WA mines department investigates Rio Tinto vehicle collision

Rio Tinto has confirmed a collision involving a manned autonomous truck at its Brockman 4 iron ore mine in the Pilbara, Western Australia.

The autonomous haul truck collided with a stationary, unattended light vehicle on November 21 after its driver boarded the former to perform a maintenance task.

Since the autonomous haul truck was operating in manual mode, Safe to Work understands the collision was not caused by autonomous operations.

No one was injured in the incident, according to Rio Tinto.

“Safety is our top priority and the ongoing internal investigation will seek to identify measures to ensure such incidents are avoided in the future,” a spokesperson with Rio Tinto said.

“The company has also informed the (Western Australian) Department of Mines, Industry, Regulation and Safety (DMIRS).”

The DMIRS director mine safety Andrew Chaplyn said the department’s officers had attended the scene and were making enquiries.

Rio Tinto’s Brockman 4 mine is part of the company’s Greater Brockman hub operations that include the Brockman 2 mine in the Hamersley Range.

The hub was facing mine operational challenges that have caused Rio Tinto’s sale to slide to around 1.5 million tonnes of lower grade materials in the first quarter of this year.

Rio Tinto aims its Pilbara shipments to reach between 320 million tonnes and 330 million tonnes this year.