Global miner Rio Tinto said it is working with Swedish manufacturer Scania to develop more agile autonomous haul trucks at its Channar iron ore mine in Western Australia, seeking potential environmental and productivity benefits.
“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. As well as the potential decarbonisation benefits, this partnership provides a path to potential productivity improvements,” said Rio Tinto Group Technical Managing Director Santi Pal.
Rio Tinto and Scania have established a long-term research and development collaboration agreement for the continuous advancement of the autonomous technology with options for the future transition to electric-powered vehicles. In utilising Scania’s autonomous mining trucks, energy requirements, mining footprint and infrastructure requirements can be reduced as well as capital and operating expenses at suitable sites.
Rio Tinto said the companies launched trials on Scania’s 40-tonne-payload autonomous mining trucks in April and quickly reached a key milestone of driverless operation in a simulated load and haul cycle environment.
Channar is an open pit operation with site-based processing facilities. It is owned by the Channar Mining Joint Venture between Rio Tinto (60%) and China-owned Sinosteel (40%).
Source: Rio Tinto