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Drill rigs to go geo-free: Rio tech chief

The long-trodden path of geologists from dusty drill rigs in far-flung landscapes to the cushy board rooms of London, Toronto and Perth could soon be over.

Drill rigs to go geo-free: Rio tech chief Drill rigs to go geo-free: Rio tech chief Drill rigs to go geo-free: Rio tech chief Drill rigs to go geo-free: Rio tech chief Drill rigs to go geo-free: Rio tech chief

While rigs like this could soon be a thing of the past for the majors, juniors will likely cling on for decades to come. PICTURE: Oriole Resources/IAMGOLD

The whole job could soon be done without leaving an office.

Rio Tinto growth and innovation chief Stephen McIntosh said his teams were not far off running autonomous drill rigs feeding information back to geologists based in head offices. 

"I can absolutely see in a decade's time … unmanned drill rigs being able to handle all the drill core, to be able to analyse the drill core, being able to give you back at you...