Fortescue Metals Group’s fleet of autonomous haul trucks has achieved a significant milestone, safely moving more than one billion tonnes of material across 33.5 million kilometres.
In 2012, Fortescue was the first in the world to deploy Caterpillar’s autonomous haulage technology (AHS) on a commercial scale at the company’s Solomon Hub operations and since then the fleet has been expanded to the Chichester Hub, with a total of 137 autonomous trucks now in operation.
A total of 175 trucks will be converted to autonomous technology by mid-2020, making Fortescue the first iron ore company in the world to have a fully autonomous haulage operation.
Fortescue Chief Executive Officer Elizabeth Gaines said this was a significant milestone for the company.
“Our autonomous fleet has not only moved more than one billion tonnes of material, it has also delivered a 30 per cent improvement in productivity and reflects our commitment to increasing operational efficiency through industry leading technology and innovation,” Ms Gaines said.
“Importantly, the introduction of AHS technology has led to improved safety outcomes for our team members through reduced interaction between heavy equipment and people in mining areas having safely travelled over 33.5 million kilometres.
“As we expand our autonomous haulage fleet, our focus remains on ensuring that our workforce is prepared for the changing industry landscape through our training and redeployment program which has successfully transferred or upskilled employees to new roles across the business, resulting in no forced redundancies.”