Scania and Rio Tinto to develop autonomous haulage solutions supporting a pathway to lower emissions mining
Scania and Rio Tinto are developing more agile autonomous haul trucks at a mine in Western Australia’s Pilbara region to pursue potential environmental and productivity benefits.
A Scania autonomous truck is loaded at Rio Tinto's Channar iron ore mine in Western Australia's Pilbara region.
The two companies have established a long-term research and development collaboration agreement for the continuous advancement of this autonomous technology, under which Rio Tinto’s Channar mine has become the first active partner site for Scania’s autonomous mining solution. The partnership also includes options for the future transition to electric-powered vehicles.
Rio Tinto and Scania launched new trials on Scania’s 40-tonne-payload autonomous mining trucks in April 2022 and quickly reached a key milestone of driverless operation in a simulated load and haul cycle environment.
Scania’s trucks have potential advantages over traditional heavy haulage trucks, both in terms of emissions and productivity.
In utilizing Scania’s autonomous mining trucks, energy requirements, mining footprint and infrastructure requirements can be reduced, meaning that capital and operating expenses may also be reduced at suitable sites.
The Channar joint venture (Rio Tinto share 60%, Sinosteel share 40%) owns the Channar mine in the Pilbara region of Western Australia. The mine is managed by Rio Tinto and the joint venture agreement provides Sinosteel with off-take rights for a volume of Pilbara Blend (into which Channar ore feeds) equivalent to Channar production.