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Rio to begin copper production at Winu in 2023

Mining - Rio Tinto (ASX, LON, NYSE: RIO) plans to ramp up development of its Winu copper-gold project in Western Australia, with first production expected in 2023.

The world’s no. 2 miner continues drilling and geophysical testing at the asset, which could be its next major copper project, and is progressing discussions with landowners to keep moving forward.

Chief executive officer Jean-Sébastien Jacques said on Wednesday that the company’s job was to create options, which it could progress to meet market demand.

“A great example of one is Winu, our copper opportunity in Western Australia,” he said.

The Winu copper-gold-silver discovery is about 130 km. (80 miles) from Newcrest’s Telfer copper-gold mine in the East Pilbara. It’s also close to numerous copper prospects discovered recently by juniors, and 350 km (220 miles) southeast of Port Hedland, the world’s largest bulk export port.

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