Rio expands autonomous truck fleet

07/03/2018 - 10:33

Bookmark

Upgrade your subscription to use this feature.

Rio Tinto has announced it will expand its autonomous haul truck fleet to a fifth site in the Pilbara, with the iron ore miner set to add 15 driverless trucks at the West Angelas mine in May.

The autonomous fleet at West Angelas includes Rio’s first retrofitted Komatsu 930E trucks. Photo: Rio Tinto

Rio Tinto has announced it will expand its autonomous haul truck fleet to a fifth site in the Pilbara, with the iron ore miner set to add 15 driverless trucks at the West Angelas mine in May.

Rio, which currently has around 25 per cent of its 380 trucks fitted with the autonomous haulage system technology, is aiming to have a driverless fleet of 150 trucks operating in the Pilbara by the end of 2019.

Autonomous haul trucks are operated by a supervisory system and a central controller, rather than a driver.

The autonomous fleet at West Angelas includes Rio’s first retrofitted Komatsu 930E trucks and represents about 25 per cent of the total fleet in operation at the mine, which is owned by the Robe River Joint Venture.

Testing and commissioning is expected to begin later this month.

Iron ore chief executive Chris Salisbury said the company pioneered the adoption of the technology in Australia at the West Angelas mine 10 years ago.

Rio Tinto has led the way in automation and has been on this journey for more than a decade,” he said

“We’ve successfully managed the challenges and opportunities that automation technology presents and have a track record of reskilling, upskilling and redeploying our people.

“Technology will continue to change the way we work, new career pathways will be created and our adaptability and innovation in training and development will be key to our success.”

The Robe River JV is 53 per cent owned by Rio, 33 per cent Mitsui and 14 per cent Nippon Steel & Sumitomo Metal.

Shares in Rio were off 0.8 per cent at $75.47 at 1pm AEDT.

STANDING BY BUSINESS. TRUSTED BY BUSINESS.

Subscription Options