Thiess has commenced fully autonomous hauling and drilling operations at Pembroke Resources’s Olive Downs Complex from a purpose-built facility onsite, including 21 haul trucks and three drills, all fitted with autonomous technology. 

Additionally, Thiess has established a private LTE network on Pembroke’s onsite communication infrastructure, enabling the safe operation of more than 85 connected assets within the autonomous operating zone.

Thiess Head of Autonomy and Operations Technology, Trent Smith, said that Thiess is pleased to achieve this milestone in collaboration with Pembroke Resources, Hastings Deering and Caterpillar and remain committed to operating the Olive Downs Complex to a global standard.

“This achievement also highlights Thiess’s ability to safely and efficiently transition from a greenfield site to a fully autonomous operation within 18 months, including exceeding our target of 6,500 annualised hours within two months of kicking off autonomous hauling operations,” Mr Smith said. 

The start of autonomous operations is also anticipated to enhance sustainability efforts for Thiess and Pembroke Resources, through skill development, lowered diesel consumption and prolonged life of consumable components.

Pembroke Resources CEO, Barry Tudor, said that with a dedication to achieving cleaner, more energy-efficient operations, Thiess, in collaboration with Hastings Deering and Caterpillar, is an ideal partner for Pembroke Resources as they seek to lower emissions. 

“This achievement is a major step towards the goals of a sustainable autonomous mining solution and builds on our already strong environmental practices,” Mr Tudor said. 

Thiess has upskilled more than 280 team members to support the delivery of autonomous operations at the Olive Downs Complex to enable improvements in safety, operating hours, cycle efficiency and cost.

At full capacity, this includes the operation of 15 autonomous Cat 794 AC trucks, six autonomous Cat 793F trucks and three autonomous Cat MD6310 drills.

Hastings Deering Executive General Manager – Resources Industries, Jason Smith, said the results of autonomous operations are game-changing. 

“Workers are safer, machines move more efficiently, and operations run more consistently and productively. Already we’re seeing these benefits at the Olive Downs Complex with zero autonomous related incidents and increased effective hours.”

Featured image: Machinery in operation onsite. Image credit: Thiess.

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