Boliden said it will introduce Komatsu FrontRunner, an autonomous hauling system, on 11 haul trucks at its Aitik copper mine in northern Sweden – the first AHS roll out in the European Union.
The Swedish miner is investing a total of SEK218 million (US$25.4 million) into the launch and anticipates automation of the fleet to be fully implemented in 2024.
While the production rate at Boliden Aitik remains constant, the miner said transport work is increasing with the size and depth of the mine. Automation of the haul truck fleet will increase productivity and asset utilization in order to meet the increased transportation demands in the mine while retaining cost competitiveness.
“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 business area mines, Boliden.
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.