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New central Qld coal mine deploys 21 driverless trucks

Olive Downs driverless truck
Olive Downs driverless truck

More than a dozen autonomous heavy vehicles were rolled out to a $1 billion fossil fuel development in Queensland’s Isaac region.

A mining services company recently won a major automation tender at Pembroke Resources’ Olive Downs Coking Coal Project, 40km southeast of Moranbah.

The successful bidder Thiess will be responsible for deploying 21 driverless haul trucks and three drills fitted with the same technology. A private LTE network will also operate on existing communication infrastructure, enabling safe operation of more than 85 connected assets within the autonomous operating zone.

At full capacity 15 autonomous Cat 794 AC trucks, six autonomous Cat 793F trucks and three autonomous Cat MD6310 drills will operate at the same mine site. Cat MineStar Command technology will simultaneously control both hauling and drilling.

“We are pleased to achieve this milestone in collaboration with Pembroke Resources, Hastings Deering and Caterpillar, and remain committed to operating the Olive Downs Complex to a global standard,” Thiess head of autonomy and operations technology Trent Smith said in a public statement.

More than 280 team members have also been upskilled to support delivery of autonomous operations for improved safety, operating hours, cycle efficiency and cost savings.

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