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Employers approve ‘safe’ driverless heavy vehicle rollout

Underground mine truck
Underground mine truck

A multinational mineral producer and technology company have reached a new autonomous truck agreement.

Epiroc recently secured a new memorandum of understanding to develop, test, utilise, automate, electrify and digitise Vale operations.

The non-binding deal will affect long-hole drilling, blasting, face drilling, bolting, mucking, hauling and other underground activities. Work is promised to “strengthen” safety processes and enhance productivity.

“Vale Base Metals plans to use Epiroc’s technology and digital advances in underground technology to remove employees from the rock face, production drilling areas and ground support locations in support of safe and efficient mining activities,” interim chief technical officer Luke Mahony said in a public statement.

“This includes remote operation of Epiroc and mixed fleet original equipment manufacturer equipment in isolated zones. The companies will evaluate innovative electrification technologies such as charging, equipment usage, operational efficiency as well as potential partnerships on novel technologies with potential for more widespread application.”

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