Autonomous Solutions Inc. (ASI) is working on a project with Barrick Gold to retrofit and automate a fleet of haul trucks at the company’s Arturo Joint Venture operation in Nevada, which represents the first major autonomous deployment within the United States and represents a larger movement to adopt automation across the mining industry, according to Director of Business Development for ASI Drew Larsen.

During the initial phase of the project, ASI will retrofit five Komatsu 930-E Ultra-Class haul trucks to autonomous operation at the Arturo mine, located on property adjacent to Barrick’s Goldstrike operations. This phase will consist primarily of waste haulage, prior to moving into production. Subsequent phases will follow with potential expansion to additional trucks.

“Not only is this agreement with Barrick significant in the ongoing growth of ASI Mining, it enables Barrick to embark on its autonomous surface mining strategy in a pragmatic and collaborative manner with a technology partner such as ASI,” Larsen said.

ASI’s Mobius Haulage A.I. will be a key component in the implementation and operation of the project. Mobius leverages advanced multi-vehicle command and control software to set up and manage a coordinated system of haul trucks. The Mobius Haulage Platform manages autonomous traffic, coordinates manned or unmanned vehicles and regulates the haul cycle in the most efficient way possible.

By employing the Mobius platform at the Arturo mine, Barrick anticipates enhancements across a range of critical performance measurements, it said.

“The goal is to use advances in automation technology to help Barrick prove and deliver improvements in safety, efficiency and production,” said Matt Majors, superintendent of mining operations and project manager for autonomous haulage.

“Barrick chose ASI as a partner for their ability to provide an agnostic product – agnostic to equipment manufacturer and to mine layout and practices,” he added. “This offers us greater flexibility and cost savings.”

Majors said by using the ASI kits, they will be able to retrofit the existing fleet of haul trucks and additional multi-manufacturer equipment.