Rio Tinto’s new chief executive Sam Walsh was promoted less than a week ago, but Gina Rinehart has already gotten in touch with requests to accelerate several more iron ore projects in the Pilbara region of Western Australia.
Mr Walsh, having resided in Perth for the past several years managing Rio Tinto’s iron ore accounts, has been actively involved in the six-deposit joint venture between Hope Downs and Ms Rinehart’s family company, Hancock Prospecting.
According to the Sydney Morning Herald, the joint venture produced more than 30 million tonnes of iron ore in 2012 – a figure that is expected to double when a third mine begins production this year.
"By far Rio Tinto's best investment in the last decade has been in Hope Downs, which Sam Walsh was intimately involved in. We look forward to Sam providing the leadership and adding to the great success Hope Downs has been for the Rio Tinto group by committing to develop other Hope Downs resources in a timely manner,'' she said in the statement retrieved by the Sydney Morning Herald.
Also on Ms Rinehart’s list of suggestions was the abolishment of the carbon tax and the Minerals Resources Rent Tax, as well as the moving of Rio Tinto’s headquarters from London to Perth where, she said, “it logically belongs.”
"We also hope other Australians will join our call that now that there is an Australian CEO for Rio Tinto, and given the history of mainly success for Rio Tinto's projects in Australia, a renewed emphasis will be undertaken by Rio Tinto to reinvest more of the profits it earns in Australia,” she said in a statement cited by Business Spectator.
"We hope Rio Tinto and Sam will lose no time in advising the Australian government in clear and straightforward terms, what it would wish to make the decisions to increase its investment in Australia.”