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By Shane Lasley
Metal Tech News 

Boliden to automate copper mine trucks

Massive electric trucks will be upgraded with Komatsu tech Metal Tech News – October 27, 2021


Last updated 11/2/2021 at 2:47pm

Boliden Komatsu autonomous equipment FrontRunner haulage system Aitik mine


Swedish mining company Boliden has ordered FrontRunner autonomous haulage systems for 11 of the 290-metric-ton Komatsu electric drive trucks at its Aitik copper mine.

Looking to get the most out of its 53-year-old Aitik copper-gold-silver mine, European mining giant Boliden has ordered Komatsu's FrontRunner autonomous haulage system for 11 ultra-class 930E-5 electric drive haul trucks at the open-pit operation in northern Sweden.

While Aitik continues to steadily produce more than 200 million pounds of copper, 100,000 ounces of gold, and 1.1 million oz of silver per year, the transportation of ore to meet this production rate gets longer as the open-pit mine gets larger and deeper.

To ensure that this ore is transported efficiently, safely, and sustainably, Boliden is investing 218 million Swedish kronor (US$25.4 million) to upgrade its 290-metric-ton Komatsu haul trucks with FrontRunner, a proven autonomous haulage system that has transported more than 4 billion metric tons of materials at mines on three continents since it was first deployed at Codelco's Gabriela Mistral copper mine in Chile during 2008.

"Our customers' continued investment in the technology and equipment to transition to autonomous haulage supports the evolution of mining methods and opportunity for advancements in safety and production," said Komatsu Vice President of Autonomous Systems Anthony Cook.

Aitik will be the first European mine with FrontRunner.

Like other mines that are combining the reliability and durability of Komatsu electric drive trucks with the power of innovative autonomous haulage technology, the installation of FrontRunner at Aitik is expected to increase productivity, reduce total cost of ownership, and promote zero harm.

Apart from the technical aspects, the project will include in-depth training of mine staff, both for current and new roles. The expectation is that the work environment will become safer and more attractive with the introduction of automation.

"Haul truck automation in Aitik is securing that the mine will stay in the position as the world's most productive copper mine, while continuing to deliver copper with industry-leading climate performance," said Stefan Romedahl, president of business area mines at Boliden.

More information on FrontRunner and Komatsu's focus on helping global mining companies produce the minerals needed to power modern society can be read at Global mining sector returns to Vegas in the September 15, 2021 edition of Metal Tech News.

Author Bio

Shane Lasley, Metal Tech News

With more than 14 years of covering mining, Shane is renowned for his insights and and in-depth analysis of mining, mineral exploration and technology metals.

Email: [email protected]
Phone: 907-726-1095


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