Fortescue Metals Group has surpassed quite the milestone: its autonomous haul fleet has exceeded two billion tonnes of material, just 22 months after meeting the 1 Bt mark.
Fortescue became the first operator worldwide to deploy Caterpillar autonomous haulage technology at a commercial scale in 2012. It began the journey at its Solomon Hub operations and has since grown its multi-class fleet to 193 active autonomous trucks across the Pilbara region of Australia.
In fact, 79 of those units are at Solomon, while 74 are in operation at Christmas Creek, and the Cloudbreak complex has 40.
The 2 Bt milestone follows up the company’s 1 Bt mark in September 2019.
“Fortescue is a leader in the implementation of autonomous haulage across our iron ore operations,” said Fortescue Chief Executive Officer Elizabeth Gaines.
“Moving over two billion tonnes of material without a driver at the wheel is a significant milestone and a reflection of Fortescue’s ongoing commitment to increasing operational efficiency through technology and innovation.”
She also noted that, thanks to AHS technology, Fortescue has travelled over 70 million kilometres safety. What’s more, its autonomous growth has not come at the expense of jobs.
“Significantly, the adoption of autonomous haulage has allowed us to relocate many traditional site-based roles to our integrated operations centre in Perth, providing opportunities for parents and women in particular to remain engaged in our workforce. Today, almost 50% of our workforce in the Fortescue Hive are women.”