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Future in focus at BHP

In late 2017, BHP completed the rollout of its first fully autonomous truck fleet at Jimblebar. The transition has created new career opportunities for BHP’s workforce.

Lynette Nickell is a field officer.  Formerly a haul truck driver, Lynette says she “couldn’t wait” to work with autonomy.

“I used to watch the autonomous trucks driving over the wind row and thought ‘one day that’s going to be me’,” she says.

Field officers work in the pit, alongside the autonomous equipment, and “look after the trucks as they roll around”. They are responsible for making sure what’s happening in the ‘real’ mine matches the virtual model, as well as responding to hazards or unplanned stoppages and providing feedback to the Control room and other team members on performance.

“The role really is for anybody … if I think about how I started, leaving school I was a hairdresser, makeup artist, mother of three … truckie, and here I am now in the autonomous pit.

“If I can do it, you can too.”

BHP is currently considering the expansion of autonomous haulage across its WA Iron Ore and QLD Coal operations, and is working with employees to prepare them for the roles of the future.

“Autonomous haulage is not about technology, it’s about the people – and the people that work together to make the technology work,” Lynette says.

For more information on BHP’s operations, visit:

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