Thu Jun 2, 2011 10:19pm GMT
MELBOURNE, June 3 (Reuters) - Global miner Rio Tinto is set to announce a series of land compensation deals with Aboriginal communities in Australia's Pilbara region worth several billion dollars over 40 years, Australian media reported on Friday.
The agreements with five groups, which has taken seven years of negotiations, will cover 71,000 square kilometres -- about the same size as Ireland -- in the Pilbara in northwestern Australia and could potentially double production of iron ore, the Australian newspaper said.
Iron ore production could increase from about 220 million tonnes a year to more than 400 million tonnes, reports said.
The benefits for indigenous communities across the Pilbara are likely to be substantial, with a direct 0.5 percent share of production delivering revenue streams over the 40-year life of new mines. (Reporting by Victoria Thieberger; Editing by Balazs Koranyi,sourced Thomson Reuters)