Newmont Goldcorp considers Boddington autonomous truck conversion

Newmont Goldcorp is advancing an autonomous haulage study at the Boddington gold-copper mine in Western Australia that will potentially see 39 trucks converted using the CAT command system.

The project is expected to improve costs and mining productivity at the mine, with a full investment decision anticipated later this year.

Newmont also expects to reach higher grades at Boddington in the fourth quarter this year, as it progresses its stripping campaign in the South Pit.

Though Boddington faced port congestion and subsequently delayed shipments near the end of the June quarter, its “little backlog” of concentrate sales from the second quarter will flow into the third quarter, according to Newmont Goldcorp president Tom Palmer.

“We have been able to move concentrate to market very effectively. … The concentrate inventory levels by now are back to normal. The mine is running well. The plant is running well,” Palmer says.

Boddington was Australia’s second largest producer of gold in the March quarter, yielding 155,000 ounces.

At the Super Pit, meanwhile, Newmont reported that geotechnical remediation work on the Western Australian site’s east wall is ongoing.

Kalgoorlie Consolidated Gold Mines (KCGM), the Super Pit joint venture between Barrick Gold and Newmont, has started production at the Morrison starter pit.

KCGM expects to reach higher grades at Morrison this year, around a year after the first blast in the area took place.

Newmont also continued to advance its stage two Tanami expansion project in the Northern Territory toward a funding decision this year. Its engineering works are ongoing and shaft sinking has progressed beyond the 150 metres.

Tanami delivered “another solid performance” coming off higher grades in the first quarter, with Newmont starting to realise the cost benefits from the transition to natural gas-fired power.

“At Tanami, we have great control, drilling out three years in front of us, with a 10-year life out in front of us. That’s the expectation that I have for these Goldcorp assets as well,” Palmer added.

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