Rio Tinto and Hancock Prospecting Pty. Ltd. unveiled a new mine at their 50/50 Hope Downs joint venture in Western Australia's Pilbara region.
Developing the Baby Hope deposit will help sustain existing capacity at the Hope Downs 1 operation, the company said Oct. 5.
The joint venture partners also approved an investment in greater automation to drive productivity and improve safety.
Twenty-eight haul trucks at the Hope Downs 1 mine will be retrofitted with autonomous haulage system technology, and three production drills at the Hope Downs 4 mine will be retrofitted with autonomous drilling system technology by 2020.
The technology will make haulage and drilling operations safer and will boost productivity through a higher fleet utilization rate.
Rio Tinto and its partners recently approved an investment of US$1.55 billion to sustain production capacity at the Robe River joint venture in the Pilbara region.