One of the world’s largest metal producers plans to make its heavy vehicles driverless by the end of 2021.
Newmont Australia revealed its new autonomous haulage system (AHS) could be fully up and running by Christmas at the Boddington Gold Mine in Bannister, 139km southeast of Perth.
WesTrac Cat has been contracted to provide 29 new CAT 793F AHS-enabled haul trucks and convert seven existing 793F trucks to operate without requiring a driver.
Some driverless trucks have commenced operation and delivered their first production. Once complete Boddington is promised to become the world’s first open-pit gold mine with an AHS fleet, which is touted to be safer and more productive.
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“First production from our autonomous fleet is an important step in the full deployment of the fleet, which will see enhanced safety and productivity for the mine at Boddington, as well as extending mine life,” Newmont Australia regional senior vice president Alex Bates said in a public statement.
“We remain on track to successfully transform our mining operation to an AHS operation by the end of the year, and it is a testament to the enthusiasm and professionalism of our team that we have achieved this first milestone safely.”