Ritchie Bros. moves forward with the permitting of proposed Lewis County relocation

Jun 11, 2010, 14:30 ET from Ritchie Bros. Auctioneers

Company representatives submit Special Use Permit with the hope of continuing to call Washington State the "home" of Ritchie Bros.' Northwest operations

OLYMPIA, WA, June 11 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ - This morning, Ritchie Bros. Auctioneers (NYSE and TSX: RBA) submitted a Special Use Permit (SUP) to Lewis County officials in efforts to continue to make the state of Washington home to the Company's Northwest operations. For more than two years, Ritchie Bros. has performed an exhaustive search - from the Washington-Oregon border up to Bellingham - in order to find a suitable site that met Company criteria to relocate from a location in Olympia (Maytown). This search also included the evaluation of expansion opportunities at its current location, which resulted in no achievable or viable options. In doing this search, the Company has identified a proposed relocation site in Lewis County, which meets its criteria. This site is situated just south of Napavine on the west side of Interstate 5, which is accessible via Exit 68.

Ritchie Bros. has been holding unreserved public auctions in the state of Washington for more than 38 years. Moving the Company's Northwestern operations to Lewis County would signify the continuing growth of a well-established relationship between the state and Ritchie Bros. and would also serve to continue with the Company's long-standing customer relationships in the region.

"We really hope that we can continue to call the state of Washington our home for many years to come," said Scott Lennon, Ritchie Bros. Real Estate Manager. "Our hope is to hold a groundbreaking ceremony at the new property by the end of this year and hold a grand opening auction - inviting the community and our new neighbors - by the end of 2011."

During recent years, Ritchie Bros. has been holding auction events in a number of agricultural communities in the United States and Canada. The two most recent examples include the opening of the Company's new auction sites in Minneapolis (Medford), Minnesota (opened in Steele County in 2009) and in Tipton, California (opened in Tulare County in February of 2010). At both of these locations, Ritchie Bros. worked closely with its rural neighbors and surrounding communities to design and build facilities that benefit and grow with the agricultural communities that they belong to.

Bill Goldy, City Administrator for Medford, Minnesota, a rural community of about 1,200 residents located approximately 50 miles south of the Twin cities, has worked closely with Ritchie Bros. and noted the Company's conscientious efforts with regards to its rural surroundings.

"Ritchie Bros. went to great lengths to make sure any farming concerns were addressed well before starting to build its new facility here," said Mr. Goldy. "The Company and its engineers worked with the city as well as with the local landowners and the public to make sure they didn't affect any agricultural concerns. The facility was constructed with the environment in mind."

One of the more outstanding features of the Lewis County property plans proposed by Ritchie Bros. is the design of a storm water system that meets - and in some cases exceeds - county and state requirements for stormwater control. Robert Balmelli, president of Lewis County-based RB Engineering, will be leading the proposed water system project at the potential property.

"We will be using a higher standard of storm water design than the County requires so that there is no damage to the downstream off-site drainage ways or streams," said Mr. Balmelli. "Additionally, we will be installing a State-approved water system on-site that uses a year-round water supply of approximately 750 gallons per day."

According to Mr. Balmelli, the average household consumes about 400 gallons of water per day, so the amount that would be consumed by the Ritchie Bros. site is very low.

Other features of the Ritchie Bros. proposal include:

        -  Approximately 40% of the property will be dedicated to wetland
           mitigation and enhancement, the addition of native landscaped
           berms and stormwater ponds, all providing substantial separation
           from the neighboring properties.
        -  Entrance to the site is planned within less than 500 feet from the
           I-5 exit. The ability for customers to access the site almost
           directly from I-5 (via exit 68) further minimizes the impact the
           site would have on the County road system.
        -  A large part of the property will be dedicated for on-site event
           parking. This will alleviate parking on County roads and any
           adjacent properties to the site - in addition to allowing any
           visitors from the public to get to the auction more quickly and

Ritchie Bros. conducted its very first auction in the state of Washington in Seattle in 1972, and its first-ever unreserved auction in Olympia in 1979. Ritchie Bros. conducts, on average, four auctions a year at its Olympia auction site.

About Ritchie Bros.

Established in 1958, Ritchie Bros. Auctioneers (NYSE and TSX: RBA) is the world's largest industrial auctioneer, selling more equipment to on-site and online bidders than any other company in the world. The Company has over 110 locations in more than 25 countries, including 41 auction sites worldwide. Ritchie Bros. sells, through unreserved public auctions, a broad range of used and unused industrial assets, including equipment, trucks and other assets utilized in the construction, transportation, agricultural, material handling, mining, forestry, petroleum and marine industries. The Company maintains a web site at www.rbauction.com and sponsors an equipment wiki at www.RitchieWiki.com.

ATTENTION MEDIA: Photos and other media resources are available for use at http://www.rbauction.com/web/rba/media/photos-and-videos/farm-auction-and-equipment.

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SOURCE Ritchie Bros. Auctioneers