Rio Tinto has signed a memorandum of understanding with Dalian, a Chinese port, to establish an iron ore blending area.
According to media reports, the port is close to Hebei, one of China’s major steelmaking regions, wherein Rio Tinto delivered about 1bn mt of iron ore last year. With the blending hub, the miner intends to bring that market a wider range of ore products.
The memorandum of understanding also disclosed that Rio can use the port as a transhipment hub for better access to northern Chinese steel mills. In the first batch, Dalian Port mixed high-grade Iron Ore Company of Canada concentrate with Rio’s SP10 grade ore from West Australia.
While the annual output capacity of the project hasn’t been disclosed, it was noted that Dalian Port has blended more than 46mn mt of iron ore in the area under consideration since its establishment in 2016.