Rio Tinto orders more Epiroc Pit Viper 271s, SmartROC D65s for Pilbara iron ore mines

Epiroc says it has won a large order for mining equipment from Rio Tinto in Australia that will see it deliver several Epiroc Pit Viper 271 drill rigs to be retrofitted by Rio Tinto with autonomous capabilities.

On top of the Pit Viper 271s, Epiroc is set to provide SmartROC D65 drill rigs loaded with intelligent features, it said. The units will be used at the miner’s iron ore operations in the Pilbara region of Western Australia.

The order exceeds SEK150 million ($14.7 million) in value and was booked in the June quarter of 2022. It follows a large order by Rio Tinto in the March quarter of 2022, also for Pit Viper 271s, and a large order in 2021 for Pit Viper 271 and SmartROC D65 rigs, also for its iron ore mines in Pilbara.

Epiroc President and CEO, Helena Hedblom, said: “Epiroc and Rio Tinto have a long-standing partnership focused on optimising safety and productivity through cutting-edge innovation.”

The Pit Viper 271 and SmartROC D65 drill rigs, manufactured in Texas, USA, and Örebro, Sweden, respectively, are built to face the toughest conditions and will come installed with Epiroc’s Rig Control System, RCS, making them ready for automation and remote control, Epiroc noted.