ELKO — Barrick Gold Corp., the largest gold mining company in the world, has started testing autonomous hauling trucks in a partnership with a neighboring mine in northeast Nevada and a Utah-based company that’s using new technology to retrofit existing haul fleets.
Barrick announced last week that it began testing the autonomous trucks at its Arturo Joint Venture operation. The Elko Daily Free Press reported .
“The goal is to use advances in automation technology to help Barrick prove and deliver improvements in safety, efficiency and production,” said Matt Majors, superintendent of mining operations and project manager for autonomous haulage.
Surface testing will begin with autonomous haulage at the Arturo mine, a joint venture operation between Barrick and Premier Gold Mines Ltd.
Barrick and Premier have partnered with Autonomous Solutions Inc. to retrofit an existing fleet of five haul trucks with autonomous kits.
“As the mining industry continues to innovate and adopt new technology at increasing speed, autonomous is quickly becoming a critical component to running a safer and more sustainable operation,” said Bill MacNevin, CEO of Barrick Nevada. “The company’s long-term sustainability is dependent on the safety and security of our employees. That is why Barrick remains committed to innovation and teaching the next generation of skills in a rapidly changing technological environment.”
Barrick recruited autonomous operators and staff for the project from its existing workforce.
Testing will continue through the year and include evaluation of the potential for surface autonomous technology at other Barrick operations in Nevada.