Autonomous haul trucks introduced at Aussie gold mine

Monday, 02 March, 2020

Autonomous haul trucks introduced at Aussie gold mine

The Newmont Corporation has invested $150 million in an autonomous haulage system (AHS) at its Boddington mine, in Western Australia, to enhance safety and productivity and extend mine operation by at least two years. The mine’s autonomous haul truck fleet is expected to be fully operational by 2021. 

“Not only does Boddington continue to deliver strong performance, our investment in autonomous haul trucks will generate an internal rate of return greater than 35% with a more controlled and efficient haulage operation. We are also uniquely positioned in the gold sector to support effective implementation and operation of the fleet thanks to the technical capabilities and previous experience of leaders in our business. Simply put, Boddington will be a safer, more productive world-class gold mine in a top-tier jurisdiction,” said Tom Palmer, Newmont President and Chief Executive Officer.

Primarily a gold company, Newmont also produces copper, silver, zinc and lead. The company also mines lithium, uranium, nickel and aggregates, alongside developing oil and gas. The company’s portfolio of assets, prospects and talent is anchored in mining jurisdictions in North America, South America, Australia and Africa. Boddington produced over 200 tonnes of gold and 34,900 tonnes of copper in 2018, making it Western Australia’s largest gold producer. The mine employs 2000 people and is located 135 km southeast of Perth.

With this investment, it is expected that the company will see additional potential from replicating the AHS at other Newmont mines and operations. The autonomous Caterpillar haul trucks will feature safety controls that reduce employee exposure to potential vehicle interactions. Converting the haul trucks to autonomous operation is expected to improve cost and overall mining productivity. Newmont will also be providing opportunities for reskilling and redeployment of haul truck drivers to other roles supporting the AHS.

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