- Rio Tinto said authorities had approved the use of driverless trains at its iron ore operations in Western Australia state.

The mining company said its autonomous 'AutoHaul' operation was on track to be completed by the end of 2018.

A phased approach to deploying autonomous trains across the network would be taken in the lead up to full commissioning.

'Once commissioned, the network will be the world's first heavy haul, long distance autonomous rail operation, unlocking significant safety and productivity benefits for the business,' Rio Tinto said.

The company left its 2018 shipment guidance unchanged at 330m-to-340m tonnes.

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