12/01/2022 - 13:31

South Flank moves to autonomous haulage

12/01/2022 - 13:31

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BHP’s South Flank mine site will transition to autonomous haulage, less than a year after the site’s first production of iron ore.

South Flank moves to autonomous haulage
BHP's South Flank mine site opened in 2021. Photo: Luke Carter Wilton

BHP’s South Flank mine site will transition to autonomous haulage, less than a year after the site’s first production of iron ore.

The Pilbara mine began production in 2021 and it is estimated it will produce 80 million tonnes of iron ore once fully operational.

By June 2022, six Komatsu trucks are expected to be converted to the autonomous haulage system, with 41 haul trucks scheduled to be operated autonomously within 18 months.

BHP estimates the transition will create 60 new roles in mining, maintenance, control and technology.

Other mine sites such as Newman East that have transitioned to autonomous haulage have seen a reduction in recorded injuries by 70 per cent over the last 18 months.

BHP’s WA iron ore asset president Brandon Craig said it was an exciting announcement for South Flank.

“The transition to autonomous haulage at South Flank will build on the success of Jimblebar and Newman East which have reached new benchmarks in safety and productivity since they adopted fully autonomous fleets.”

BHP first began using autonomous technology in 2014, which it said has increased productivity by 25 per cent and reduced maintenance costs by over 40 per cent.

This announcement makes South Flank the third BHP site in Western Australia to transition to autonomous haulage and fifth BHP site in Australia.

BHP shares are down by 0.65 per cent to trade at $44.65.

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