Fortescue expands Cat-driven autonomous truck fleet

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Fortescue has expanded its autonomous Cat haul truck operations at its iron ore mines in Western Australia’s Pilbara region.


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An agreement between Caterpillar and Fortescue Metals Group will include the retrofitting of about 100 Cat 793F and 789D and Komatsu 930E truck models at the Chichester Hub with the ‘Cat Command for Hauling’ system, and the expansion of the Cat 793F autonomous truck fleet at the Solomon Hub.

Caterpillar says the Command for Hauling system is built on a foundation of the other Cat MineStar System capability sets – Fleet, Terrain, Detect and Health.

The company is working with Fortescue, Thiess Contractors and WA Cat dealer WesTrac in implementing the technology, which will be used across the mobile equipment fleet, including support equipment and light vehicles.

"Caterpillar is pleased to build on the success we have had working with Fortescue to implement autonomous mining solutions," says Jean Savage, Caterpillar vice president with responsibility for the Surface Mining & Technology Division.

"Working with all the partners, we look forward to growing the entire MineStar suite of technology products throughout Fortescue’s operations and working with them to drive process efficiency, increase productivity, lower cost per tonne and enhance safety."

Fortescue chief executive officer Nev Powe says the company has been working to implement autonomous haulage technology at its Solomon Hub since 2012, as, achieving a 20 per cent improvement in productivity.

"By harnessing leading edge technology, supporting the skills development of our workforce and collaborating with our suppliers, we will continue to deliver ongoing cost reductions, ensuring we remain at the lowest end of the global cost curve," Power says.


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