As with passenger and freight railways, mining is looking to innovate to decrease costs and increase safety. One route, reported at reuters.com and described on the website of the Canadian manufacturer Railveyor, is through the introduction of driverless trains.
Alex Henderson, who heads the technology team of Vale, a Brazilian company that owns the mine in Sudbury, Canada is quoted in a report as saying, "we need to begin to look at a step-change in mining rather than just incrementally improving our existing processes", The Rail-veyor electric driverless vehicle is expected to help produce a 150% improvement in production rates before the end of the year in the nickel mine
According the article to the reuters.com article, in Australia, Rio Tinto Ltd, one of the world's largest global mining company, it is rolling out a fleet of self-driving trucks and trains at its iron ore operations. The company is spending more than $500 million on train automation alone.
‘Rail-veyors’ and robots