How a custom built, large Free-Span shelter provided workshop protection at Rio Tinto’s Hope Downs 1 Iron Ore operation in WA


How a custom built large Free-Span shelter provided workshop protection at Rio Tinto’s Hope Downs 1 iron ore operation in WA


The Rio Tinto Hope Downs 1 Iron Ore operation, situated 100km north west of Newman in the province of Pilbara, Western Australia, mines and processes high grade phosphorus ore to produce lump and fines products.


Rio Tinto were looking for a shelter solution to cover their tyre change area used for large mining equipment including dump trucks and loaders. They needed to protect the workers from the harsh weather conditions.

Newman stays warm to hot year around, with temperatures reaching up to 50 degrees Celsius in summer. The employees were working on an unshaded concrete slab where they were completely exposed to the elements. 

The tools they were using often became too hot to touch, creating a risk of burns which in turn caused a slowdown in production.

How We Went About It

Allshelter visited the site to view the concrete slab and discuss the foundation requirements with the team from Rio Tinto.  We worked closely with Rio Tinto to come up with a customised solution that would work on the current concrete slab and be able to fit the tyre changing machinery in as well as have enough room to service the large mining equipment.

The outcome was for Allshelter to create a custom designed clear span large Free-Span shelter that would fit over the existing concrete slab so it did not have to be extended or have drill piers outside or through the slab.


To suit Rio Tinto’s exact requirements, Allshelter designed, engineered, manufactured and installed a Free-Span shelter that was 27m wide, 19m long and 13.5m high with very large 12m wide by 9.5m high openings in both sides. 

Customised engineering ensured that Rio Tinto were able to use the existing concrete slab as the only required foundation.


Rio Tinto liked the fact that the shelter was more cost effective than a steel shelter and that the fabric on the shelter has ultra violet ray protection allowing large amounts of safe and natural light to enter – even on overcast days. 

The teams working in the tyre change area now have a cooler workplace that allows the breeze to flow through naturally. 

The expert advice and collaborative approach provided by Allshelter meant that Rio Tinto saved costs by using the existing concrete slab and not having to lay new foundations.


“The large fabric shelter built by Allshelter is exactly what we were looking for. It provides the protection we needed, while maximising the space we had available. The structure is extremely resilient to all different weather conditions keeping us cool and dry.  By using the existing concrete slab, Allshelter saved us the cost of laying a new foundation.

They (Allshelter) assessed what we needed then worked with us to create the best solution for our project, they were able to provide all the services from the design to the construction. We would have no problem recommending Allshelter to anyone seeking a quality product backed by superb customer service and timely delivery.”

Lisa Williamson,
Superintendent MEM – Workshop, Rio Tinto
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