BHP declares ‘early wins’ on the back of automation

BHP has implemented “transformational” technologies that drive safer operations across its Western Australian mine sites, including the Jimblebar and Yandi mines in the Pilbara.

The mining giant applies machine learning to maintenance on trucks in iron ore and coal to analyse component failure history.

BHP has implemented haul truck maintenance analytics at Yandi, increasing its truck availability to above 90 per cent and generating persistent cost savings, according to BHP technology chief officer Diane Jurgens.

When these strategies are replicated to BHP’s trucks in energy coal in the Hunter Valley, the company saw a corresponding increase in truck availability.

BHP’s haulage automation at the Jimblebar operation in the Pilbara has similarly reduced heavy vehicle safety incidents by 80 per cent.

The company is also considering opportunities to accelerate truck autonomy across its other Australian sites.

BHP is using autonomous blast hole drills in Western Australia, increasing productivity by 25 per cent and reducing maintenance costs by 40 per cent.

“The goal is for our Maintenance Centre of Excellence to replicate these early wins across our operations to reduce cost, cut unplanned downtime, improve production and ensure our equipment is safe and reliable for our people,” Jurgens said.

“Auto logistics is also leading to safer, more efficient rail operations across BHP.”

BHP’s rail network scheduling system, which controls over 10,000 ore cars and transports about 270 million tonnes of iron ore each year, is becoming more effective through the use of powerful self-learning algorithms, ensuring trains arrive at port, on-time.