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Rio Tinto adds to autonomous mining fleet

Mining compny, Rio Tinto, has announced plans to retrofit 34 haul trucks at its Robe River iron ore sites.

The West Angelas and Mesa mines in Western Australia it holds jointly with Japanese partners Mitsui Steel, Nippon Steel and Sumitomo Metal Industries will have production capacities sustained with a recently pledged $1.55 billion.

“These investments enable Rio Tinto to sustain production of the Pilbara Blend, the world's most recognised brand of iron ore, and its Robe Valley lump and fines products, which are highly valued by long-term customers,” Rio Tinto announced in a statement.

“Subject to government and environmental approvals, construction of both projects is expected to start next year with an estimated 1200 jobs created during this phase. First ore is currently anticipated from 2021.”

Rio Tinto’s Mine of the Future project involved ongoing evaluations for autonomous technology at the West Angelas site where it trialled five autonomous trucks as part of a wider investment in the technology.

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