Rio Tinto improves productivity through the world's largest fleet of owned and operated autonomous trucks

09 June 2014

Rio Tinto improves productivity through the world's largest fleet of owned and operated autonomous trucks

Rio Tinto has announced its Mine of the Future™ programme reached a major milestone with its fleet of autonomous haul trucks (AHS) having now moved  200 million tonnes of material in the Pilbara, Western Australia.

One of Rio Tinto’s massive 930E autonomous haul trucks moved the milestone 200th million tonne at Yandicoogina mine late last month.

Since commencing  Rio Tinto’s AHS trucks moved the first 100 million tonnes by April 2013 and then the next 100 million tonnes just 13 months later.

Rio Tinto chief executive Iron Ore, China, Korea and Japan Andrew Harding, said “In 2012, ore was loaded autonomously into a crusher at our Yandicoogina operations – making it the first autonomous mine in Australia. We are proud to be at the forefront of developing and using ground breaking technology.

“These new technologies bring value and productivity benefits through decreased variability, improved schedule efficiency and early identification of bottlenecks in the system.  The autonomous truck fleet also delivers significant savings in maintenance, tyre life and fuel,” Mr Harding said.

Rio Tinto is the largest owner and operator of autonomous trucks in the world after recent additions to the Pilbara fleet earlier this year.

Currently there are 53 autonomous trucks operating across Rio Tinto mine sites at Yandicoogina, Nammuldi and Hope Downs 4.  The fleet has now driven 3.9 million kilometres - which is equivalent to five return trips from the Pilbara to the moon or driving around the Earth’s circumference 98 times.  They respond to GPS directions to deliver loads 24 hours a day supervised by remote operators.

Rio Tinto remains focused on optimising productivity through autonomous technology. These technologies are a key part of the Mine of the Future™ programme, which is designed to find new ways to mine and extract minerals more efficiently while reducing environmental impacts and most importantly, further improving safety.

About Rio Tinto

Rio Tinto is a leading international mining group headquartered in the UK, combining Rio Tinto plc, a London and NYSE listed company, and Rio Tinto Limited, which is listed on the Australian Securities Exchange.

Rio Tinto's business is finding, mining, and processing mineral resources. Major products are aluminium, copper, diamonds, energy (coal and uranium), gold, industrial minerals (borax, titanium dioxide, salt) and iron ore. Activities span the world but are strongly represented in Australia and North America with significant businesses in South America, Asia, Europe and southern Africa.

For further information, please contact:
Media Relations, Australia / Asia
Rebecca Murphy/Chris Richards
Office:  +61 (0) 8 9327 2975 / +61 (0) 9143 5397
Mobile: +61 (0) 439525229
Twitter: Follow @riotinto on Twitter

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