The Asia Miner

JUL-SEP 2019

The ASIA Miner - Reporting Important Issues to Mining Companies in the Asia Pacific Region

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the asia miner • volume 16 • issue 3 10 LEADING DEVELOPMENTS Rio Tinto has successfully deployed AutoHaul™, the world's first automated heavy-haul long distance rail network in Western Australia. Joined by representaঞves from the government of Western Australia and lead project technology partner Hitachi Rail STS, Rio Tinto sees the successful rollout of AutoHaul™ trains, which deliver safety and producঞvity benefits for Rio Tinto's iron ore business, to also firmly posiঞon Western Australia and its heavy-haul rail industry as a global leader in the joint development and applicaঞon of rail technology. The 2.4-kilometre-long trains, monitored remotely from an operaঞons centre in Perth, travel across a vast network of 1,700 kilometres of track, delivering iron ore from 16 mines to ports in Dampier and Cape Lambert. These trains have now safely travelled more than 4.5 million kilometres autonomously since they were first deployed last year. This world-first was made possible by the close collaboraঞon with project partners from Japan, US and Australia. These include Hitachi Rail, Calibre, New York Air Brake, Wabtec and others who provided the necessary experঞse, innovaঞon and so[ware to make AutoHaul™ a success. Several of these partners maintain a strong presence in Western Australia and have commied to conঞnuing to invest locally. Rio Tinto Iron Ore managing director Rail, Port and Core Services Ivan Vella said the deployment of AutoHaul™ is a reflecঞon of the incredible pioneering spirit of the project team and its valued partners. "The success of AutoHaul™ would not have been possible without the experঞse, collaboraঞon and dedicaঞon of teams within Rio Tinto and our numerous partners. I'd also like to commend our train driving workforce for their support and professionalism during the transiঞon period. "This project has cemented Western Australia as a leader in the heavy- haul rail industry and has aracted interest from around the world. The successful deployment of the world's first heavy-haul long distance rail network demonstrates the potenঞal for significant further improvement in such operaঞons with others around the world looking to replicate," said Mr Vella. Western Australia Minister for Mines and Petroleum Bill Johnston said the AutoHaul™ project is a world- first and an example of the strength of Western Australia's resources industry, which conঞnues to excel in technology Rio Tinto's AutoHaul™ positions WA as global rail technology leader Mr. Kevin Michel, Member for Pilbara Australian Labor Party; Hon. Bill Johnston, Minister for Mines and Petroleum; and Mr. Ivan Vella, Rio Tinto Managing Director Rail, Port and Core Services at the AutoHaul event and innovaঞon. "I'd like to congratulate Rio Tinto, Hitachi and all the other project partners for their hard work and dedicaঞon over the past decade to delivering this project, which really cements our State as a global leader in rail technology. "AutoHaul™ has brought the rail freight industry in this country into the 21st century and is righully the subject of global interest. I'd also like to menঞon that the development of the world's biggest robot is such a success because of the contribuঞon from Western Australia's skilled engineers and innovaঞve workers." Michele Fracchiolla, President Americas and APAC Business Unit, Hitachi Rail STS said that the Companyu was extremely proud of the lead technical and delivery role it played in enabling the deployment of the world's first fully-autonomous heavy haul, long distance rail operaঞon. Early results from the deployment of AutoHaul™ highlight the technology's potenঞal to improve producঞvity, increase flexibility and reduce bolenecks in Rio Tinto's iron ore system. Rio Tinto's Pilbara operaঞons are being transformed to flex in line with market condiঞons and AutoHaul™ is a vital component in increasing flexibility and safety in the system. The AU$940 million AutoHaul™ programme uses automated trains to transport iron ore to Rio Tinto's port faciliঞes in the Pilbara region of Western Australia, monitored from 1,500 kilometres away in Perth. Rio Tinto operates about 200 locomoঞves on what is the largest privately-owned rail network in Australia. In December, the deployment of so[ware on Rio Tinto's locomoঞves was completed. Autonomous trains improve safety through reduced risk at level crossings and automated responses to speed restricঞons and alarms. AutoHaul™ also removes the need for almost 1.5 million kilometres of road travel per year previously required to transport drivers to and from trains mid-journey.

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