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Resources multinational automates 90 per cent of trucks

CAT793F driverless truck
CAT793F driverless truck

A major mineral producer converted nearly all heavy vehicles to autonomous technology at one operation.

Newmont Corporation confirmed it has already automated 90 per cent of its haul truck fleet at the Boddington mine, 140km southeast of Perth.

A total of 36 CAT 793Fs operate on the Cat MineStar Command autonomous haulage system (AHS). Only four 793D trucks were still human operated at the time of publication.

Newmont justified the $150 million expense by claiming the investment dramatically improved mine safety and productivity since the first heavy vehicle was converted back in March 2021. The fleet has since transported more than 100 million tonnes of material, equating to an average of 687 trips a day when each truck carries an optimal 231 tonne load.

“The time period between rollout of the mine’s first autonomous 793F truck to full conversion of the mine’s autonomous fleet, to achieving 100 million metric tons autonomously hauled, was incredibly short,” Caterpillar technology site manager Kosie Bolton said according to Glacier Media Group.

Operations are controlled from a so-called AHS intelligence office, fitted with tiered seats and monitors in front of the room.

“Having everyone together in the new office allows us to post issues on the screens in front of all workers to quickly address them together,” Boddington AHS control room superintendent James Earl said according to the media outlet.

“This will help extend the mine’s life, reduce safety risks and lower costs.”

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