Mining services provider Thiess has received a contract to install autonomous haulage system (AHS) technology at Fortescue Metals Group’s Christmas Creek iron ore operations in the Pilbara region of Western Australia.

The contract, which is valid for a period of 18 months, involves the conversion of at least 65 conventional haul trucks to the AHS.

Thiess, a subsidiary of the CIMIC Group, will also carry out sub-component installs of the system on ancillary equipment to facilitate the autonomous operation of the machinery at Fortescue’s Chichester Hubs.

CIMIC Group CEO Michael Wright said: “This contract reinforces Thiess’ positive working relationship with Fortescue and strengthens our position as a leading provider of autonomous services.”

The company will install the autonomous system onto Fortescue’s fleet of Komatsu 930E and Caterpillar 789D trucks.

Thiess managing director Douglas Thompson said: “We are pleased to continue working with Fortescue to deliver autonomous systems to its mining fleet. Our work at Christmas Creek builds on our strong record of delivery for Fortescue at their Solomon Mine, where we assisted in the upgrade of their autonomous fleet.

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“Our team is thrilled to work with Fortescue in leading mining innovation and delivering solutions that are firsts for our industry.”

The latest conversion move comes after Fortescue deployed trucks fitted with the AHS technology at Christmas Creek earlier this year.

“Our team is thrilled to work with Fortescue in leading mining innovation and delivering solutions that are firsts for our industry.”

The Chichester Hub comprises the Cloudbreak and Christmas Creek mines and has an annual production capacity of 100mtpa from three Ore Processing Facilities (OPFs).

Fortescue also implemented the AHS technology at its Solomon Hub.

The company operates three iron ore mine sites in the Pilbara and the five-berth Herb Elliott Port in Port Hedland.