BHP Joins the FMG surface-miner party

A YEAR ago Rio Tinto and BHP Billiton thought that Fortescue Metals Group was crazy for relying on surface miners for its A$3 billion-plus Pilbara iron ore venture. Now they are acting more like converts than non-believers. The Metal Detective, by Stephen Bell.

In June the Metal Detective noted Rio Tinto, Australia’s biggest iron ore exporter, was trialling the Wirtgen 2500 surface miner – the same 100-tonne model FMG plans to use in Western Australia’s



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