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Rio Tinto Launches Operations Center

June 29, 2010
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Rio Tinto has announced the opening of its new Operations Center, a key part of the “Mine of the Future,” in Perth, Western Australia. The high-tech center, located alongside Perth’s domestic airport, is now the primary control center for the company’s network of mines, rail systems, infrastructure facilities, and port operations in the Pilbara.

The center hosts 200 controllers and schedulers, as well as over 230 technical planning and support staff, using cutting-edge networks that ensure all Pilbara operations up to 1500 kilometers (932 miles) away are not only controlled from Perth, but can be performed with the maximum efficiency.

“Two-and-a -alf years ago, Rio Tinto announced that it would press ahead with plans to create the ‘Mine of the Future’ to build on the technology advantage we had established over our peers,” said Sam Walsh, chief executive, Iron Ore and Australia. “Since then we have faced an astonishing array of challenges, including the global financial crisis, but we did not waver in our commitment. This Operations Center is fundamental to our vision of the Pilbara as a single, integrated ‘one mine’ logistics system.

“There is no other mining operation anywhere in the world attempting this on this scale. Our driverless trucks, remotely operated drill and blasting, automated train systems, and remote train loading functions are just the start of a revolution that is transforming the way we extract value from our resources, and will result in a far better, safer industry than could have been imagined even a decade ago.”

It will help Rio Tinto to not only retain workers, but enable them to do more complex and valuable work than traditional mining practices would allow, according to the company.

For more information, visit www.riotinto.com.

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