Epiroc’s initial US$47 million extension of its fleet-automation conversion work at Roy Hill in Western Australia is expected to see autonomous haul truck numbers grow through this year towards nearly 100 vehicles in 2024.
The Swedish equipment manufacturer said the order – its largest ever for an automation contract – would be extended but didn’t say by how much.
Epiroc is overseeing the conversion work, its 34%-owned US affiliate ASI Mining is providing the traffic management and on-board automation systems.
It is connecting a mixed fleet of Caterpillar and Hitachi mining trucks, and says more than 200 modified ancillary vehicles will interact with the autonomous haul trucks. Epiroc doesn’t manufacture surface mining trucks or loaders.
A Roy Hill statement said: “The project’s production verification phase is complete and 10 converted haul trucks fitted with vehicle automation kits and in cab clients are using ASI Mining’s Mobius traffic management and on-board automation systems to navigate the mine’s virtual map, communicating with ancillary vehicles and the control room.
“The AHS fleet is meeting the desired safety and productivity metrics and achieving higher productivity rates than the conventional haul truck fleet, which were key objectives of the program over the past two years.
“Autonomous haul trucks are running 24/7 in a dedicated autonomous operating zone, interacting safely with two excavators and numerous ancillary vehicles at intersections, waste dumps and load areas.”