Rio Tinto to develop autonomous haulage solutions

Rio Tinto diamond

Rio Tinto will partner with Scania to develop autonomous haulage solutions to support a pathway to lower emissions mining.

The two companies have established a long-term research and development collaboration agreement for the continuous advancement of this autonomous technology.

Rio’s Channar iron ore mine, located in the Pilbara region of Western Australia, will be the first active partner site for the two companies.

The partnership will also include options for the future transition to electric-powered vehicles.

“Rio Tinto is excited to partner with Scania to develop a mining solution which will create optionality across our diverse portfolio,” Rio Tinto group technical managing director Santi Pal said.

“Collaboration and partnership is key to reimagining mining in the future.”

The partnership will utilise Scania’s autonomous mining trucks which boast better emissions and productivity.

“Our climate action plan includes phasing out the purchase of new diesel haul trucks by 2030, and partnering with industry leaders, such as Scania, across a range of fields, is an important step towards achieving that,” Pal said.

“As well as the potential decarbonisation benefits, this partnership provides a path to potential productivity improvements.”

The announcement comes after Rio announced its move to a haul truck mosquito fleet earlier this week.

“With its dedication to achieving cleaner, more energy-efficient operations, Rio Tinto is the ideal partner and first customer for Scania as we seek to put mining on a pathway to net zero emissions,” Scania vice president and head of autonomous solutions Peter Hafmar said.

“This is a major step towards the goals of a sustainable autonomous mining solution, and builds on our already fruitful long-term collaboration.”

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