41 Komatsu next-gen autonomous HaulTrucks deployed at BHP’s South Flank iron mine

Komatsu announces the deployment of 41 new models Komatsu 930E-5 ultra-class haul trucks, made autonomous ready, at BHP’s new South Flank iron ore mine in the Pilbara region of Western Australia, commencing in October 2019.

According to Sean Taylor, Komatsu Australia’s CEO and Managing Director, “People-powered technology is our central philosophy at Komatsu, and it’s this people-first approach to technology that we feel we share with BHP.”

“Komatsu focuses on autonomous technology driven job creation, with focus on safety, diversity, upskilling and an innovative flexible work force that marries our people’s needs with business goals. This is our blueprint for the future” 

Komatsu Trucks At Centre Of Excellence Proving Ground
Komatsu Trucks At Centre Of Excellence Proving Ground

Not only does Komatsu have a proven record in safety, productivity and lower haulage costs, but Komatsu prides itself on its ground-breaking contributions to autonomous technology solutions in the industry. 

“Komatsu has 250 AHS trucks deployed and 180 operating now globally across three continents, across nine mine sites, and recently became the first autonomous truck qualified to operate on private long-term evolution (LTE) mobile broadband technology in commercial operations,” says Leo Kaloglou, Komatsu Australia Executive General Manager – Mining.

“The operation of FrontRunner AHS technology has been tested across three different commodities in three of the harshest and most extreme environments in the world;

in ambient temperatures of -45 degrees, in temperatures higher than 40 degrees and finally at extreme altitude. With over 2 billion tonnes of material moved autonomously- more than all other commercial mining autonomous haulage systems- with zero resulting injuries.”

In 2018, Komatsu celebrated 10 years of commercial deployment of its Autonomous Haulage System (AHS). The technology has been utilized thus far in iron, copper and oil sands mining operations. Plans exist for use of AHS in additional mining applications, as well. To further aid with safety enhancements, the company has also begun testing of a cabless autonomous hauler which was first debuted at MINExpo 2016.

With the launch of Komatsu’s AHS Center of Excellence in Tucson, AZ, USA, in April 2019 the company has furthered its commitment to innovation, training and people power.

According to Colin Shaw, Komatsu Australia’s Executive General Manager – People and Strategy, “We invest time and resources into ensuring forward-thinking qualifications are available for our workforce of the future. Qualifications relating to; automation, technology, operations and leadership to name a few.”

komatstu-930E-5 trucks in action on an Iron ore mine in Australia

Komatsu are committed to employing local Western Australian workers to support the workforce needs of Komatsu’s fleet for the BHP South Flank mine site. Technicians, apprentices, mechanics, electricians and boilermaker welders plus more roles will be recruited. This will add job opportunities for the local Western Australian workforce in both full-time and part-time capacities.

source: Komatsu Mining