Rio Tinto has awarded its 100th work package to local businesses in the Pilbara, as part of program designed to increase opportunities for WA businesses.

The programme, launched in May 2017, features an online local procurement portal that increases the visibility of upcoming work and maximises opportunities for local companies to be part of Rio Tinto’s supply chain.

Rio Tinto Iron Ore managing director Pilbara Mines Stefan Buys, said “The programme is gaining momentum and we have now received more than 3,000 expressions of interest from suppliers for work published on the online platform, the Local Procurement Portal.”

“Rio Tinto aims to make a significant contribution to our local communities by making sure we provide opportunities for local businesses to benefit from our activities. Our procurement practices, and those of our contractors, help sustain many Western Australian and Pilbara-based businesses.”

Indigenous-owned and operated civil and concrete construction company, Baru Group, was one of the most recent local businesses to secure work through the portal. Anne Tallon, director of Baru Group, said “Winning this work has a flow on effect for our employees and their families. Rio Tinto’s local procurement portal shows us what jobs are coming up and provides us with enough information so that we can do our own investigation into whether we can be cost competitive as well as if the scope of works are within our capabilities.”

“Being successful in these opportunities means that our businesses can grow, our employees and their families can live in the towns they chose to live in, and our communities can thrive.”

The work awarded to Baru involves an upgrade of the stackers and conveyors at Rio Tinto’s Brockman 2 operation, including earthworks and a structural upgrade to the stacker rail sleepers and conveyor foundations. Baru, based in Karratha, is expected to complete the project by the end of 2019.

“In winning this tender, Baru provided a detailed and accurate proposal, which demonstrated a solid understanding of the scope of work, construction methodology and the requirements to work safely around the live plant,” said Mr Buys.Rio Tinto’s Local

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