Tuesday 09 October 2012
Making hay at Rio Tinto
The Hamersley Agricultural Project in Western Australia's Pilbara region is being commissioned today, using water from Rio Tinto's Marandoo iron ore mine dewatering to irrigate more than 800 hectares of hay.
Four of the 18 irrigation pivots are now operational, with the rest coming online in the coming weeks. When the site is operating at full capacity, it's expected to produce 30,000 tonnes of hay a year.
Allan Jackson, Rio Tinto's general manager for climate change, water and environment, says he's expecting a decent quality crop.
"We think it's pretty good because we ran a pivot in Carnarvon with the (WA) Department of Agriculture and that came up pretty well, and we ran that for a year so we could get a good sense of what sort of the quality we'd get and also the processes we'd use up here, so we've got it right."
The hay will initially be reserved for use on Rio Tinto's pastoral properties, but any excess will be made available to the public.
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