Komatsu Ltd and Rio Tinto today signed an Memorandum of Understanding in regards to the large scale implementation of the Komatsu Autonomous Haulage System (AHS).

7112011KomatsuRioTintoEnterIntoAgreement-(1).jpgThe deal will see the deployment of at least 150 Komatsu AHS mining trucks into Rio Tinto's Iron Ore Pilbara operations in Western Australia by the end of 2015, with the initial deployment commencing in 2012.

Rio Tinto has been testing Komatsu AHS trucks, the world's first commercial autonomous mining haulage system, in the Pilbara since December 2008. During the trials the AHS technology demonstrated clear value to the business especially in the areas of health, safety and productivity.

The MOU was signed in Tokyo by Komatsu President and CEO, Kunio Noji, and Rio Tinto Chief Executive, Tom Albanese, in the presence of Rio Tinto Iron Ore President Pilbara Operations Greg Lilleyman and Komatsu Australia Managing Director, Sean Taylor.

Komatsu Australia Managing Director, Sean Taylor noted that scale of this deal is unprecedented, and is a direct result of the company's continued investment in research & development: "We're very proud of our autonomous program, and the benefits it offers in a mining application. The scale of this rollout demonstrates clearly what the future of mining will look like".

"Komatsu is setting up an Autonomous Support Center in Perth which will be co-located with Rio Tinto's Mine of The Future team, further underlining our joint approach to this technology" added Taylor

Komatsu Global CEO further noted that "Komatsu and Rio Tinto are global partners and have developed a strong alliance throughout the years. We are confident that our leading-edge AHS Technology will accelerate Rio Tinto's Mine of the Future objectives through improving safety and mine operations."

The Komatsu AHS trucks are variations of its large electric mining trucks already in use throughout Australia's booming mining industry. The 930E Electric truck weighs 210 tonnes and has a payload of 320 tonnes. The truck is powered by a 60 Liter V16 Turbo Diesel engine which produces 1900kW of power creating electricity to drive the electric wheel motors.

Komatsu celebrates its 90th anniversary in 2011

Quick Facts Manufacturer, marketer & maintainer of Earth Moving MachineryEstablished for 90 years (45 years in Australia)40,000 employees worldwide2,000 employees in Australia & New Zealand49 branches around AustraliaMarket leader in Electric Mining TrucksAnnual R&D expenditure of over $620MContact Information

For further information, contact Todd Connolly, Komatsu National Manager, Market Planning:

0438 745 436