An autonomous technology company will supply dozens of driverless trucks to a $2.1 billion development.
Hexagon AB is rolling out 120 automated road trains at Mineral Resources’ (MinRes) Onslow Project.
The successful tenderer has already designed and developed what is touted to be the world’s first fully autonomous triple-trailer vehicles.
Each is promised to transport 330 tonnes of product about 150km along a dedicated private haul road, between the Ken’s Bore mine and Port of Ashburton. Grades will be separated to prevent interaction between both driverless and human-operated vehicles.
Operators will remotely control the entire fleet from a central operating centre in Onslow. An artificial intelligence-powered monitoring system is also on the way.
A 220,000-tonne enclosed, negative pressure storage facility will hold the ore until 20,000-tonne capacity transhippers finally relocate the product to cape-size carriers 40km off the coast.
Earlier trials produced favourable results at the Yilgarn mine since late 2021.
“Automation will remove the risk of driver fatigue, lower operating costs and reduce fuel use and emissions. There is enormous potential for these vehicles to transform mining across the world,” MinRes mining services chief executive Mike Grey said in a public statement.