Sam Walsh

Rio Tinto has opened a new phase of its Mine of the Future technology with the launch of a processing excellence centre (PEC) in Brisbane, Australia.

The PEC will monitor processing data from seven of the company’s copper and coal operations spread across the globe.

The centre will provide processing solutions to mine sites in Mongolia at Oyu Tolgoi, the US at Kennecott and across five coal sites Australia.

The company said that a trial phase of the PEC has already led to several procedural enhancements such as adjusting the flotation process, which increased the recovery of copper and gold at Oyu Tolgoi.

Rio Tinto head of innovation John McGagh said the facility enables the company to focus on optimising mineral processing across a range of sites globally.

"We are ensuring that Rio Tinto continues to lead the industry in delivering considerable value through technology."

"The PEC provides significant capability to the business by drawing on a global network of industry experts from operations, suppliers and consultants," McGagh said.

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Rio Tinto worked with JKTech, Schneider Electric, Metso CISA, iGATE and the University of Queensland to develop the centre.

Rio Tinto chief executive Sam Walsh said the PEC marks another important step in the roll-out of the company’s Mine of the Future programme.

"By continuing to develop and deliver a suite of next-generation systems and technologies for our operations, we are ensuring that Rio Tinto continues to lead the industry in delivering considerable value through technology," Walsh added.

The latest centre follows the opening of the Centre for Emergent Technologies in the UK, in 2013.

Image: Rio Tinto chief executive officer, Sam Walsh. Photo: courtesy of Rio Tinto.

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