Barrick Gold has placed an initial order with Ford for 35 all-new 2015 F-150 SuperCab 4x4 truck models with 3.5l V6 and 5l V8 engines to enable them to be used in mining operations.
The 35 trucks will replace the company's entire fleet of hundreds of 2012 F-150s, many of which have run more than 100,000 miles.
From 2013 to 2014, Barrick's mining survey team drove two prototype F-150s with experimental aluminium-alloy cargo boxes through severe terrain at the company's Bald Mountain and Cortez mines in Nevada.
Ford commercial and government fleet sales general manager Fritz Ahadi said: "We are proud Barrick is purchasing all-new F-150s after testing early prototypes in some of the harshest conditions.
"This is terrific proof that even our toughest, most demanding customers recognise the benefits of high-strength, military-grade, aluminum alloy to help them get the job done."
From initial exploration and mine support functions to land reclamation, Barrick uses F-150s in all of its US gold mining operations.
According to Ford, the trucks typically haul equipments such as compressors and pintle hitches, which are used for heavy towing, and a variety of heavy-duty tools.
Barrick Gold USA fleet manager Rebecca Caudill said: "The F-150s see tough duty from operations supervisors, exploration field technicians, project managers, maintenance technicians and closure personnel.
"Many of the trucks go into extremely rugged conditions during the planning and mapping out of new projects, core drilling and daily mining operations. Our trucks will see 30,000 to 35,000 miles per year, accumulating well over 100,000 miles in the 40-to-45-month lease rotation."
Barrick, which has been using F-150s and a variety of other Ford models, plans to purchase additional trucks in the future.
Image: 2015 Ford F-150 XL trucks will be deployed at Barrick's Bald Mountain and Cortez mines. Photo: courtesy of The Ford Motor Company.