BHP Billiton is fast-tracking the modernization of its Pilbara iron ore division by setting up a new remote operation centre in Perth in an effort to cut costs and boost productivity.
According to the Sidney Morning Herald, the Integrated Remote Operations Centre (IROC) will allow the firm reduced contractor spending and bring staff back in-house, which will be trained in tele-controlling operations and driverless trucks.
BHP iron ore boss, Jimmy Wilson, told reporters the IROC is essential to the company’s goal of producing 220 million tonnes of iron ore a year, as it will help the firm gain a better understanding of its key supply chain.
The world’s largest miner operates seven iron ore mines along with 1,000 kilometres of rail and two separate port facilities in the Pilbara.
The high-tech location provides a real-time view of the company's entire iron ore operations in the area, including plants, trains and ports located thousands of miles away.