Toyota Hilux may leave Rio and BHP mines

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All but the safest vehicles may be banned from mine sites following strict new assessments by Rio Tinto and BHP Billiton.

According to The West Australian the BHP Mitsubishi Alliance is looking at a July introduction of a five-star-only policy for vehicles on its Queensland Bowen Basin mines.

The West Australian reports Rio Tinto is looking at introducing a similar plan by 2015 to restrict its mine sites and rail corridors to vehicles with a five star safety rating.

The rating is delivered from the Australasian New Car Assessment Program and may exclude some vehicles popularly used on mine sites, including the Toyota Hilux.

Currently the Hilux has a four star rating, but if new standards are introduced miners may work with vehicle suppliers to ensure new equipment meets the guidelines.

Thrifty WA chief executive Martin Carter told The West Australian some car manufacturers would be "severely affected" by companies reworking their safety policy.

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