state and country,” Andrew said.

“As our business looks forward and we continue to innovate and improve we should reflect on the many groundbreakers that have been integral to this business.

“We should also recognise that we continue to break new ground today and our future iron ore business will be very different to our business today.
“Our Mine of the Future™ is extraordinary and it is helping us to achieve our vision to be the best iron ore business in the world.”

More information about the 50th anniversary including the company’s key historical milestones can be found on the Rio Tinto Groundbreakers website.