Diederik Lugtigheid has seen enough of ASI Mining’s automation offering at Gina Rinehart’s Roy Hill iron ore operation in Western Australia to accept an offer to head to Utah and lead the US-based firm.
The new president of ASI Mining is based at the company’s headquarters in Petersboro in northern Utah from this month.
Mining and industrial engineer Lugtigheid, a key figure in Rio Tinto’s activation of Komatsu’s first mine fleet automation system in the Pilbara between 2006 and 2012, has been directing Roy Hill’s autonomous haulage system (AHS) roll-out over the past 18 months. He also previously oversaw Caterpillar’s first AHS deployment at Fortescue Metals Group’s Solomon iron ore mine in WA and was vice-president of Komatsu’s AHS centre and product support in Chile.
Sweden’s Epiroc bought a 34% stake in ASI Mining in 2018. The company is controlled by Autonomous Solutions Inc.
The American firm is among a handful of smaller companies trying to take mine AHS market share from equipment majors Komatsu and Caterpillar.
Lugtigheid describes the ASI implementation at Roy Hill as “an industry pioneering OEM [original equipment manufacturer] agnostic autonomous haulage solution”.
“We have achieved great things together and the time has come for the next chapter of this great partnership,” he says.
ASI’s board says bringing Lugtigheid in to lead the fledgling auto-mining tech venture “attests to the significant progress of the AHS implementation at Roy Hill and signals the continued progress towards full commercialisation of ASI Mining’s AHS program”.