Mining machinery giant WesTrac and miner Rio Tinto have agreed to a deal to rebuild at least 12 dozers from the Pilbara in Geraldton each year.

Key points:

  • Heavy machinery from the Pilbara will be serviced in Geraldton
  • Servicing the machines in Geraldton will save additional transport costs to Perth
  • Five new jobs and two apprenticeships will be created in the first year

It is expected to create five jobs in the short term as well as future training opportunities.

Regional Development Minister Alannah MacTiernan said the government would look to expand the initiative into a cross-regional smart specialisation project with links to the Kimberley and Goldfields regions, using the Mid West as a demonstration pilot.

“Developing capability in mining services will help to diversify and grow Geraldton’s economy, providing long-term jobs for local people,” Ms MacTiernan said.

“We know there’s a pressure on skills across the state, we know the Perth workshop is very busy, we know the Pilbara is very busy.

Rio Tinto Port, Rail and Core Services managing director Richard Cohen said the project would support two new apprenticeship opportunities in the area as well as create new local skilled jobs and provide pathways to employment with Rio Tinto.

“The METS [mining equipment, technology and services] project will generate opportunities for local apprentices to develop and expand their skills and potential pathways for employment with Rio Tinto,” he said.

Mr Cohen said the project would help reduce transport times and negate logistical difficulties mining companies faced getting heavy machinery in and out of the metropolitan area.

“By unlocking the capabilities of the Geraldton WesTrac branch, we are significantly reducing transport time by removing the roughly 900-kilometre round trip to Perth,” he said.

“This will lower costs, improve productivity, and reduce the risk of driving-related incidents that can occur on congested metropolitan roads.”


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