Newmont (NEM) Delivers Autonomous Haul Truck Fleet at Boddington
Newmont Corporation NEM has implemented the gold industry’s first Autonomous Haulage System (“AHS”) fleet at Boddington gold mine in Western Australia. The transition to a fully-autonomous haulage fleet of 36 trucks will help the company to enhance mine safety and productivity as well as extend mine life.
Boddington is Western Australia’s biggest gold producer. It delivered 670,000 ounces of gold and 56 million pounds of copper in the previous year.
Newmont, which is among the prominent players in the gold mining space along with Barrick Gold Corporation GOLD , Agnico Eagle Mines Limited AEM and Kinross Gold Corporation KGC, invested $150 million in Boddington’s AHS project. The investment will create a safer and more efficient mine. After the completion of the industry’s fastest AHS commissioning program, Boddington continues to ramp up the truck fleet to full productivity as the site fine tunes the technology for operation in a deep open pit mine.
The project faced many challenges during commissioning, including severe weather and heavy rainfall, shovel reliability and operational delays related with managing bench hygiene as mining moves into deeper sections of the pit. This led Boddington to deliver lower ex-pit tons than expected. The mine’s full-year 2021 gold production forecast is now nearly 140,000 ounces below the original guidance of 830,000 ounces.
The company, in its last earnings call, stated that for 2021 it expects attributable gold production of 6.5 million ounces. The company also expects gold CAS to be $750 per ounce and AISC to be $970 per ounce.
Newmont expects an increase in gold production and is undertaking investments in its operating assets and other growth prospects. Its development project, Yanacocha Sulfides, is expected to reach execution stage in December 2021. Other development projects that have not reached execution stage represent upside to guidance.
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