QMEB ยป Multiple driverless truck tenders awarded for coal mine
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Multiple driverless truck tenders awarded for coal mine

Komatsu driverless trucks
Komatsu driverless trucks

A multinational mining company has handed out a number of autonomous truck contracts for a coal operation in Central Queensland’s Bowen Basin.

BHP Mitsubishi Alliance (BMA) recently awarded several autonomous haulage packages for its Goonyella Riverside Coal Mine in Moranbah, 203km southwest of Mackay.

NB Industries, CPH Mining and Civil and dozens more regional business will help prepare the site for new driverless trucks that will replace the existing fleet of human-operated heavy vehicles.

NB is fitting out ancillary equipment for the rollout that will allow the autonomous system to monitor and communicate with the driverless technology.

Workers upskilled

Affected employees have been upskilled and several new workers have joined the project. NB hired three full-time tradesmen and multiple short term workers for a range of trades like auto electrical, communications and boiler maker.

“NB Industries is excited to be a part of the BHP Goonyella Riverside Autonomous Haulage Project as it has afforded us the opportunity to employ more local talent, upskill and enhance the experience of our existing workforce and foster multiskilled tradespeople,” NB business development manager Simon Plant said in a public statement.

Komatsu testing

Meanwhile, CPH built a new access road and ramp 25 calibration pad, which will be used to test multiple new Komatsu driverless trucks before the heavy vehicles are allowed to enter the pit and be commissioned.

“It has been fantastic supporting Goonyella as the mine prepares for autonomous trucks,” CPH owner Colin Ritson said. “This project has been a great opportunity for the business and for our people.”

QMEB can reveal the deals are worth up to $8.2 million, and more than half of the money has already been spent. The first trucks are expected to start operating in September 2020.

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“Over 30 regional businesses have been engaged to support the rollout, with over $4.2 million spent to date,” Goonyella Riverside general manager Sean Milfull said in a public statement. “These local businesses have upskilled their staff, and in some cases have employed several new staff to support the works being completed at the mine … autonomous haulage will help us further improve safety and productivity on site.”

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