Rio Tinto has achieved a significant milestone with the first delivery of iron ore by an autonomous train in the Pilbara, Western Australia.
The autonomous train, consisting of three locomotives and carrying around 28 000 t of iron ore, travelled over 280 km from Rio Tinto’s mining operations in Tom Price to the port of Cape Lambert on 10 July. It was monitored remotely by operators from Rio Tinto’s Operations Centre in Perth more than 1500 km away.
The inaugural journey is a significant milestone for Rio Tinto’s AutoHaul™ programme and follows regulatory approval in May. AutoHaul is on schedule to complete by the end of the year, unlocking significant safety and productivity gains for the business, as well as optimising the company’s iron ore system by providing more flexibility and reducing bottlenecks.
Rio Tinto’s Iron Ore Managing Director of Rail, Port & Core Services Ivan Vella said: “The safe first delivery of iron ore by an autonomous train is a key milestone for AutoHaul. The programme will deliver the world’s first fully autonomous, long distance, heavy haul rail network, operating the world’s largest and longest robots.
“This programme symbolises both the pioneering spirit and innovative talents of many people across Rio Tinto and shows our absolute commitment to improving safety and productivity, as well as enabling greater flexibility across our operations.
“We will continue to ensure our autonomous trains operate safely under the wide range of conditions we experience in the Pilbara, where we record more than 8 million km of train travel each year.
“We are working closely with drivers during this transition period as we prepare our employees for new ways of working as a result of automation."
Read the article online at: https://www.globalminingreview.com/trade-transport/13072018/rio-tinto-worlds-first-delivery-of-iron-ore-by-autonomous-train/