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Rio Tinto joins world’s top innovators list

rio tinto innovative company
Rio Tinto has joined the list of the world's most innovative companies

Rio Tinto has joined the list of the worlds most innovative companies according to leading consulting company Boston Consulting Group (BCG). Through Rio Tinto’s strategic focus on AI platforms and ecosystems and embracing the digital revolution, it has been selected to join the top innovator’s list.

Through the global survey of 2500 professional global innovation leaders,  Rio joined the world’s top 50 innovative companies, coming in #49 for the first time. 

BCG’s new report, The Most Innovative Companies 2019: The Rise of AI, Platforms, and Ecosystems has found that those innovative companies are increasingly embracing AI as a way to develop new products and services and improve internal innovation.

In addition, innovators are embracing AI technology platforms and their cousin, ecosystems, to tap into sources of external innovation and differentiation.

“Digital technology and external innovation have become watchwords,” said Ramón Baeza, a BCG senior partner and report co-author.

“All of the top ten companies—and many in the top 50—use AI, platforms, and ecosystems to enable themselves and others to pursue new products, services, and ways of working.”

Google/Alphabet, Amazon and Apple hold the top three places on the list of AI platforms and ecosystems innovators.

Rio Tinto has made an AUD $3.5 billion commitment to constructing its most technologically advanced mine in the Pilbara, Western Australia, last year.

The Koodaideri project will deliver a new production hub for Rio Tinto’s iron ore business in the Pilbara. The project will incorporate a processing plant and infrastructure including a 166-kilometre rail line connecting the mine to the existing network.

Construction is expected to start this year with the first production expected in late 2021. Once complete, the mine will have an annual capacity of 43 million tonnes, underpinning the production of the Pilbara Blend, Rio Tinto’s flagship iron ore product.

Koodaideri will feature AI platforms and ecosystems technology already in use across Rio Tinto, such as autonomous trucks, trains and drills, and implement systems connecting all components of the mining value chain for the first time. The development will consolidate everything Rio Tinto has learned from its studies into finding advanced ways to extract minerals while reducing environmental impacts and improving safety, known as the Mine of the FutureTM programme.

Koodaideri has more than 70 innovations in scope including:

  • a digital replica of the processing plant, accessible in real time by workers in the field;
  • fully integrated mine automation and simulation systems;
  • advanced automation including an automated workshop, and;
  • numerous data analytics capabilities and control loops to optimise production and reduce downtime.

The Koodaideri operation has been designed to utilise an increased level of automation and digitisation, helping to deliver a safer and more productive mine which is expected to be Rio Tinto’s lowest cost contributor to its industry benchmark Pilbara Blend product. Through the use of digital assets, advanced data analytics and automation, Rio Tinto expects to significantly enhance the operation and maintenance of this new mine.

Watch the video on Rio’s new Koodaideri Iron Ore Project at the heart of its digital revolution.


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AMSJ April 2022