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Rio Tinto takes home Innovation Award for Miners at Austmine 2017

Last week saw the 2017 Austmine Industry Leader’s Dinner and Awards Evening, all part of the Austmine 2017: Mining’s Innovation Imperative. “The future...

Dale Benton
|May 30|magazine6 min read

Last week saw the 2017 Austmine Industry Leader’s Dinner and Awards Evening, all part of the Austmine 2017: Mining’s Innovation Imperative.

“The future of the mining industry, both here in Australia and all around the world, depends on the sector’s ability embrace new technologies, to better utilise and fully integrate the systems and technologies we already have and to share ideas and opportunities more transparently. The mining market as we know it has a new norm, which calls for METS, Miners and Research to be more innovative than ever in the way we do business,” says Austmine.

It was at the awards where Rio Tinto took home the Austmine Innovation for Miners Award 2017.

The company received the award for its RTVis System.

RTVis is a revolutionary three-dimensional mapping technology, designed to reduce costs and improve the efficiency of mining operations.

The 3D software provides pin point accurate mapping which improves efficiency of mining activity, ensuring a more tightly focused operation of removing high value ore and in turn reducing both waste and operational costs.

3D images of mine pit activities are created, particularly ones that could not be measured previously. As a result of the 3D mapping, Rio Tinto has accessed greater ore recovery through sharper boundary identification, more accurate drill blasting, reduced explosives, improved waste classification and enhanced dig rates.

Rio Tinto head of innovation John McGagh said “

“RTVis™ is a low-cost application that complements existing group-wide data technology in a way previously never available to enhance our mining operations. It quickly brings information to a much broader audience - from a single operator in the field to an expert team in the Rio Tinto Operations Centre in Perth.

The software technology is now deployed in over 85 percent of Rio Tinto’s open pit mine operations.

Speaking at the awards, Rio Tinto Growth & Innovation group executive Stephen McIntosh said: “The award recognises the power of better use of data which simply but significantly helps us to make more informed decisions in relation to our mining operations.

“It is our aim to support the business in generating US$5 billion of additional free cash flow from productivity gains by 2021. The innovative use of data, technology and automation is integral and this award signals we’re on the right track.

“We’re now using these technologies at more than 95 per cent of open cut mines across Rio Tinto – making huge contributions to boost productivity and save costs.”

The full winners from Autmine 2017