By Rhiannon Hoyle

Rio Tinto said on Tuesday it has approved a $77 million pre-feasibility study for the Rhodes Ridge iron ore project in Western Australia's Pilbara region, a development that could underpin the miner's giant iron-ore operations in the area for decades to come.

The miner called Rhodes Ridge one of the world's best undeveloped iron ore deposits and said it expects to finish the pre-feasibility study by the end of 2025. First production from the project is expected by the end of the decade.

The latest study follows a so-called order of magnitude study that suggested a mining operation there could have an initial capacity of up to 40 million metric tons a year.

"Longer term, the resource could support a world-class mining hub with a potential capacity of more than 100 million [tons] of high-quality iron ore a year," said Simon Trott, the head of Rio Tinto's iron ore business.

Write to Rhiannon Hoyle at rhiannon.hoyle@wsj.com


(END) Dow Jones Newswires

12-04-23 1723ET