Rio Tinto eyes ongoing 'health' of automated sites

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Rio Tinto eyes ongoing 'health' of automated sites

Seeks staff member to conduct technology deployment reviews.

Rio Tinto will develop a "health check" for sites that have adopted automated systems under its Mine of the Future program to ensure systems are maintained post implementation.

The miner noted in a job advertisement late Friday that it wanted to "develop and institute a standardised [Mine of the Future] health check process to capture site improvements and [ensure the results of] ... standardisation of technical system, mining performance and maintenance performance are being maintained".

It sought a candidate to coordinate pre-Mine of the Future "technology deployment reviews" as well as the health checks, and to compile results of the checks.

The key learning review process appeared to be aimed at satisfying a broader requirement for knowledge sharing as Rio Tinto's Mine of the Future plan reached more production sites in Western Australia's Pilbara region.

Rio Tinto noted that it was in the process of "designing and implementing collaborative opportunities for sharing [Mine of the Future] knowledge, technology processes and practices within Pilbara Iron".

Part of the capability it sought to build was around "sourcing, implementing and nurturing [Mine of the Future] knowledge sharing solutions and user groups".

The company has noticeably shifted public discussion around Mine of the Future in recent months from the technologies being deployed to early outcomes being achieved.

Iron ore chief Sam Walsh told investors in Sydney last month that Rio Tinto had found more iron ore capacity in its operations through the investments it was making in IT, automation and remotely controlled systems.

Automated technology is in use at the Junction South East pit at Yandicoogina, and ramp-up is commencing at the Nammuldi iron ore mine, which was revealed in mid-October as the second production site for automated systems.

Rio Tinto is continuing to recruit for the autonomous haulage system at Nammuldi, seeking dig unit, ancillary, mobile equipment and drill & blast operators in the latest round of job advertisements placed last week.

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