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Rio Tinto expands automated truck fleet

Rio Tinto has added another 150 automated trucks to its Mine of the Future program after signing an agreement with Komatsu.

Starting next year, Rio Tinto’s Pilbara iron ore mines will begin receiving the new trucks, all of which can be controlled from its remote Operations Centre in Perth.

The miner says this is "a 15-fold expansion from the previous plan to double the fleet to ten trucks".

Rio Tinto chief Tom Albanese and Komatsu president Kunio Noji signed the MOU in Tokyo.

Albanese said this "reinforces our alliance with Komatsu."

"Komatsu is extremely excited to sign the MOU with Rio Tinto to expand the fleet to at least 150 Komatsu Autonomous Haulage System (AHS) trucks in their Western Australian Pilbara operations by the end of 2015," Noji added.

Albanese went on to say that "autonomous haulage is an important component in our Mine of the Future programme.

"These 150 new trucks will work with our Operations Centre which integrates and manages the logistics of 14 mines, three ports and two railways. These technologies are revolutionising the way large-scale mining is done, creating attractive hi-tech jobs, and helping us to improve safety and environmental performance and reduce carbon emissions."

[This article originally appeared in Australian Mining.]

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