Newmont completes the AHS commissioning program at Boddington. The mine is transitioning to a fleet of 36 fully autonomous Caterpillar 793F haul trucks. (Photo: Newmont)

Newmont completed the autonomous haulage system (AHS) commissioning program at Boddington, which is transitioning to a fleet of 36 fully autonomous haul trucks. For the autonomous haulage project, the miner invested $150 million for 29 new 793F trucks from Caterpillar dealer WesTrack, and for the conversion of seven trucks already operating on site.

Newmont reported the commissioning was the industry’s fastest for an AHS. The milestone marked the advent of the gold industry’s first fleet of haul trucks managed by an AHS system, the miner reported.

The commissioning occurred during severe weather, heavy rainfall, shovel reliability issues and operational delays that hit production for the period. The rapid implementation showcased Newmont’s ability to achieve goals, the company said.

“Delivering this project on time and on budget during a global pandemic is an enormous accomplishment,” Newmont CEO Tom Palmer said. “We look forward to leveraging this project and our commissioning experience at our other operations and projects around the globe.”

The miner continues to fine tune the AHS and the fleet.

Boddington, Western Australia’s biggest gold mine, is not currently expected to meet guidance on production for 2021, but will likely beat its 2020 output, Newmont reported.