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Rio Tinto partners with Founders Factory to foster mining technology innovation

Rio Tinto, a leading mining corporation, has unveiled plans to support the advancement and commercialization of groundbreaking mining technologies.

Teaming up with Founders Factory, a renowned global venture studio and start-up investor, Rio Tinto pledges to invest $14.4 million in pre-seed and seed stage start-ups worldwide over the next three years.

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The focus of these investments will be on technologies aimed at enhancing safety in mining operations, promoting decarbonization, optimizing exploration processes, and advancing automation. Each selected start-up will receive a cash injection and the opportunity to participate in a four-month accelerator program offered by Founders Factory.

Simon Trott, Rio Tinto’s iron ore chief executive, highlighted the company’s commitment to innovation, stating, “Technology has always been a driving force in our industry, and Western Australia has the potential to become the Silicon Valley of the global mining sector.” He emphasized Rio Tinto’s technologically advanced operations in the Pilbara region and expressed enthusiasm for leveraging this partnership to foster new technologies that will meet global demand for essential materials.

Western Australian Premier Roger Cook welcomed the partnership with enthusiasm, describing it as a significant achievement for the state. He noted that this collaboration marks the first time Founders Factory will operate in Australia, providing local businesses with a platform to showcase their innovations on an international scale. Cook emphasized the long-term benefits of the three-year partnership, emphasizing its potential to reinforce Western Australia’s position as a leader in research and development, driving economic diversification and job creation.

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