21 December 2007
Rio Tinto to establish remote operations centre at Perth airport
Rio Tinto Iron Ore (RTIO) has taken another step towards future expansions of its Iron Ore system in the Pilbara, following a decision to commence construction of a Remote Operations Centre (ROC) on a 2-hectare site at the Perth Domestic Airport.
When completed in 2009, ROC-based employees will work with Pilbara-based colleagues to operate and optimise key assets and processes, including all mines, processing plants, rail network, ports and power plants. In addition, operational planning and scheduling functions will be based in the ROC.
The ROC will facilitate more integrated planning and improved operational decision-making, as part of RTIO's drive to rapidly expand its Pilbara operations.
The Heads of Agreement to establish the ROC was signed by Warwick Smith, RTIO's Managing Director of Expansion Projects and Brad Geatches Chief Executive Officer of Westralia Airports Corporation. The 10-year lease covers a large purpose-built operational control room, an office block and supporting infrastructure, and allows for potential significant expansions beyond the proposed 320 roles. The buildings will be built to RTIO specification, including a 5-Star Green Building rating.
Perth Airport General Manager of Property Neil Kidd said the transaction represented a landmark in the development of commercial space at the airport's domestic precinct. "Perth Airport is absolutely delighted to have a tenant of the calibre of Rio Tinto. The unique combination of a greenfields site, fantastic transport connectivity and room to grow in the future has made Perth Airport a perfect choice for Rio's ROC facility."
Mr Kidd said the development reflected a broader recognition in the market that Perth Airport was about to become Perth's next major growth hub for commercial real estate.
"Our light industrial precinct near the international terminal has already established itself as Perth's premier logistics hub, setting the highest standards in building design, estate
management and connections to all major transport routes.
"The emergence of a new commercial estate near the domestic terminals will give Western Australian businesses a much needed quality alternative to the highly constrained property markets in the Perth CBD and West Perth."
The Perth offices of CBRE Global Corporate Services and Jones Lang Lasalle assisted the parties in concluding the transaction."
For further information, please contact:
Gervase Greene, Rio Tinto, T: 61 8 9327 2975 M: 0408 098 572
Malcolm Bradshaw, Westralia Airports Corporation, T: 61 8 9478 8484 M: 0400 118 215
About Rio Tinto
Rio Tinto is a leading international mining group headquartered in the UK, combining Rio Tinto plc, a London listed company, and Rio Tinto Limited, which is listed on the Australian Securities Exchange.
Rio Tinto's business is finding, mining, and processing mineral resources. Major products are aluminium, copper, diamonds, energy (coal and uranium), gold, industrial minerals (borax, titanium dioxide, salt, talc) and iron ore. Activities span the world but are strongly represented in Australia and North America with significant businesses in South America, Asia, Europe and southern Africa.
This announcement includes "forward-looking statements" within the meaning of Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933, as amended, and Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended. All statements other than statements of historical facts included in this announcement, including, without limitation, those regarding Rio Tinto's financial position, business strategy, plans and objectives of management for future operations (including development plans and objectives relating to Rio Tinto's products, production forecasts and reserve and resource positions), are forward-looking statements. Such forward-looking statements involve known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors which may cause the actual results, performance or achievements of Rio Tinto, or industry results, to be materially different from any future results, performance or achievements expressed or implied by such forward-looking statements.
Such forward-looking statements are based on numerous assumptions regarding Rio Tinto's present and future business strategies and the environment in which Rio Tinto will operate in the future. Among the important factors that could cause Rio Tinto's actual results, performance or achievements to differ materially from those in the forward-looking statements include, among others, levels of demand and market prices, the ability to produce and transport products profitably, the impact of foreign currency exchange rates on market prices and operating costs, operational problems, political uncertainty and economic conditions in relevant areas of the world, the actions of competitors, activities by governmental authorities such as changes in taxation or regulation and such other risk factors identified in Rio Tinto's most recent Annual Report on Form 20-F filed with the United States Securities and Exchange Commission (the "SEC") or Form 6-Ks furnished to the SEC. Forward-looking statements should, therefore, be construed in light of such risk factors and undue reliance should not be placed on forward-looking statements. These forward-looking statements speak only as of the date of this announcement. Rio Tinto expressly disclaims any obligation or undertaking (except as required by applicable law, the City Code on Takeovers and Mergers (the "Takeover Code"), the UK Listing Rules, the Disclosure and Transparency Rules of the Financial Services Authority and the Listing Rules of the Australian Securities Exchange) to release publicly any updates or revisions to any forward-looking statement contained herein to reflect any change in Rio Tinto's expectations with regard thereto or any change in events, conditions or circumstances on which any such statement is based. Nothing in this announcement should be interpreted to mean that future earnings per share of Rio Tinto plc or Rio Tinto Limited will necessarily match or exceed its historical published earnings per share.
Subject to the requirements of the Takeover Code, none of Rio Tinto, any of its officers or any person named in this announcement with their consent or any person involved in the preparation of this announcement makes any representation or warranty (either express or implied) or gives any assurance that the implied values, anticipated results, performance or achievements expressed or implied in forward-looking statements contained in this announcement will be achieved.