Our smart mine

We are creating tomorrow’s mine, today.

As a greenfield project, Roy Hill has had the rare opportunity to embed a range of technologies from its outset to optimise delivery across its supply and demand chain. Our use of technology and innovative thinking have become defining features of our iron ore operation.

Our Smart Mine Program is creating Tomorrow’s Mine, Today by working across the business to identify, develop, and deliver new solutions in four focus areas:

Smart people

We’re building a workforce of the future and keeping all individuals safe from harm. Our leaders and our people are key to creating our Smart Mine future.

Smart orebody

We’re building detailed knowledge to unlock the full potential of our unique orebody. Even seemingly small changes can have profound benefits for quality, production and the environment.

Smart assets

We’re improving productivity and safety across operations through automation and integration: in particular with our remote operations, with all drill rigs now being fully automated. 

Smart integrated & intelligent systems 

We’re building a detailed digital view of the physical environment, and using data and integrated systems to deliver a coordinated, consistent approach to the planning and execution of operations.

 Safety technology

Our Smart Mine program has seen us innovate across the entire operation:

  • Remote operations centre
    Our Remote Operations Centre (ROC) in Perth allows us to seamlessly integrate business systems, processes and technology to maximise efficiency. We carry out remote operation of many of our mine-to-port processes from our state-of-the-art ROC.
  • Our mine LPS
    Our Lightning Protection System (LPS) allows people to safely move around our facilities during lightning red alerts, by redirecting lighting strikes to a grounding system. In 2018, this LPS saw us awarded a Safety and Health Resources Sector Engineering Award.
  • Wet High Intensity Magnetic Separator (WHIMS) plant
    Roy Hill was the first iron ore company to use Wet High Intensity Magnetic Separator (WHIMS)plant technology in a hematite environment at such a large scale. We use our WHIMS plant to recover iron ore from tailings waste as a way of sustainably delivering more highgrade iron ore.
  • Rail technology and safety
    Our rail network features an advanced communication-based automatic train Prediction system. Inside the locomotive cabin, our moving block signalling system improves safety for all track-related activities as well as increased operational efficiencies. 

Autonomous Haulage System

Roy Hill will expand its autonomous haulage system (AHS) converting its mixed fleet of conventional haul trucks to driverless operation from March 2023 and throughout 2023, creating the world’s single largest autonomous mine.

Working with leading global mining equipment and services provider Epiroc in partnership with automation specialist ASI Mining, Roy Hill has developed an autonomous haul truck solution that’s interoperable and scalable regardless of manufacturer, known as Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) agnostic.

The project’s Production Verification phase is complete and ten converted haul trucks fitted with vehicle automation kits and in cab clients are using ASI Mining’s Mobius traffic management and on-board automation systems to navigate the mine’s virtual map, communicating with ancillary vehicles and the Control Room.

The AHS fleet met the desired safety and productivity metrics and achieved higher productivity rates than the conventional haul truck fleet, which was a key objective of the program.

Autonomous haul trucks run 24/7 in a dedicated autonomous operating zone, interacting safely with two excavators and numerous ancillary vehicles at intersections, waste dumps and load areas.

The project’s progressive expansion will see autonomous haul truck numbers grow steadily, when the fleet will comprise 54 Caterpillar 793F trucks, 24 Hitachi EH 5000 and 18 Hitachi EH 4000.

In addition, 233 modified ancillary vehicles will interact with the autonomous haul trucks.

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