The Anglo-Australian mining firm, Rio Tinto, has revealed it has added more autonomous trains to its fleet.
The company uses the trains in the Pilbara region of Western Australia to deliver iron ore. When the train was initially introduced following regulatory approval in May, the three locomotives would transport 28,000 tonnes of iron ore across 280km. In the firm’s most recent production results, released on 16 October, Rio Tinto revealed it operates on average 34 trains per day, covering 290,000km.
“Autonomous mode operations have increased to an average of 34 trains per day, equating to 290,000km (or 45 percent of daily kilometres) completed in this mode,” the report stated.
The company intends to have reached the goal of 200 locomotives and 50 trains running in operation per day by the end of the project.
Rio Tinto are expected to invest US$940mn in total into the project, which will be 80% over the initial budget.