Students with a keen interest in robotics were given the chance to witness the impact new technologies would have on the mining industry when the visited a couple of Rio Tinto sites last week.

The students from Karratha Senior High School were all enrolled in Certificate II in Autonomous Workplace Operations pilot program which was introduced to the TAFE curriculum in June.

Last Wednesday, 14 students toured Rio Tinto’s Dampier Ports and East Intercourse Island, where they met with employees from across the operation and visited essential mining infrastructure and equipment such as stackers, reclaimers, screen house, wharf, and ship loaders.

KSHS Year 11 student Joel Bulla said he chose to take on the course involving automating manual processes because he really liked robots

“I love the idea of using logic to make manual tasks easier,” he said.

“It’s convenient to do it while I’m still at school because it makes going to TAFE like any other school day, plus it allows us to really know what we’re going to be expected to do in the workforce.”

The course is the first of its kind in Australia and is part of a wider Resource Industry VET Collaboration which has been driven by Rio Tinto and South Metro TAFE and involves other major employers, such as FMG, Yara and BHP.