Spence achieves 100% autonomy in its truck fleet

Teamwork, greater competitiveness, safety and sustainability of the mine operation are part of the important results Spence celebrated after achieving full autonomy of its mine operation, after converting its fleet of 33 trucks and 5 drilling rigs, with zero incidents and managing to reduce exposure to safety risks by up to 90%.

Spence celebrated this milestone with national and local authorities, who were able to learn in the field how BHP continues to move towards autonomy, allowing for a safer, more efficient operation and bringing the company closer to the mining of the future.

"This has been a process of sustainable technological transformation that today allows our operation to reach full autonomy, with a fleet of 33 trucks and five drilling rigs, which we managed to implement a month ahead of schedule and with zero incidents. We are talking about an automation process in which people have always been at the core, with the aim of building a safer, more efficient, diverse, and inclusive site," expressed Cristian Sandoval, president of Pampa Norte, a business unit that integrates Spence and Cerro Colorado. 

The Undersecretary of Labor, Giorgio Boccardo, highlighted the apprenticeship and training program for the company's workers, a process that achieved 80% job reconversion and 50% female representation. "One of the elements we were hoping to see is how the reconversion plans were carried out, how the new roles were relocated and trained. In that sense, we thought it was a very good experience." 

"We highly value the fact that companies want to move forward with the help of new technologies, to generate fewer risks in the workplace, which is undoubtedly very relevant. In addition, it is necessary to emphasize that automation does not mean job losses, but rather it is a job reconversion and creation of new roles," added Camila Cortés, Seremi of Labor. 

Safer and more competitive operations

The transition to Autonomy at Spence has demonstrated in the field that it is possible to reduce people's exposure to risks associated with the mining industry by up to 90%, in addition to contributing to greater competitiveness and allowing the company to use its resources more efficiently. 

"This type of project has global relevance, since it uses state-of-the-art technologies that ensure operational continuity and, most importantly, the safety of workers, reducing exposure to accidents. Therefore, it is a very important program and not only for Spence, but also for the entire mining sector," explained the National Deputy Director of the National Geology and Mining Service, Andrés León. 

In this regard, the Minerals Americas Vice President of Technology, Pedro Hidalgo, commented that this is the beginning of a great challenge to make the site safer and more competitive every day. "Today we are on a mission to make the most of this technology. We need to go further and analyze the data that automation gives us, how we can work on it and make better decisions that make our operation more efficient. Spence today is a guide, where much of the learning will also move to Escondida to continue working on the future of mining."