Boddington in gold industry first

NEWMONT Corporation has approved a US$150 million investment to transform its Boddington operation in Western Australia to the world’s first open pit gold mine with an autonomous truck fleet.
Boddington in gold industry first Boddington in gold industry first Boddington in gold industry first Boddington in gold industry first Boddington in gold industry first

Cat 793F autonomous trucks

Staff reporter

The investment in an autonomous haulage system (AHS) will enhance safety and productivity, and is expected to extend mine life by at least two years.

"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," Newmont president and CEO Tom Palmer said.

"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."

AHS is expected to be fully implemented at Boddington during 2021.

Newmont will provide opportunities for reskilling and redeployment of haul truck drivers to other roles supporting the AHS.

Caterpillar, via WesTrac, will provide the fleet of autonomous 793F trucks with the MineStar operating system

"Command for hauling has shown its ability to enhance safety, optimise production and lower costs at sites around the world," Caterpillar group president Resource Industries Denise Johnson said.

"The Caterpillar team is eager to demonstrate these positive results in gold mining."

Boddington is Australia's largest gold producer and is set to produce 700,000 ounces of gold this year.

Newmont said it would consider rolling AHS out to other gold mines.