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Komatsu autonomous trucks at Chile mine

FrontRunner to be installed on 62 Los Bronces mining trucks Metal Tech News – June 8, 2022

Komatsu Ltd. will be showcasing its FrontRunner autonomous haulage system at Anglo American's Los Bronces open pit copper mine in Chile.

Coupled with Komatsu's DISPATCH fleet management system, the FrontRunner autonomous technology for mining trucks has an established 14-year track record of increasing productivity, lowering maintenance costs, and improving safety at mines.

FrontRunner was first commercially installed on trucks at the Codelco's Gabriela Mistral copper mine in Chile in 2008. Over the ensuing years, more than 525 large mining trucks around the world have been equipped with Komatsu's autonomous haulage system.

By taking the driver out of the cab, FrontRunner-operated trucks guided by DISPATCH travel at maximum efficiency, which improves performance and reduces wear and tear. These automatons also do not need bathroom breaks or get fatigued, increasing the availability and safety of these trucks.

"FrontRunner AHS is designed to help mines increase production while promoting zero harm," said Anthony Cook, vice president for autonomous systems at Komatsu.

As of September 2021, trucks equipped with the aptly-named FrontRunner technology had hauled more than four billion metric tons of material with zero system-related injuries.

"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.

Now, this autonomous haulage system will be installed on 62 Komatsu 930E ultra-class haul trucks capable of hauling 290 metric tons of rock per load at Anglo American's Los Bronces Mine by 2024.

"We are excited to participate in this initiative to implement autonomous technology and look forward to the opportunity to leverage FrontRunner AHS to help us optimize our mine operations at Los Bronces, convinced that technology is an enabler to improve the way we work and move toward a safer and more sustainable operation, where people are the protagonists of innovation and are at the center of everything we do," said Cristobal Mimica, Anglo American's mine modernization manager at Los Bronces.

Los Bronces has the capacity to produce more than 300,000 metric tons of copper per year.

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Shane Lasley, Metal Tech News

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With more than 15 years of covering mining, Shane is renowned for his insights and and in-depth analysis of mining, mineral exploration and technology metals.

 

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