Rio Tinto and Aurecon have achieved one million hours free of lost time injury at its Pilbara Wickham accommodation expansion project. The milestone is part of Rio's wider Wickham Town Expansion plan, being built with an investment of around $300 million.

The Wickham Town Expansion Phase 2 project will create a new Wickham South subdivision and will include 212 new dwellings and 25 residential lots, the installation of 198 new high quality FIFO accommodation units, the construction of a new 1600-square metre town administration and training centre for both the company and community, as well as new public recreational parks.

WA premier Colin Barnett said Rio's investment will see Wickham's population increase from about 2000 to more than 2600. The Wickham project will play a part in Rio Tinto's wider expansion plans and aid the mining company in increasing annual iron ore export capacity through Cape Lambert Port from the current 80 million tonnes to a possible 183 million tonnes in 2015.

According to Aurecon project manager Roy Fullard, the safety performance on this project is a direct reflection of the commitment of Rio Tinto and Aurecon to the goal of zero harm and Aurecon’s focus on safe, certain delivery. A key component of this achievement was the promotion of co-operation between individuals and organisations so that health and safety became a collaborative effort.

The town renewal is scheduled for completion in 2015.