Rio Tinto Smart Mining Networking Event Perth

Join Austmine for our Smart Mining Networking Event in Perth on Wednesday 3rd November with keynote speaker Heath Harnden, General Manager – Gudai-Darri, Rio Tinto.


Autonomous water trucks at the Gudai-Darri iron ore mine in Western Australia.

Rio Tinto will deploy the world’s first fully autonomous water trucks at its $2.6 billion Gudai-Darri iron ore mine in Western Australia’s Pilbara region. The new vehicles, primarily used for dust suppression on site, will enhance productivity by enabling mine operations to digitally track water consumption and reduce waste.

Developed through a successful collaboration with leading equipment manufacturer, Caterpillar, three water trucks will join Gudai-Darri’s fleet of Caterpillar heavy mobile equipment including autonomous haul trucks and production drills. The vehicle’s intelligent on-board system detects dry and dusty conditions on site, triggering the application of water to roads to keep them in good condition.

The refilling process is also completely automated with the water trucks recognising when it is time to refill, prompting them to self-drive to the water stand, park and top-up before returning to the field. They boast a 160,000-litre tank capacity, a 33 per cent increase on Rio Tinto’s largest water truck which has a tank capacity of 120,000-litres.

Once deployed, the water trucks will be integrated into Rio Tinto’s existing Autonomous Haulage System which has been shown to significantly improve safety by reducing the risks associated with operators working around heavy machinery.

Heath will talk about the new technology and how it improves productivity and reduce water usage across operations there.

Join this event to: 

  • Understand the challenges for Rio Tinto and the Gudai-Darri iron ore mine in Western Australia
  • Learn about the project requirements for commissioning and operations 
  • Networking with fellow METS and mining organisations in the Perth and WA Region

Heath Harnden, General Manager – Gudai-Darri, Rio Tinto 

Heath commenced as GM, Gudai-Darri Operations within the Pilbara Mining Operations unit at Rio Tinto Iron Ore in March 2020.  In this role he is accountable for developing and leading the Gudai-Darri team through the operation readiness phase for the major greenfields development.  

Heath has been with Rio Tinto for 21 years and prior to his current role has held a number of leadership roles across the RTIO value chain including GM roles in the Asset Management & Engineering division, the Railways division, the RTIO Operations Centre in Perth and the Brockman and Robe Valley mining operations.  Heath has also held a number of engineering, operational and leadership roles at the Yandi and Brockman mining operations in the early part of his tenure. Prior to Rio Tinto he worked for BHP iron ore operations at Mt Whaleback and Yandi.  

Heath has a Bachelor of Engineering (hons) in Mining Engineering from the Western Australian School Of Mines, Kalgoorlie. 


Austmine members: $50 + GST 
Mining organisations: $50 + GST 
Non-members: $120 + GST 

You must be logged into the Austmine self-service portal to register for the event. Contact [email protected] for assistance. 

Thanks to our Event Partners





3/11/2021 4:00 PM - 6:00 PM
W. Australia Standard Time
Parmelia Hilton 14 Mil St Perth WA 6100 AUSTRALIA

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