Rio Tinto share price falls despite big iron ore news

This mining giant has big plans for iron ore in the East Pilbara region.

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The Rio Tinto Ltd (ASX: RIO) share price is falling with the market on Tuesday.

In morning trade, the mining giant's shares are down 1.5% to $125.10.

What's going on with the Rio Tinto share price?

Investors have been selling the miner's shares today after broad market weakness offset some positive news.

In respect to the former, at the time of writing the ASX 200 index is down 0.5% following a poor night of trade on Wall Street.

As for the latter, this morning Rio Tinto announced the approval of a US$77 million (A$110 million) pre-feasibility study (PFS) to progress development of the Rhodes Ridge project in the East Pilbara in Western Australia.

Management notes that the project is one of the world's best undeveloped iron ore deposits. It contains 6.8 billion tonnes of mineral resources at an average grade of 61.6% Fe, including 5.3 billion tonnes at 62.2% Fe and 0.6 billion tonnes at 63.9% Fe.

The spending won't stop at the PFS. Far from it! Rio Tinto is planning to spend more than A$400 million on exploration from 2024 to 2028 as part of the ongoing study phases.

Study work to date indicates a staged development with an initial hub likely to be located in the northern part of the project, adjacent to existing rail infrastructure.

The PFS is expected to be completed by the end of 2025 and will be followed by a feasibility study. First ore from the initial development is expected by the end of this decade.

Rio Tinto's Iron Ore Chief Executive, Simon Trott, believes the project has significant long-term potential. He said:

The size and quality of the resource base at Rhodes Ridge has the potential to underpin our iron ore business in the Pilbara for decades to come. Longer term, the resource could support a world-class mining hub with a potential capacity of more than 100 million tonnes of high-quality iron ore a year. We are committed to working closely with the Traditional Owners, the Nyiyaparli and Ngarlawangga People, as we progress this project.

Motley Fool contributor James Mickleboro has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool Australia's parent company Motley Fool Holdings Inc. has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool Australia has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy. This article contains general investment advice only (under AFSL 400691). Authorised by Scott Phillips.

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