Mining company Rio Tinto has awarded a $504m contract to Hanjin Heavy Industries & Construction at Subic Bay in the Philippines to build eight 205,000dwt bulk carriers.

The construction of the carriers is expected to cost the company $63m each, according to

Delivery of the first three Subic Bay bulk carriers is scheduled for the second half of 2012 while the remaining will be delivered in 2013.

In January 2008, the iron ore major ordered three 250,000dwt very large ore carriers worth $105m each from Japan’s Namura Shipyard for deployment on the Australia to China shipping lane.

The first of the three VLOCs is expected to be delivered by the end of 2012 to be owned and operated by London-based subsidiary Rio Tinto Shipping.