mining truck on mining site in western australia

South Flank completes Autonomous Haulage

South Flank’s fifth Autonomous Operating Zone (AOZ) has gone live, marking the completion of the original project scope for implementation of Autonomous Haulage at our newest iron ore mine.  

Importantly, the project has been safely delivered ahead of schedule and under budget, testament to the hard work and dedication of the embedded project teams from Western Australia Asset Projects, IPRO and TROC, Komatsu technical support, and South Flank’s Mining Production and Mobile Equipment Maintenance teams.

Through their coordinated efforts, South Flank is now fully autonomous for its primary haul fleet, with 41 Komatsu 930e haul trucks converted and around 185 pieces of ancillary equipment able to operate safely around them in the site's five AOZs.

“The carefully phased approach we took to bringing AH online has ensured a safe transition through the complications of a mixed operation,” said Steve Campbell, General Manager of South Flank.

“With our on-site IPRO facility at full capacity and both Primary Crushers accepting autonomous dumping, we can now start to bed in the productivity, cost and maintenance improvements that AH delivers through the increased truck hours and more consistent cycle times. I am confident that more improvements will be realised as we optimise AH across South Flank.”

South Flank committed to transitioning to AH in January 2022, less than a year after first production, and began converting the first trucks in April that year, as well as recruiting and training for the new roles required for AH operation. Many of the mine’s existing employees have been upskilled.

The first AOZ went live in June 2022, and project scope has been steadily progressed since then, including construction of the temporary on-site IPRO facility, upgrades to network infrastructure and the delivery of almost 3000 training modules to enable people to work safely in and around the autonomous fleet. The project team continue to support Autonomous Haulage at South Flank during optimisation and ramp up.