Innovative Step in Mining Technology
Minera Lomas Bayas, celebrating its 25th anniversary, has embarked on a significant technological advancement by initiating the operation of autonomous trucks. This development is part of the company’s Lomas Lab initiative, which focuses on digitalization and automation of production processes.
Details of the Autonomous Truck Project
The operation of these autonomous trucks marks a new chapter in the company’s approach to mining. The trucks, operating in a segregated area, are equipped with advanced safety and maneuverability standards. They are controlled by skilled personnel adept in mining 4.0 technologies. The initial phase includes a pilot of 4 Komatsu 930E-5 extraction trucks equipped with Komatsu’s Front Runner autonomous system. These trucks will operate on a 1-kilometer circuit, functioning day and night.
Project Expansion and Goals
If successful in its testing phase, the project aims to gradually increase the number of autonomous trucks, reaching a full fleet of 27 units by 2025. This move aligns with Minera Lomas Bayas’s strategy to enhance efficiency and technology in its operations, despite not competing on ore grade.
Sustainable and Technological Mining Focus
General Manager Pablo Carvallo highlights the importance of this launch as a part of a broader route of technological implementations. The autonomous trucks are seen as a step towards sustainable mining, contributing to Glencore’s global goals of net-zero emissions by 2050 and a 50% reduction in carbon footprint by 2035.
Broader Implications for Glencore
Abraham Chahuán, head of Copper and Zinc Assets at Glencore South America, notes that this is the first stage of a larger autonomy project. The successful implementation at Lomas Bayas is expected to set a precedent for other Glencore operations worldwide.
A Hub of Technological Development
Enrique Caballero, Glencore Technology Studies Manager, emphasizes the role of Lomas Bayas as a hub for learning and technological development. The site is positioned as an exporter of mining technologies and methods, contributing to the transformation of mining practices globally.
Future Projects and Commitments
Minera Lomas Bayas is also working on the Trolley power supply project, aiming to be the first mining company operating equipment with this technology. This project is part of the company’s commitment to achieving Glencore’s decarbonization goals, significantly reducing its carbon footprint by 2035.