Rio Tinto is set to back the development of a childcare centre in Tom Price in the Pilbara region of Western Australia with $5 million in funding.
The proposed facility, developed in partnership with the Shire of Ashburton, will have capacity for 96 children and is projected to be opened in 2021.
It will provide both day care and after-school care facilities, a significant help for local working families.
Rio Tinto approved a $US749 million ($1 billion) investment in the Greater Tom Price operations in November last year.
The company’s investment in the Western Turner Syncline phase two mine will help sustain production capacity from Greater Tom Price.
Rio Tinto general manager of the Greater Tom Price operations Jamie Robinson said the company was proud to contribute towards the development of the new facility.
“Childcare is a critical service for the community here in Tom Price and the development of this new, modern centre will enhance the town’s ability to attract and retain families, while also increasing local job opportunities,” Robinson said.
“It will also provide a fantastic learning environment for children that attend.”
Rio Tinto’s planned contribution will represent a substantial share of the project construction costs.
The company expects its design phase to begin shortly, with construction works planned to commence in mid-2020.
Shire of Ashburton president Kerry White said the facility would be a positive feature in attracting more families to live in Tom Price.
“(It) will also greatly assist parents who are looking to re-enter the workforce or take on new career opportunities, which is currently difficult due to limited child minding resources,” White concluded.