John Holland wins Rio Tinto’s Cape Lambert wharf contract

 John Holland has won a $186 million contract to extend Rio Tinto iron ore's Cape Lambert B wharf.

According to the company the project will extend the wharf already being built by John Holland, and while provide an extra two berths at Rio's Cape Lambert Port B.

The award is part of Rio Tinto's wider expansion in the Pilbara, where it plans to increase its annual capacity to 353 million tonnes per annum.

It was part of the miner's wider $4.2 billion investment to grow its iron projects globally.

According to former Rio Tinto chief executive Tom Albanese the company was "directing investment to projects that will generate the most attractive returns for shareholders and are resilient under any probable macroeconomic scenario.

"Our Pilbara iron ore business has one of the highest margins in the industry," Albanese explained.

He went on to say that it "is in line with our long-held strategy of investing in and operating long-life, low-cost, tier one assets, and consistent with our view of the economic outlook".

John Holland will work closely with Leighton Asia in the project.

Glenn Palin, John Holland's MD, added that the project will feature innovative environmental concepts.

"In early 2012, the Cape Lambert project trialled a "sponge jet" blasting and recovery system in place of a more conventional garnet abrasive blasting unit. This absorbs particles and prevents them from becoming airborne over water at the site," he explained.

"This vastly reduces dust levels and significantly cuts any risk of contamination."

The company's project team is currently delivering the first stage of the project.

It is employing 22 indigenous workers on site, which represents around 6% of the total workforce, although it is planning to increase this number.

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