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Self-driving dump trucks, automatic shovels coming to Australian mines

Hitachi Construction Machinery's AHS dump truck at a testing ground in Queensland, Australia.

SYDNEY -- Japanese construction machinery makers are introducing information and communications technology to mining machines in Australia. The move comes as major British-Australian miners Rio Tinto and BHP Billiton cut costs amid sluggish resource prices due to the slowdown in China. 

     Using ICT to optimize mining operations gives the makers new opportunities, as sales of mining machinery are slumping and the recovery of the balance between supply and demand appears to take another four to five years.

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