An independent analysis has shown that Rio Tinto injected $27.3 billion into the West Australian economy, along with 13,000 direct jobs and 47,400 indirect full-time jobs across the State.
On a national level, Rio Tinto bolstered the Australian economy by $42.7 billion, which is more than that produced by the State of Tasmania.
“With our investments this year in iron ore in Western Australia we look forward to continuing to make a positive contribution for decades to come,” said Joanne Farrell, Rio Tinto managing director.
The findings indicate that Rio Tinto spent over $6.8 billion on local goods and services across the State, while paying around $1.7 billion to WA employees and increasing the real income of West Australians by $4.6 billion.
Chris Salisbury, CE of Rio Tinto Iron Ore, has suggested that Rio Tinto’s long-term focus on innovation was a key catalyst behind their nation-wide success.
The mining giant has arguably led the pack when it comes to innovation in the industry, where the company has already implemented and are actively using the largest fleet of autonomous mining machines in Australia.
Rio Tinto’s use of advanced autonomous technology is nothing new, and fits in line with the brand’s heavy focus on continued technological innovation.
“Rapid advances in technology are continuing to revolutionise the way large-scale mining is undertaken across the globe. The expansion of our autonomous fleet via retrofitting helps to improve safety, unlocks significant productivity gains, and continues to cement Rio Tinto as an industry leader in automation and innovation,” Mr Salisbury said.
“We are excited to be starting a new chapter in our automation journey with a valued long-term partner in Caterpillar and we are proud to be extending our successful partnership with Komatsu on this world-first retrofitting initiative.”
In 2017, Rio Tinto and Komatsu were responsible for delivering the world’s first retrofitted autonomous haul trucks, to mines in the Pilbara.
Earlier this year, Rio Tinto announced a plan to deliver 34 more haul trucks retrofitted with Komatsu’s Autonomous Haulage System (AHS) technology in association with a new $2.1b, 1200 construction job development in the Pilbara.
Each autonomous vehicle is equipped with a high precision GPS controller system, wireless network capabilities, and an obstacle detection system.These autonomous trucks, which utilise IoT (Internet of Things) technology, are able to operate through a complex load, haul and dump cycle, while being able to communicate and integrate with other systems, dozers, loaders and shovels.
In WA, Rio Tinto maintains various iron ore projects and operations in the Pilbara, along with salt mines in Dampier, Port Hedland and Lake MacLeod, a diamond mine in the East Kimberley, and more.
Over the last two decades, Rio Tinto had already cemented itself as a powerhouse in the West Australian mining sector, so these figures may not come as a surprise to many.
For the foreseeable future, Rio Tinto will continue to bolster the West Australian economy.
Source: West Australian & Rio Tinto