Mining in Australia21 May 2015 by News Desk
Mining in Australia is no longer a matter of pick axe and shovel, today it’s hi-tech computerised operations and giant driverless trucks.
“A lot has changed since our first shipment of iron ore from Tom Price mine to the Japanese steel mills,” says Andrew Harding, chief executive of Rio Tinto’s Iron Ore group. “Innovation and new technology are significant drivers for our business”.
For example, Rio Tinto is the largest owner and operator of autonomous trucks in the world, with 57 autonomous haulage trucks operating at three of our Pilbara mine sites. Since 2008, our driverless trucks have moved 325 million tonnes of material and travelled the equivalent of 1,000 trips from Perth to Shanghai.
Rio Tinto operates 15 mines in Western Australia, linked to four separate port facilities by 1,700 kilometres of rail all coordinated through a hi-tech Operations Centre at Perth airport.
“But technology is nothing without the people who are developing, testing and operating it. We have a great team of people working in partnership with suppliers, universities and other industries from all over the world,” says Harding..