Anglo American has backed off a proposal to introduce driverless trucks to its Dawson Mine operations in Central Queensland.
The big miner has been studying the option of introducing Autonomous Haulage Systems (AHS) for a portion of its truck fleet at the mine.
This co-incided with the timing of a key decision on whether to undertake major overhauls on the site’s CAT797 fleet (23 trucks) or replace them.
“Following the completion of the study, the decision has been taken to overhaul the existing fleet, rather than purchase new trucks and implement AHS at Dawson Mine at this time,” the company said in a written statement.
“In the future, this decision will be revisited as we look to replace the fleet in a few years.”
While the study found that Autonomous Haulage Systems presented opportunities to improve truck fleet performance, Anglo said it would be prioritising other measures to achieve safer and more productive operations at Dawson Mine.
“The accelerating pace of technological innovation, particularly in the areas of digitalisation, automation and artificial intelligence, is opening up opportunities for the mining sector to be safer, more productive and sustainable,” a company spokeswoman said.
“In addition to our open-cut technology program, our scale as the largest underground coal miner in Australia provides us with the opportunity to leverage the development of technology in our operations, through initiatives including remote longwall operation from mine surface, and the development of our Australian-first electronic tablet device certified for use in underground coal mines, which was launched at our Moranbah North Mine earlier this year. “