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Rio Tinto to invest $146million to create first "intelligent mine"

One of the world's leading mining companies has agreed to an initial round of funding, as it looks to create its very first “intelligent mine.”

Rio Tinto announced earlier this week that it has approved $146 million in funding to undertake initial work at its Koodaideri iron ore project, which is set to be the company’s first intelligent mine.

The funding will be invested in detailed engineering work and a rail construction camp, enabling further investment later this year into high-tech innovation and automation, robotics and data analytics.

Subject to final investment and government approvals, construction will begin in 2019 with first production expected in 2021. The mine would create over 2,000 jobs during construction and 600 permanent operational roles. 

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Rio Tinto Iron Ore chief executive Chris Salisbury said “This is an important step for our Koodaideri project which will be a significant leap forward for the global mining industry and Rio Tinto.

“We’ve been building mines in the Pilbara for over 50 years, and, subject to final approvals, Koodaideri will incorporate all of that knowledge to enable us to build the smartest, safest and most efficient mine we’ve ever constructed. The deployment of leading edge technology will deliver a step-change in both safety and productivity for our business.”