Rio Tinto recently signed an agreement with Caterpillar to supply and support mining machines, automation and enterprise technology systems for the new Koodaideri iron ore mine in Western Australia. Under the agreement, Rio Tinto and Caterpillar will work together in creating an automated mine operation that makes best use of data analytics and integration to enhance safety, optimize production, boost mining machine utilization and lower costs.
Rio Tinto Iron Ore chief executive Chris Salisbury said, “We’re pleased to be partnering with Caterpillar and WesTrac, the regional Cat® dealer, to help make Koodaideri the most technology-enabled and innovative mine in our Pilbara iron ore network.
“Technology is rapidly changing our mining operations as we harness innovation to make our operations safer, smarter and more productive. This extension of our partnership with Caterpillar and WesTrac represents an exciting step for our business.”
“The Caterpillar team is looking forward to working with Rio Tinto to apply our proven mining equipment and technology and to implement additional MineStar™ autonomy solutions at Koodaideri—a new mine designed to capitalize on leading-edge technology,” said Denise Johnson, group president Resource Industries, Caterpillar Inc. “We are excited to work together to advance Rio Tinto’s mine automation and digitalization program.”
Koodaideri will deliver a new production hub for Rio Tinto’s iron ore business in the Pilbara. Construction work has commenced, and first production is expected in late 2021. Once complete, the mine will have an annual capacity of 43 million tonnes, underpinning production of the Pilbara Blend, Rio Tinto’s flagship iron ore product.
As mine construction advances, WesTrac will manage logistics of mining machine delivery and commissioning and will play a key role in implementing technology solutions. “WesTrac is excited to be part of the Koodaideri project and to work with Caterpillar to deliver groundbreaking equipment solutions to support Rio Tinto’s Mine of the Future™ vision,” said Jarvas Croome, WesTrac chief executive officer.