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Hundreds of metres below the lush forests of rural Sweden, one of the world's most ancient mines has been transformed into one of the most modern.Rio Tinto, the world's second biggest iron ore producer, aims to deliver $5 billion of productivity improvements over five years, much of it through data and technology.Chief Executive Jean-Sebastien Jacques told Reuters earlier this year that each of its global fleet of around 900 trucks has some 40 sensors.The fall in mining productivity hit bottom in about 2013 and has been clawing higher since then, with some companies seeing productivity rising by 15-20 percent, according to EY.In 2006, the Garpenberg mine, located about 180 km northwest of Stockholm in an area where mining has occurred since 375 B.C., was struggling to compete. But in 2013 Boliden started transforming its operations with automation and data. It is now one of the world's most productive zinc mines.Kristofer Ruth, a miner who has worked there for 11 years, rarely ventures underground anymore. He manoeuvres a joystick that shovels ore into an automated truck about 800 metres below.
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