Rio Tinto says the automation technology being rolled out in driverless trucks and trains in the Pilbara will soon move to the Bowen Basin.
According to The Courier-Mail Rio Tinto managing director Tom Albanese said productivity concerns, with Australian miners hard to find and expensive to pay, were spurring the spread of automation to Queensland.
"I do see this work propogating in Queensland and the rest of the world," he said.
"The first stage of that will happen over the course of this year."
Albanese said while the company's main automation focus remained in the Pilbara, Queensland mines would be next.
"I would hope we will see an automated solution in Queensland […]," he said.
Rio has previously released modeling indicating that over the long term automation technology will not destroy jobs, but lead to job creation.
The findings have been dismissed by the Construction, Forestry, Mining and Energy Union, which labeled them biased, misleading, and wrong.