Jobs on offer as driverless trucks expand to second mine
A MINING giant has announced it will introduce a fleet of 34 autonomous trucks at a second mine in Central Queensland.
BMA today revealed it would invest $100 million in the rollout of Caterpillar driverless vehicles at Daunia Mine, starting February next year.
It is the second BMA mine in Central Queensland to receive the technology, with 86 autonomous Komatsu trucks to be rolled out at Goonyella Riverside mine from September.
The mining giant first flagged potential automation for Daunia in April this year.
BMA asset president James Palmer said the autonomous haulage investment at Daunia was a "vote of confidence in Central Queensland".
"At least 10 regional and indigenous businesses will be employed to support the rollout, with contracts worth $35 million," Mr Palmer said.
"This will result in 150 additional project roles for BMA people and contractors. This is on top of 56 new permanent roles on site.
"There will be no job losses as a result of this decision and anyone who currently works with us, be it an employee or labour hire worker, will be given the opportunity to continue to do so."
Hastings Deering's Central Queensland operations will help with truck and ancillary fleet conversion.
Its chief executive Dean Mehmet said the contract was a huge boost for the local business.
"We will need 30 additional people to support the work that is required to convert the trucks and ancillary mining fleet into autonomous vehicles at Daunia," Mr Mehmet said.
"It's exciting work to build on that allows us to grow and develop local talent to deliver technology solutions into the resources sector."
NB Industries will complete the light vehicle fleet conversion and Radlink Communications will install wireless communication hardware across the mine.
Mr Palmer said BMA had engaged with its Daunia workforce about the possible shift to automation over the past 18 months.
"It will further increase safety and performance and help the mine remain competitive over the long-term," he said.
"We understand this decision represents some change. But it also offers a unique opportunity for people to gain new, highly valued skills that will create additional opportunities for growth into the future."
More than 30,000 hours of training will be delivered to prepare for the mine's driverless future.
The full rollout of trucks is expected to be completed by the end of 2021.
It is understood that no other BMA mines are being considered for automation at this time.