The joint venture partners also approved an investment in greater automation, driving productivity and improving safety.
Rio Tinto (ASX:RIO) and Hancock Prospecting have opened a new mine at Hope Downs in the Pilbara, Western Australia.
According to the release, the joint venture partners also approved an investment in greater automation, driving productivity and improving safety.
Development of the Baby Hope deposit will help sustain existing capacity at the Hope Downs 1 operation, supporting ongoing jobs at Hope Downs. By 2020, a total of 28 existing haul trucks at the Hope Downs 1 mine will be retrofitted with autonomous haulage system technology.
Rio Tinto iron ore chief executive, Chris Salisbury said:
“This investment will ensure sustainable production levels at the Hope Downs 1 operation and is a clear demonstration of our continuing commitment to the people of Western Australia and the joint venture partnership. As we introduce autonomous technology across the business we continue to work closely with our employees to develop their career pathways. To date, we have successfully redeployed or upskilled employees impacted by automation and we would expect this trend to continue with the extension of this technology at Hope Downs.”