Newmont launches first autonomous haulage system at Boddington Mine
Newmont Corporation delivered the gold industry’s first autonomous haulage system (AHS) fleet at Boddington, Western Australia’s largest gold mine. With the transition to a fully autonomous haulage fleet of 36 trucks, the company will improve mine safety and productivity, while extending mine life.
“Newmont is proud to deliver the gold industry’s first autonomous haul truck fleet at Boddington, an important milestone for the Company and the industry as a whole,” Newmont president and chief executive officer Tom Palmer said in a statement. “Delivering this project on time and on budget during a global pandemic is an enormous accomplishment. I am grateful for our team and our partners at Caterpillar for their ongoing dedication and drive. The scale and long life of our operations enables Newmont to implement leading technologies to promote both safety and productivity. We look forward to leveraging this project and our commissioning experience at our other operations and projects around the globe.”
Boddington is Western Australia’s largest gold producer, delivering 670,000 oz and 56 million pounds of copper in 2020.
Newmont has invested $150 million in Boddington’s AHS project which will create a safer, more efficient mine. Following completion of the industry’s fastest AHS commissioning program, Boddington continues to ramp up the truck fleet to full productivity as the site fine tunes the technology for operation in a deep open pit mine.
During commissioning the project faced several challenges, including unusually severe weather and heavy rainfall, shovel reliability and operational delays associated with managing bench hygiene as mining moves into deeper sections of the pit. As a result, Boddington delivered lower ex-pit tons than expected, with full-year 2021 gold production anticipated to be approximately 140,000 oz below original guidance estimates of 830,000 oz.
“The record implementation of this project is a tremendous example of Newmont’s trademark ability to set and achieve ambitious goals.
Throughout our 100-year history, our industry-leading position has been built on deep operational knowledge and technical expertise. Today’s AHS commissioning is another moment to add to our proud history of achievements,” said Palmer.