Scott Technology to automate Koodaideri sampling and analysis process

Scott Technology says it has been awarded a significant contract by Rio Tinto to design and build the automated mine site laboratory for the Koodaideri iron ore project, in the Pilbara region of Western Australia.

The automation and robotics solutions provider’s contract involves the building construction and equipment supply for the robotic sample preparation and analysis laboratory (graphic above), it said.

The project will be undertaken across multiple Scott manufacturing sites and is scheduled to be installed by mid-2021.

Scott Technology said: “The project leverages recent advancements in automation and digitisation, helping to deliver a safer and more productive mining operation. Once completed and in production in 2021, the Koodaideri laboratory will be the safest, most productive, highest quality iron ore facility in the world.”

Koodaideri, billed by Rio as an “intelligent mine”, will deliver a new production hub for Rio’s iron ore business in the Pilbara, incorporating a processing plant and infrastructure including a 166 km rail line connecting the mine to the existing network.

Construction on Koodaideri Phase 1 started in 2019 with first production expected in late 2021. Once complete, the mine will have an annual capacity of 43 Mt, underpinning production of the company’s flagship iron ore product, Pilbara Blend.

The contract award highlights Scott’s evolution in the mining sector from a leading supplier of sample preparation equipment, to a complete end-to-end automation and analysis solution provider, it said.

“The company’s commitment to R&D is helping to drive efficiency and output of some of the world’s largest mines, and Scott is currently working with multiple global mining companies and commercial laboratories on large scale automation projects, particularly in the Asia Pacific region,” it said. “In recent years, the company has implemented solutions in the mining sector such as robotic refuel, robotic idler change, sampling systems, and automated sample preparation facilities.”

Scott CEO, John Kippenberger, said: “Demand for industrial automation continues to intensify, driven by a continuing focus on health and safety, and to improve productivity, quality and profitability.

“As a global leader in automation and robotic solutions, Scott is well positioned to take advantage of this growing demand and we are progressing a number of opportunities across a range of sectors. With these latest developments in our technology platform, we see the mining sector continuing to play an increasingly important role as a contributor to Scott’s future growth.

“We are looking forward to partnering with Rio Tinto on this innovative project that once complete will set the new benchmark for safety and operational excellence in Iron Ore sample preparation and analysis.”