MELBOURNE, Australia – In a world-first under the next phase of its industry leading Mine of the Future™ program, Rio Tinto will be able to precisely identify the size, location and quality of ore in real time by retrieving data from automated trucks and drills operating in its mines.
That sets the stage to capture a crucial advantage in the recovery of mineral deposits, with the launch of its revolutionary three-dimensional mapping technology to reduce costs and improve the efficiency of mining operations.
The RTVis™ 3-D software provides pinpoint accurate mapping which improves efficiency of mining activity by ensuring it is tightly focused on removing high value ore, significantly reducing both waste and operational costs.
RTVis creates 3-D images of mine activities that previously could not be measured. This ability leads to 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 “It’s like an ultrasound image of the deposit delivered in real time, something that we could never do before.”
The software is said to be low cost and complements Rio Tinto’s existing group-wide data technology in a way previously never available to enhance the company’s mining operations.
“Armed with this detailed information, our operations to recover the orebodies will be significantly more efficient and effective,” McGagh added.
The new 3-D technology is deployed at Rio Tinto’s West Angelas iron ore mine in Western Australia and trials are also underway in other Rio Tinto product groups including Copper, Energy and Diamonds and Minerals.
RTVis also provides rapid feedback on the impact to equipment while another important benefit is in the area of mine planning, providing much more certainty about the nature of the ore deposit at an earlier stage of the process.
RTVis is being demonstrated this week at the International Mining and Resources Conference. Please visit RioTinto.com for more information.