BHP is looking for robotics exec to dig world’s biggest open pit

Adelaide Now reports BHP Billiton wants to “future-proof” its massive Olympic Dam project, including using driverless haulage trucks and this week put out a recruitment ad for an executive to oversee the high-tech initiative. The system would mean operators can be in a control room on the site or even in the comfort of a city office hundreds of kilometres away.

BHP Billiton is in the final stages of the approval process for the $30 billion expansion of its existing underground operation at Olympic Dam to create a new open pit mine that would be the worlds biggest – trucks will haul overburden 24/7 for five to six years just to reach the ore body. The combined operations would mine 72 Mt ore per year and would produce 750,000 tonnes refined copper, 19,000 tonnes uranium oxide, 800,000 gold ounces and 2.9 Moz of silver per year.

Adelaide Now quotes South Australia Chamber of Mines and Energy chief executive Jason Kuchel: “World class mines like Olympic Dam provide smart manufacturers in Australia the opportunity to develop internationally competitive products.” Caterpillar is also supplying driverless trucks to BHP for a US coal mine later this year.

Click here for more on Olympic Dam.

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