The Wolfson Centre for Bulk Solids Handling Technology TelestackVan AalstBühler GmbHTBA GroupSailors Society
  • Van Aalst
  • Port of South Louisiana
  • Port of Stockton
  • The Wolfson Centre for Bulk Solids Handling Technology
  • Vigan
  • Telestack

Rio Tinto deploys first fully autonomous water trucks

Rio Tinto deploys first fully autonomous water trucks

(Posted on 22/06/21)

Rio Tinto will deploy the world’s first fully autonomous water trucks at its $2.6 billion Gudai-Darri iron ore mine in Western Australia’s Pilbara region. The new vehicles, primarily used for dust suppression on site, will enhance productivity by enabling mine operations to digitally track water consumption and reduce waste.

Developed through a successful collaboration with leading equipment manufacturer, Caterpillar, three water trucks will join Gudai-Darri’s fleet of Caterpillar heavy mobile equipment including autonomous haul trucks and production drills. The vehicle’s intelligent on-board system detects dry and dusty conditions on site, triggering the application of water to roads to keep them in good condition.

The refilling process is also completely automated with the water trucks recognising when it is time to refill, prompting them to self-drive to the water stand, park and top-up before returning to the field. They boast a 160,000-litre tank capacity, a 33 per cent increase on Rio Tinto’s largest water truck which has a tank capacity of 120,000-litres.

Once deployed, the water trucks will be integrated into Rio Tinto’s existing Autonomous Haulage System which has been shown to significantly improve safety by reducing the risks associated with operators working around heavy machinery.

Rio Tinto Iron Ore chief executive Simon Trott said “We have worked closely with Caterpillar to safely and successfully deploy the world’s first fully autonomous water truck. Water spraying is a vital part of mining operations and this new technology will improve productivity and reduce water usage across our operations.

“The continued expansion of our autonomous fleet helps improve safety and continues Rio Tinto’s efforts to adopt world-leading technology to enhance our operations and realise our vision of making Gudai-Darri one of the world’s most technologically advanced mines.”

Caterpillar Resource Industries Group President Denise Johnson added “We are pleased to work with Rio Tinto to introduce the next innovation in mining automation. Rio continues to pioneer technology advancements and the water truck, working in conjunction with the autonomous hauling trucks and drills, will further accelerate Rio Tinto’s site performance. This is another important step in our continual journey in autonomous solutions for our customers.”

Notes for editors

Gudai-Darri is 100 per cent owned by Rio Tinto, is located approximately 35 kilometres north-west of Rio Tinto’s Yandicoogina mine site, and about 110 kilometres from the town of Newman in the Pilbara region of Western Australia.

Construction continues to progress with production ramp-up on track for early 2022. 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.

Rio Tinto’s relationship with Caterpillar extends over 50 years. Caterpillar was founded in 1925 and is an industry leading manufacturer of construction and mining equipment, diesel and natural gas engines as well as gas turbines and diesel-electric locomotives.

Latest News

Cargill acquires Owensboro Grain Company

(Posted on 05/12/22)

Cargill and Owensboro Grain Company, a fifth-generation family-owned soybean processing facility and... Read more


Rio Tinto to strengthen, decarbonise and grow

(Posted on 01/12/22)

Rio Tinto is providing an update at its Investor Seminar on progress against its long-term strategy... Read more


BioIron proves successful for low-carbon iron-making

(Posted on 29/11/22)

Rio Tinto has proven the effectiveness of its low-carbon iron-making process using ores from its mines... Read more


Rio Tinto, BHP and Fortescue to create safer workplaces

(Posted on 19/11/22)

Rio Tinto, BHP and Fortescue are launching an innovative pilot programme aimed at helping to eliminate... Read more


AJ Steel agreement with KEZAD to expand in Abu Dhabi

(Posted on 19/11/22)

Leading UAE steel pipe manufacturer and exporter, AJ Steel, has signed an agreement with the integrated... Read more


EU fertilizer industry calls for more comprehensive long-term strategy

(Posted on 13/11/22)

Fertilizers Europe has welcomed the recognition of the European Commission that urgent and targeted... Read more


NGFA urge US Congress to prevent rail shutdown

(Posted on 09/11/22)

The National Grain and Feed Association (NGFA) in the USA and 192 other members of the Agricultural... Read more


BHP and Rio Tinto to collaborate on new tailings technology

(Posted on 02/11/22)

Global miners BHP and Rio Tinto have formed a partnership agreement to accelerate the development of... Read more


Trafigura signs German guaranteed US$800m loan agreement

(Posted on 26/10/22)

Trafigura, a market leader in the global commodities industry, has entered into a USD800 million five... Read more


Blastr and Cargill Metals MOU for supply of green steel

(Posted on 26/10/22)

Cargill’s metals business and Blastr Green Steel AS, a developer of decarbonized steel supply,... Read more


CimbriaPort of South LouisianaPort of StocktonCleveland Cascades LtdViganTOC Events
  • Cimbria
  • TOC Events

Subscribe to our newsletter

Keep up to date with the latest global news in bulk cargo handling and shipping