Rio Tinto celebrates WA businesses as regional and indigenous supplier spend grows

Rio Tinto continues to increase its contribution in Western Australia to support local jobs and economies, with the company boosting spending with local businesses near its operations by almost 40 per cent from a year earlier.

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(L-R) Wesfarmers Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer Rob Scott (CEO Award winner), Rio Tinto Iron Ore Chief Executive Simon Trott, Monadelphous Managing Director Zoran Bebic (Supplier of the Year Award winner) and Western Australian Premier Roger Cook. (Photo: Business Wire)

(L-R) Wesfarmers Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer Rob Scott (CEO Award winner), Rio Tinto Iron Ore Chief Executive Simon Trott, Monadelphous Managing Director Zoran Bebic (Supplier of the Year Award winner) and Western Australian Premier Roger Cook. (Photo: Business Wire)

In 2023, Rio Tinto worked with more than 2,400 suppliers in Western Australia and spent A$8.8 billion across the State. Of this, A$875 million was spent supporting local businesses located near its operations.

The company also increased its spend with WA Indigenous businesses by 35 per cent in 2023, compared to the year prior, with a record A$593 million spent.

In the Pilbara, Rio Tinto spent A$835 million with local businesses, of this A$499 million was spent with Pilbara-based Indigenous businesses. More than 80 per cent of these businesses were Traditional Owner businesses.

Since 2018, Rio Tinto has increased its annual spend with suppliers in Western Australia by 78 per cent, as part of the company’s ongoing commitment to support the communities where it operates.

Rio Tinto last night celebrated the contribution of its suppliers at its second Supplier Recognition Awards night. The awards recognise the company’s valued suppliers for their outstanding performance and the contribution they make to the company and the local community.

Any supplier or business that has worked for Rio Tinto across its WA operations could be nominated for outstanding performance and leadership across six categories. This year, around 200 supplier nominations were received, of which 18 finalists were selected.

Two major awards were also celebrated on the night – the WA Supplier of the Year and the Chief Executive Award.

Premier Roger Cook attended the event and presented the WA Supplier of the Year award to Monadelphous, while Rio Tinto Iron Ore Chief Executive Simon Trott presented the Chief Executive Award to Wesfarmers.

Rio Tinto Iron Ore Chief Executive Simon Trott said, “We are committed to sharing our success across the communities in which we operate by providing businesses opportunities to support local jobs for local people.

“We are proud of the momentum we have built over the last six years to partner with more businesses in Western Australia. As we invest in the future of our business and operations in Western Australia, we will continue to create opportunities for suppliers.

“In recognition of the important contribution suppliers make to our business and the success of regional and local communities, we were delighted to host around 700 people at our Supplier Recognition Awards last night. My congratulations to all the award winners and finalists for their outstanding work.”

Western Australian Premier Roger Cook congratulated the winners and finalists for their work and their contribution to WA.

“Ensuring local businesses play a role in our resources sector is vital to the ongoing strength of our economy and to local jobs right across the State,” Premier Roger Cook said.

“My Government has put in place a range of initiatives to ramp up local content on Government projects, and it is great to see major companies like Rio Tinto increasing their local spend.”

Award winners

Award category



Care, Courage

and Curiosity

Business that shows alignment with Rio Tinto’s core values and demonstrates how they place people at the heart of their business, through a commitment to building safe, respectful, and inclusive workplaces and culture.

SimCon Occupational Medicine



Business that demonstrates a commitment to investing in the local workforce in the regions where we operate in WA and has made a positive impact on the wellbeing and value of the community.


Health & Safety

Business that demonstrates leading safety performance on a WA site and contributes to making a safer site, beyond their own scope of work.

Bunbury Drilling Company



Business that contributes to a reduction in emissions across operations and supports us to achieve our ESG objectives year on year. This includes sustainable initiatives, products or services that positively impact, contribute to, or encourage conservation, reduction, re-use and recycling.

Camco Engineering



Business that goes above and beyond to tackle obstacles and deliver results safely, enhancing productivity for Rio Tinto and demonstrates leading industry practice and performance.

Hitachi Rail

Innovation Award

Business that shows use of an innovative solution to overcome a challenge or obstacle which has been beneficial to our WA operations, has demonstrated market leadership through leveraging new technologies and services that drive tangible business value for our operations.

Wallbridge Gilbert Aztec

WA Supplier of

the Year award

Recognising strong performance across multiple categories for West Australian business.


Chief Executive


A business that has delivered excellent outcomes to Rio Tinto across all areas of value and has significantly changed our operational, social, and environmental performance.


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