Managing Director Port, Rail & Core Services - Iron Ore, Rio Tinto
Ivan Vella is managing director Supply Chain and Services for the iron ore business. He has accountability for the end to end supply chain moving iron ore from our 16 mines across the Pilbara through the rail network and on to customers via four ports terminals at Dampier and Cape Lambert. This includes accountability to bring the AutoHaul® driverless train solution into operations. Ivan is also responsible for the Core Services function which provides the support infrastructure, utilities and associated services across the iron ore operations. He is also the managing director for the Robe River Joint Venture and Dampier Salt Limited.
Ivan is based at Rio Tinto’s iron ore headquarters in Perth, Western Australia and is a member of the product group’s senior leadership team.
Immediately prior to this role, Ivan was chief operating officer — Coal, with accountability for Rio Tinto’s five coal operations in New South Wales, Queensland and South Africa. As leader of the Coal business, he was focused on maintaining strong safety performance and driving cost and productivity improvements to ensure the operations remained free cash-flow positive in increasingly challenging circumstances.
Before his time at Coal, Ivan worked at the Oyu Tolgoi mine in Mongolia for five years – a $6bn start-up copper and gold operation and one of the top three copper mines in the world. Ivan started in the role of vice president — Business Readiness where he led the business readiness and commissioning programme and also held the roles of vice president — Procurement and Infrastructure Development, and most recently chief operating officer (COO).
As COO, Ivan was responsible for all aspects of Oyu Tolgoi’s operations and construction, including the open-pit mine, concentrator, infrastructure, inbound and outbound supply chains and community relations.
Ivan joined Rio Tinto in 2003 and has led a number of large business improvement and transformation projects across various areas of the business. He previously worked with Deloitte Consulting, focusing on the mining industry.
Ivan has a Bachelor of Business, a Master of Business in Operations and Quality Management from Queensland University of Technology and a Master of Business Administration from University of Edinburgh.
He sits on the board of the Chamber of Minerals and Energy of Western Australia.