The EOI callout follows the miner’s announcement in September it would look for opportunities for WA suppliers to help grow the local rail car manufacturing industry and support local jobs.
Rio Tinto will initially purchase 50 rail cars from the successful supplier, followed by an ongoing commitment of 10 rail cars a year for the next five years.
WA has been an important part of Rio Tinto’s history for more than 50 years as the company built a world-class iron ore business.
Rio Tinto Iron Ore chief executive Simon Trott said he strongly encouraged local manufacturers to submit an EOI to build the iron ore rail cars.
““Ore cars are a critical part of our mining operations and building capacity to manufacture ore cars locally in WA will deliver significant benefits for Rio Tinto and the WA economy. We’re pleased to offer this opportunity to local businesses to support local jobs and the Western Australian economy.
“As the local manufacturing industry grows, we will continue to look at ways to engage local businesses to be part of our supply chain.”
The EOI supports the vision of the WA Government’s iron ore rail car action group, which was formed to develop the state’s manufacturing capability, and of which Rio Tinto is a member.
Premier Mark McGowan commended Rio Tinto for committing to the local steel manufacturing industry.
“Rio Tinto’s commitment is a positive result off the back of the State Government’s independent pre-feasibility study, which identified initiatives for the manufacture, refurbishment and maintenance of iron ore railcar wagons,” he said.
“This was about securing an ongoing pipeline of work for the long term manufacture of iron ore wagons and critical rail wagon parts, which will deliver jobs and economic benefit for the State into the future.
“Rio Tinto’s purchase of WA-made railcars that will be used right here in our State is something I encourage other iron ore companies operating in WA to get on board with and increase local content and local jobs.”
The tender can be accessed through the Rio Tinto Buy Local portal, a resource dedicated to making local suppliers aware of opportunities to partner with Rio Tinto and be part of its supply chain.