Friday 3rd Apr, 2020

Komatsu to supply BHP with 41 autonomous trucks for South Flank

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BHP has signed a deal with Komatsu to deploy 41 automation-ready Komatsu 930E-5 ultra-class haul trucks at the South Flank iron ore project in the Pilbara, Western Australia.

BHP approved the South Flank project in June last year with plans for site-wide automation.

Komatsu expects to employ local workers as technicians, apprentices, mechanics and boiler maker welders to support the needs of the new South Flank fleet.

The trucks will add to the 250 autonomous haulage system machines that Komatsu has already deployed and the 180 operating globally.

Komatsu Australia Chief Executive and Managing Director, Sean Taylor, said people were the central philosophy at the original equipment manufacturer (OEM).

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“…it’s this people-first approach to autonomous technology that underpins our relationship with BHP,” Taylor said.

“Komatsu focuses on autonomous technology job creation, with a 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.”

South Flank is being developed to replace production from BHP’s 80 million tonne a year Yandi mine, which is nearing the end of its economic life. The project aims to be one of the world’s biggest iron ore hubs.

The project aims to expand BHP’s existing infrastructure at Mining Area C, with construction of an 80 million tonne a year crushing and screening plant, an overland conveyor system, stockyard and train loading facilities, procurement of the new mining fleet and substantial mine development and pre-strip work.

Komatsu Australia Executive General Manager – People and Strategy, Colin Shaw, said the company invested time and resources into ensuring forward thinking qualifications were available for its workforce of the future.

“Qualifications relating to; automation, technology, operations and leadership to name a few,” Shaw said.