Rio Tinto, the world's third-largest mining company, yesterday opened a state-of-the-art innovation centre in Pune, to help roll out next-generation technologies for mining operations.
The centre, which is Rio Tinto's 'mine of the future' programme, has been opened as a joint venture with information technology firm iGate Patni - the first partnership of its kind in the mining industry.
Over the next five years iGate Patni will provide Rio Tinto with engineering research and development services, including industrial automation and control, software and embedded design and development, and general engineering services.
The Anglo-Australian miner already has such centres in Australia, Canada and the UK that help the miner to develop new automation technologies in mining.
In June 2010, the London-based miner had opened a new hi-tech operations centre in Perth to control its huge mining operations in Pilbara located more than 1,500 km away.
The high-technology operations centre built at a cost of $60 million and located next to Perth's domestic airport is now the primary control centre for Rio Tinto's vast network of mines, rail systems, infrastructure facilities and port operations in the Pilbara.