Rio updates on Pilbara AutoHaul trains and Oyu Tolgoi Underground

first_imgRio Tinto says the automation of the Pilbara train system (AutoHaulTM) continues to advance, with approximately 65% of trains at the end of Q1 2018 in autonomous mode with a driver on board for supervision and more than three million kilometres now completed in this mode of operation. The project continues to progress with the Regulator approval process and is on schedule to be completed by the end of 2018. Pilbara operations produced 83.1 Mt (Rio Tinto share 69.1 Mt) in the first quarter of 2018, 8% higher than the same quarter of 2017. Sales of 80.3 Mt (Rio Tinto share 66.6 Mt) were 5% higher than the same period of last year. Production benefitted from fewer weather disruptions than the first quarter of 2017, along with the ramp up of Silvergrass and the ongoing implementation of productivity improvements across the integrated system. Rail productivity continues to improve, with 85.0 Mt railed in the first quarter. The Koodaideri feasibility study is on track for completion in 2018.At Oyu Tolgoi Underground, new contractors continue to mobilise with the total project workforce at over 6,700 at the end of March, of which 89 per cent were Mongolian. Lateral development is tracking on plan, and sinking of shafts two and five is complete. Eight accommodation buildings in the Oyut II camp are now complete and occupancy of these buildings has begun. Construction of the first drawbell is still expected in mid-2020.Other notable news included good bauxite production rates. Bauxite production of 12.7 Mt was 12% higher than the first quarter of 2017, primarily driven by operational improvements. Gove production was notably 31% higher due to the debottlenecking of the materials handling system, whilst stronger production was also achieved at Weipa (8% higher) and Sangaredi (5% higher). The Amrun project is advancing to plan and has completed the installation of beneficiation modules and the process water dam. The project remains on schedule for first shipment in the first half of 2019.last_img

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