Rio Tinto has joined forces with General Electric (GE) to develop the first energy efficient and environmentally friendly automated mine.
Rio Tinto will employ GE’s ‘ecomagination’ strategic initiatives to help address many of the burgeoning environmental issues.
Rio Tinto’s Head of Innovation John McGagh told MINING DAILY that GE shared a lot of the same values as Rio Tinto with respect to energy conservation and care for the environment.
“They are at the forefront of innovative technology illustrated by their leadership in hybrid technologies for locomotives and off-highway trucks are perfect partners for Rio Tinto as we lead the charge to develop the next generation of mining technologies, creating a more efficient and sustainable mining industry,” he said.
John McGagh said that GE provided Rio Tinto with untapped potential that could be migrated into the mining industry.
“Currently, the mining industry is facing unprecedented demand, organisations are getting bigger and more complex by the minute as more and more mines open. It is beginning to look more and more like a Toyota car factory,” he said.
“The mining industry is also in the middle of a labour crisis. So, you have all these aspects coming into one mining province.
“That’s when we had to cut through and agree that with the current climate we can afford to invest in technology, knowing that with modest breakthroughs, we will be making a material impact on the business.”