As iron ore mining in Australia shifts gears, so does the management of some of the largest mining companies.
Rio Tinto has aspirations to be the largest iron ore miner in Australia and has appointed a new chief of global projects.Iron ore – it’s almost as famous as Vegemite in terms of an iconic Australian home-grown product. Mining the rich mineral has earned Australia a global reputation as a high-quality producer, with many thousands of jobs being created in the process.
“the forefront of Australian iron ore mining”
Rio Tinto has been at the forefront of Australian iron ore mining in the Pilbara region of Western Australia. Now their focus has once again shifted as they set their sights on developing a more efficient global mining operation.
The head of Rio Tinto’s $25 billion iron ore expansion†David Joyce has just been promoted to Global Head of Projects. This is a newly created group-wide role.
As Managing Director of iron ore expansion projects over the past 4 years, (he has been working for Rio Tinto for 10 years), Joyce was in the pilots chair for both the Pilbara and Simandou in the African nation of Guinea.
“increased iron ore output capacity to 220Mtpa”
The innovative technology Rio Tinto has developed in terms of iron ore production in the Pilbara, has allowed the mining company to increase its iron ore output capacity to 220 million tonnes per year.
This is a staggering achievement when you consider the new Roy Hill mine, when fully operational, has output expectations of some 55Mtpa.
The new role will give Mr Joyce total responsibility for Rio projects across all commodities worldwide.
Rio Tinto Projects
Mr Joyce’s appointment follows the creation of the new division called ‘Rio Tinto Projects’.
With the future of mining at stake and the absolute need to introduce technology and innovation into the mining industry, the timing was perfect to create this new division.
“Technology and Innovation”
This new business unit was created by combining the projects component of Projects and Development with the project implementation group within Technology and Innovation.
Once again we see an Australian mining company refocussing and refining its business development processes to take advantage of emerging technology in order to bring the company in line with global trends in iron ore supply and demand.
Mining has changed in Australia, we have seen the evidence of this in the reduction in the workforce as well as the introduction of new technology such as remote mine-site operations and automated systems.
A new future in mining
These new systems are the beginnings of a new future in mining where the need to rely on armies of workers is becoming less of a necessity.
This transition into the automation age of mining will see new jobs being created, where specialised workers will be constantly trained in new technologies to help operate, manage and maintain the equipment that will drive the Australian mining industry into the next decades.
As Rio Tinto and other Australian mining companies continue to invest in new technology, now is the time for people who are looking to the mining industry as a long-term career option, to research the industry from a technological perspective.
“skilled people with a high level of knowledge”
New types of mining jobs have not even been created yet, however, skilled people with a high level of knowledge in electronics and machinery diagnostics will be in high demand.
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Reference: Rio Tinto Iron Ore Mining