The West Australian

NEWMONT STARTS FULL AUTONOMOUS HAULAGE

- DANIEL NEWELL

Newmont has reached a milestone in its ambitious plan to automate gold mining operations at Boddington, with first production delivered from its new fleet of Caterpilla­r driverless trucks.

When fully operationa­l later this year, the Boddington mine 140km south of Perth will be the world’s first open-pit gold mine with an autonomous haul system truck fleet.

Newmont, Australia’s biggest gold miner, last year announced it would invest $US150 million ($193m) in a fleet of 29 793F Caterpilla­r driverless haul trucks and convert seven 793F machines already operating on site.

The first five autonomous trucks have now started production between stockpiles and Boddington’s crusher.

Two of the trucks have been painted in bright colours as part of a staff-driven working group’s celebratio­n of Newmont’s commitment to inclusion and diversity.

Autonomous fleet and system supplier WesTrac has started training Newmont maintenanc­e and support workers at its Technology Training Centre in Collie.

WesTrac chief executive Jarvas Croome said safety had been a significan­t driver for Newmont.

“AHS operations have an uncompromi­sed safety record in the mining industry,” he said.

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