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Rio Tinto secures permit for AutoHaul project from Australian rail regulator

Rio Tinto said May 18 that it secured approval from Australia's Office of the National Rail Safety Regulator for its AutoHaul autonomous train operation, which serves its Western Australian iron ore operations.

According to Steve McIntosh, Rio's growth and innovation head, the AutoHaul project could reduce the time for carrying iron ore from the miner's Western Australian mines to ports by about 20%. The full implementation of the project is expected by the end of the year.

The mining giant recently said it plans to double its fleet of remote-controlled production drill rigs in the Pilbara in Western Australia and plans to increase the number of autonomous trucks at its iron ore operations to 30% of its total fleet of about 400 haul trucks.