Autonomous Solutions (ASI Mining) has commenced work on the automation of a fleet of haul trucks at Barrick Gold’s Arturo joint venture operation in Nevada, US.

Under the project, which is part of Barrick’s autonomous surface mining strategy, ASI Mining will retrofit and automate the haul trucks.

Initially, ASI will retrofit five Komatsu 930-E Ultra Class haul trucks to enable them to operate autonomously at the Arturo mine.

“The goal is to use advances in automation technology to help Barrick prove and deliver improvements in safety, efficiency and production.”

ASI Mining business development director Drew Larsen said: “This represents the first major autonomous deployment within the continental US and signals a larger movement to adopt automation across the mining industry.”

In the initial phase of the project, ASI will carry out waste haulage, before moving into production.

During the subsequent phases, Barrick and ASI will expand the work to include additional trucks.

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

“Barrick chose ASI as a partner for their ability to provide an agnostic product – agnostic to equipment manufacturer and to mine layout and practices.

“Using the ASI kits, we are able to retrofit our existing fleet of haul trucks, as well as additional multi-manufacturer equipment, which will help us to realise additional savings should we decide to scale the technology in the future.”

ASI will use its Mobius Haulage AI for the implementation and operation of the project.

Mobius is equipped with advanced multi-vehicle command and control software that enables the creation and management of a coordinated system of haul trucks.

Through the deployment of the Mobius Haulage Platform, Barrick expects to efficiently manage autonomous traffic, coordinate manned or unmanned vehicles and regulate the haul cycle.

The platform will also allow Barrick to pursue enhancements across a range of critical performance measurements at the Arturo mine, which is located on property adjacent to its Goldstrike operations in Nevada.