Modular to Support Rollout of Komatsu Autonomous Deployment at Rio Tinto
Tucson, Arizona – December 13, 2011
Modular Mining Systems, Inc. (Modular) is proud to be part of the strategic alliance, between Komatsu, Rio Tinto, and Modular, delivering the world’s first large-scale commercial deployment of Autonomous Haulage Systems (AHS).
Following the November 1st agreement between Komatsu Limited and Rio Tinto to implement 150 autonomous (driverless) haul trucks by the end of 2015, Modular will assist in the implementation of the AHS at Rio Tinto’s Yandicoogina mine in Western Australia. The mine will receive a new fleet of Komatsu 930E-AT autonomous haul trucks in addition to the test fleet relocated from Rio Tinto’s West Angelas mine, which has been operating there successfully since December 2008 as part of Rio Tinto’s Mine of the Future™ program. The AHS at Yandicoogina is expected to be fully operational by early 2012.
From the outset, autonomous haulage has been an important part of Modular’s relationship with its parent company, Komatsu. Modular has worked closely with Komatsu Limited, Komatsu America, Komatsu Australia, and Rio Tinto Iron Ore to develop and implement the AHS into the Pilbara region of Western Australia. Modular’s contribution to the Komatsu AHS includes the supervisory system, operational intelligence, communications infrastructure, operational reporting, and vehicle-interaction safety technologies. Autonomous haulage is the logical and important next step towards increasing productivity and safety, reducing maintenance costs and environmental impacts, and creating high-tech jobs in the mining industry.
Modular co-founder and Chairman, Dr. James White, said of the deployment, “This is a major milestone for all involved with the AHS. The system is no longer a research project, but a field-proven commercial product. This is not the end of the journey—it is the beginning of an exciting new phase.” Modular CEO and President, Luiz Steinberg, said, “This breakthrough in mining could not have happened without the widespread collaboration of all partners involved. Our AHS team has contributed over 15 years of hard work to help make this product a reality. It’s a proud moment for Modular to be affiliated with the world’s leading provider of autonomous haulage.”
About Rio Tinto
Rio Tinto is a leading international mining group headquartered in the UK, combining Rio Tinto plc, a London and NYSE listed company, and Rio Tinto Limited, which is listed on the Australian Securities Exchange. Rio Tinto’s business is finding, mining, and processing mineral resources. Major products are aluminum, copper, diamonds, energy (coal and uranium), gold, industrial minerals (borax, titanium dioxide, salt, talc) and iron ore. Activities span the world but are strongly represented in Australia and North America with significant businesses in South America, Asia, Europe, and southern Africa.
About Komatsu and Modular
Komatsu Limited, founded in 1921, has established a solid leading international market position in the areas of construction and mining equipment as well as industrial machinery. By upholding “Quality and Reliability” as the most important management policy, Komatsu is resolutely committed to providing safe, innovative products and services that best meet the needs and expectations of its customers around the world.
Modular Mining Systems, Inc., founded in 1979, is the market leader in providing powerful information management solutions to both open-pit and underground mining operations worldwide. Modular sales and support offices are located in all key world mining markets.