Rio Tinto

Nammuldi Incremental Tonnes

Pilbara, Western Australia



Rio Tinto operate the Nammuldi and Silvergrass mines located within the West Pilbara region of Western Australia, situated approximately 60 kilometres north west of Tom Price.

NRW were awarded the contract for the development of the greenfields Silvergrass iron ore deposits to produce 10mtpa of Saleable Ore Product.

This contract builds on NRW’s long term relationship with Rio Tinto Iron Ore, having partnered with this blue chip client on multiple projects in the past.

The scope of works for this contract included:

  • Construction of mine haul roads, ore stockpiles, waste dumps and other mine infrastructure
  • Mine development and production (including drill and blast)
  • Haulage of high grade ore from mine area 12 kilometres to the existing Nammuldi plant site
  • Supply, installation and operation of two 5mtpa crushing plants


At its peak the group was managing an onsite workforce of approximately 180 personnel. The NRW fleet utilised on this project included:

  • 3 excavators
  • 1 loader
  • 17 dump trucks
  • 4 dozers
  • 2 graders
  • 2 water trucks

Excavators and track dozers were fitted with high precision GPS equipment to minimise ore dilution, enable greater wall and floor control and reduce the infield survey support requirement.

By installing a fleet management system on the truck and excavator fleet, the team were able to identify and minimise operational delays, resulting in consistently higher than expected productivity rates, thereby exceeding client targets.

Indigenous engagement

As part of NRW’s ongoing commitment to enrich the communities we operate within, NRW awarded $2.1 million of goods and service supply contracts to Pilbara Aboriginal Businesses and achieved an average of 11% indigenous engagement throughout the contract term.


NRW overcame several challenges over the life of the project, one of which was managing development works in close proximity to a heritage site. The team successfully conducted sensitive contour and production blasting to ensure there was no impact on the area, or production requirements.


Various NRW work groups were recognised for their high performance. The NRW load and haul team consistently exceeded monthly production requirements. The NRW mobile maintenance team developed new techniques and tooling to significantly reduce risks associated with live testing and commissioning works on heavy mobile equipment. This safety initiative earned a Rio Tinto Make a Difference Award, just one of the many awards for excellence in health and safety presented to the NRW Nammuldi team.

Throughout the life of this project Rio Tinto Iron Ore awarded NRW multiple additional contracts at the Nammuldi site including the construction of a 10-hectare mine services area pad, sediment ponds and drainage channels.