Since the start of civilization, gold, silver, and copper have been valued resources. These resources sparked innovation and inspired the creation of new things. The metals shaped our past and continue to shape our present. Newmont Corporation is a mining company that innovatively searches for these valuable resources. Using autonomous hauling, Newmont brings sustainable mining to life.

Autonomous Hauling

The mining industry continues to use advanced technology to dig for metals that helped us create new technology. Newmont incorporates advanced technology from beginning to end for a more sustainable process. An example of new technology in modern mining is autonomous hauling. One of the Newmont’s main goals is sustainability. Dean Ghering, the Executive VP & Chief Integration Officer & Chief Technology Officer at Newmont, says he believes the industry’s future is in automatization and robotics. That allows them to electrify the mining fleet and reduce its carbon footprint.

In 2021, Newmont’s Boddington Mine in Western Australia became the industry’s first to have a fully operational, autonomous hauling fleet of trucks. Boddington is Western Australia’s largest gold mine. Now, it has the industry’s first Autonomous Haulage System (AHS). This system allows a haul truck to do its work without a driver.

Haul trucks play an important role in the mining industry. The hauls are filled with materials and then transported to a dump or crusher. However, the mining hauls are usually in dangerous environments. Therefore, the drivers are also in a hazardous environment when operating the hauls. Taking the driver out of the equation lowers the risk of injury and promotes a safer work environment.

President and CEO of Newmont, Tom Palmer, said, “Simply put, Boddington will be a safer, more productive world-class gold mine in a top-tier jurisdiction.”

Additionally, autonomous hauls increase the mine’s life expectancy by two years. This impact makes for a more efficient mining production. As for the workers who drive the hauls now, the company plans to reskill and retrain them for other positions within the AHS controls.


Promoting Sustainability

Newmont wants to reach a goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 30% by 2030. It’s part of the ultimate goal of net zero carbon by 2050. So, how does the company do that with autonomous hauling? One of the ways is making the AHS electric.

Newmont and the producer of mining equipment Caterpillar Inc. (CAT) team up to develop CAT’s first battery electric zero-emissions underground truck. The companies want to deploy a fleet of battery electric hauls at the Tanami mine by 2026. This would include a fleet of 10 autonomous battery electric underground haul trucks. Before deploying the full fleet in 2026, the companies want to introduce battery autonomous technology in 2025.

According to Newmont, building pathways to an eco-friendly future is important for the industry. The company’s surface and underground fleets are responsible for 40% of its carbon emissions. Introducing electric AHS is so important for them and their future.

Newmont’s statement about zero-emission mining from 2021 said, “Building a new model for surface and underground mining is critical to delivering on Newmont’s emissions reduction targets.”

Tune in to the Science Channel to watch Golden Horizons at 10 AM on Saturday, May 4!