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Tom Price Town

Segment: Tom Price Town
Presenter: Trevor Cochrane
TX Date: February 24th, 2019

The township of Tom Price is considered the most liveable mining town in Australia. It’s a modern, fully serviced town and has outstanding community facilities such as sporting grounds an outdoor cinema and shops. However, it is Tom Prices’ position as the gateway into the 2.5 billion year old Hammersley range and Karijini National Park that makes it such an important place to base yourself when exploring the region.

  • The town site or more importantly a mountain next to it was identified by Lang Hancock as a significant world iron ore supply opportunity in the 1950’s and Lang asked the American mining company Kaiser to help open the deposit up, Vice President Thomas Price appraised the value and then set about convincing the mining world and more importantly government to open the Pilbara up to mining the ore.
  • Tom Price did a mighty job but sadly just 2 hours after being told the mountain was indeed the richest deposit in the world, he died suddenly of a heart attack... and so, in respect of his work the town and the mountain were named after him.
  • 40 years on, Iron ore mining has left an incredible legacy, one of the most beautiful towns in WA, with the highest elevation at 774m above sea level. Jundahmurrah or Mt Nameless towers over the town and is WA’s third highest mountain and highest that you can drive to the top of. The views are to die for and give you a great view over the nearby mine and the spectacular landscape around it.
  • Rio Tinto has a long-standing relationship with the town of Tom Price, which was initially built by Hamersley Iron, a subsidiary of Rio Tinto, to service the Mount Tom Price Iron Ore mine. The mine which opened in 1966, marked the beginning of Rio Tinto’s rise to become one of world’s largest iron ore suppliers.
  • Rio Tinto supports the town through its large residential workforce, as well as Community Investment and Local Procurement programmes that contribute to the liveability and economy of the local community. Rio Tinto partners with the Shire of Ashburton to deliver community events, support club and community development and to fund infrastructure programmes. The Clem Thompson Sport Pavilion and the Tom Price Skate Park, were both made possible by this partnership.
  • There are many local community groups delivering important services to the town that benefit from Rio Tinto through sponsorships, partnership and the provision of community facilities.