In a move that furthers its autonomous haulage footprint, Rio Tinto will operate trucks equipped with Cat MineStar Command for Hauling systems at the Gudai-Darri iron ore mine in Western Australia.
Gudai-Darri will see simulation-based training solutions from Immersive Technologies utilised to address the workforce development challenges of autonomous haulage operations with a focus on improving the safety and efficiency of Rio’s workforce.
Rio Tinto human resources vice president Scott Browne said the company understands the value of investing in Immersive Technologies simulators for operator capability development, including equipment productivity and reliability initiatives.
“This is an important component of our comprehensive training program for AHS, which includes supporting new team members as well as upskilling existing employees,” Browne said.
“Gudai-Darri will be one of the world’s most technologically advanced mines. Preparations are well under way to ensure its workforce is ready to take on the high-tech jobs on offer.”
According to a statement by Immersive Technologies, all simulator modules are equipped with an autonomous system panel and provide a safe and effective environment for training by allowing learners to operate their equipment while interacting with the autonomous trucks and managing their work areas as required.
A virtual classroom will host complex autonomous procedures that immerses learners in a safe and repeatable virtual environment which enables the development of deep knowledge and muscle memory of operational procedures.
Immersive Technologies Australia regional vice president Greg Karadjian said both companies would benefit from the announcement.
“Immersive Technologies is at the forefront of workforce development for autonomous haulage mining operations with deployments of simulation-based training solutions in more than 17 autonomous sites globally, by utilising blended learning systems, simulation and human performance analytics our solutions are preparing the workforces of the future,” he said.
Immersive Technologies is among the world’s largest suppliers of surface and underground advanced equipment simulators to the global mining industry.
In 2019, WesTrac agreed to supply the Gudai-Darri site with 20 autonomous 793F trucks and four autonomous blast drills, in addition to automation technologies and enterprise systems.
Production at the site is expected to ramp up in early 2022.