Rio Tinto set to double the number of autonomous drills at Australian mines

Author: Spencer Ogden
Date posted02/May/2018
Author: Spencer Ogden

Rio Tinto has announced it will double its fleet of autonomous production drill rigs this year at its iron ore mine sites in the Pilbara region of Western Australia. 

At present, driverless trucks already haul over a quarter of both ore and waste material. The company has explained it will introduce four additional drills, retrofitted with autonomous drilling system technology.


The driverless trucks enable operators to monitor activity in Rio Tinto’s Operations Centre in Perth, more than 1,500 kilometres away from the mine site.

 “The deployment of additional rigs, operated from our operations centre in Perth, offers significant advantages as part of our integrated system, which optimizes our autonomous trains, trucks and drills and provides increased operability and flexibility,” said Rio Tinto iron ore planning, integration and assets managing director, Kellie Parker. 

 “As pioneers of automation and innovation, we continue exploring new technologies to ensure Rio Tinto remains a leader in the global mining industry.”

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