Rio Tinto and Komatsu to develop autonomous haulage system for Pilbara iron ore operations

Rio Tinto and Komatsu to develop autonomous haulage system for Pilbara iron ore operations
Rio Tinto has embarked on a ground-breaking programme to develop a world-leading system to automate its Pilbara iron ore operations.

A significant component of this ambitious venture is the formation of an alliance with Komatsu to develop and deploy advanced Autonomous Haulage solutions to support Rio Tinto Iron Ore’s operations in Western Australia.

Rio Tinto and Komatsu have agreed to work together to establish an autonomous mining operation in the Pilbara that will feature the industry-leading Komatsu Autonomous Haulage System. The system will be commissioned before the end of 2008. This autonomous mining system will be more widely deployed in new and existing Rio Tinto Iron Ore operations by 2010.

Tom Albanese, chief executive Rio Tinto, said, “Komatsu has been the Rio Tinto Group’s preferred supplier of haulage equipment for over ten years. Komatsu is our partner of choice in the development and deployment of autonomous haulage solutions and this alliance marks an important extension to our successful business relationship.”

“Rio Tinto is committed to the development and deployment of integrated autonomous mine-to-port operations. We are closely focussed on supporting our Pilbara iron ore expansion through the application of world-leading automation technologies.”

About Rio Tinto

Rio Tinto is a leading international mining group headquartered in the UK, combining Rio Tinto plc, a London listed company, and Rio Tinto Limited, which is listed on the Australian Securities Exchange.

Rio Tinto’s business is finding, mining, and processing mineral resources. Major products are aluminium, copper, diamonds, energy (coal and uranium), gold, industrial minerals (borax, titanium dioxide, salt, talc) and iron ore. Activities span the world but are strongly represented in Australia and North America with significant businesses in South America, Asia, Europe and southern Africa.

Forward-Looking Statements

This announcement includes “forward-looking statements” within the meaning of Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933, as amended, and Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended. All statements other than statements of historical facts included in this announcement, including, without limitation, those regarding Rio Tinto’s financial position, business strategy, plans and objectives of management for future operations (including development plans and objectives relating to Rio Tinto’s products, production forecasts and reserve and resource positions), are forward-looking statements. Such forward-looking statements involve known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors which may cause the actual results, performance or achievements of Rio Tinto, or industry results, to be materially different from any future results, performance or achievements expressed or implied by such forward-looking statements.

Such forward-looking statements are based on numerous assumptions regarding Rio Tinto’s present and future business strategies and the environment in which Rio Tinto will operate in the future. Among the important factors that could cause Rio Tinto’s actual results, performance or achievements to differ materially from those in the forward-looking statements include, among others, levels of demand and market prices, the ability to produce and transport products profitably, the impact of foreign currency exchange rates on market prices and operating costs, operational problems, political uncertainty and economic conditions in relevant areas of the world, the actions of competitors, activities by governmental authorities such as changes in taxation or regulation and such other risk factors identified in Rio Tinto’s most recent Annual Report on Form 20-F filed with the United States Securities and Exchange Commission (the “SEC”) or Form 6-Ks furnished to the SEC. Forward-looking statements should, therefore, be construed in light of such risk factors and undue reliance should not be placed on forward-looking statements. These forward-looking statements speak only as of the date of this announcement. Rio Tinto expressly disclaims any obligation or undertaking (except as required by applicable law, the City Code on Takeovers and Mergers (the “Takeover Code”), the UK Listing Rules, the Disclosure and Transparency Rules of the Financial Services Authority and the Listing Rules of the Australian Securities Exchange) to release publicly any updates or revisions to any forward-looking statement contained herein to reflect any change in Rio Tinto’s expectations with regard thereto or any change in events, conditions or circumstances on which any such statement is based.

Nothing in this announcement should be interpreted to mean that future earnings per share of Rio Tinto plc or Rio Tinto Limited will necessarily match or exceed its historical published earnings per share.

Subject to the requirements of the Takeover Code, none of Rio Tinto, any of its officers or any person named in this announcement with their consent or any person involved in the preparation of this announcement makes any representation or warranty (either express or implied) or gives any assurance that the implied values, anticipated results, performance or achievements expressed or implied in forward-looking statements contained in this announcement will be achieved.

For further information, please contact:

Media Relations, Australia
Amanda Buckley
Office: +61 (0) 3 9283 3627
Mobile: +61 (0) 419 801 349

Ian Head
Office: +61 (0) 3 9283 3620
Mobile: +61 (0) 408 360 101

Media Relations, London
Christina Mills
Office: +44 (0) 20 8080 1306
Mobile: +44 (0) 7825 275 605

Nick Cobban
Office: +44 (0) 20 8080 1305
Mobile: +44 (0) 7920 041 003

Media Relations, Americas
Nancy Ives
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Investor Relations, Australia
Dave Skinner
Office: +61 (0) 3 9283 3628
Mobile: +61 (0) 408 335 309

Simon Ellinor
Office: +61 (0) 7 3867 1607
Mobile: +61 (0) 439 102 811

Investor Relations, North America
Jason Combes
Office: +1 (0) 801 685 4535
Mobile: +1 (0) 801 558 2645

Investor Relations, London
Nigel Jones
Office: +44 (0) 20 7781 2049
Mobile: +44 (0) 7917 227365

David Ovington
Office: +44 (0) 20 7781 2051
Mobile: +44 (0) 7920 010 978

Email: questions@riotinto.com

A full copy of the press release is also available on the Rio Tinto website: www.riotinto.com/media