Gina Rinehart’s Roy Hill iron ore mine plans to roll out driverless mining trucks in the second half of next year and will look to increase capacity beyond current plans of 55 million tonnes per year, once the new operations are running smoothly.
The move to implement autonomous mining trucks sees Roy Hill join its three bigger rivals Rio Tinto, BHP Billiton and Fortescue Metals Group in the Pilbara mining region of Western Australia in moving that way and follows a program to install autonomous drilling.
“We are looking at the phased implementation (of autonomous trucks) in the second half of next year,” Roy Hill chief executive Barry Fitzgerald said today on the sidelines of the International Mining and Resources Conference in Melbourne.
He said there would be an eventual reduction in workers but that many drivers would be redeployed. Roy Hill has a fleet of about 70 mining trucks.
Once the mine was consistently running at an annual rate of 55 million tonnes (which it did in September but not October), Mr Fitzgerald said the mine would look to expand.
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