BHP Mitsubishi Alliance to introduce autonomous trucks at Queensland mine

BHP Mitsubishi Alliance (BMA) will roll out autonomous trucks at the Goonyella Riverside coal mine in central Queensland as of 2020.

BMA asset president James Palmer said that up to 86 autonomous vehicles would be added to the fleet over the next two years and would result in much more consistent cycle times while reducing exposure to safety risks.

“While the first autonomous vehicles will not operate at the sit until 2020, and full roll out will take around two years, we want to give people in our workforce and the community as much notice as possible of this change,” said Palmer.

“Autonomous haulage will help us improve safety and productivity performance, and it is our people who will be at the centre of making this change a success.

Following extensive talks with the workforce at Goonyella Riverside, the community and government stakeholders, the use of autonomous trucks was given the go ahead, with BMA reiterating its commitment to provide training opportunities for local employees.

BMA have stated that the automation of trucks on site will not result in any forced redundancies. In fat, the company has recruited additional personnel to manage and operate the autonomous trucks.

In preparation for the move to autonomous vehicles, BMA plans to deliver 40,000 hours of training to employees.

There has been no indication yet as to whether BMA will introduce autonomous trucks to any of its other Queensland sites, with Palmer saying the decision will be made on a site-by-site basis.

Meanwhile BHP earlier this year committed to adding 500 autonomous trucks to its operations in Australia, in a sign the technology is becoming readily available for mining operations around Australia.

Original source: Australian Mining | BHP to roll out autonomous trucks at QLD coal mine

13 Nov 2019