A Rio Tinto joint venture has entered a sales agreement to enhance operational efficiencies in the Pilbara.
Dampier Salt – which is a joint venture between Rio Tinto (68 per cent), Marubeni Corporation (22 per cent) and Sojitz (10 per cent) – is purchasing the Lake MacLeod salt and gypsum operation in Carnarvon, Western Australia, with privately owned salt company, Leichardt Industrials Group.
This deal is expected to close by this year’s end.
“The sale of Lake MacLeod will enable Dampier Salt to focus on enhancing operational efficiencies at its remaining two Pilbara operations, while allowing the new owner of Lake MacLeod to maximise its potential,” said Rio Tinto Managing Director Port, Rail & Core Services, Richard Cohen.
He added that until the completion of the sale, the Dampier Salt leadership team will focus on safety, deliver on their plan and maintain respect for all people at Lake MacLeod and in the Carnarvon community.
“We are pleased Leichhardt has committed to retaining all Lake MacLeod employees, ensuring continuity of operation and providing job stability to the 130-strong workforce,” said Cohen.
Lake MacLeod is one of three solar salt sites owned by Dampier Salt, which also includes operations in Dampier and Port Hedland. It is located within Baiyungu country in the Gascoyne region of Western Australia, 70 kilometres north of the town of Carnarvon, including a ~1.5 Mtpa salt operation, ~1 Mtpa gypsum operation as well as a deepwater port at Cape Cuvier.
Dampier Salt is reported to be the world’s largest seaborne salt exporter with annual production capacity of approx. 10 million tonnes.