Today’s announcement by BHP Mitsubishi Alliance (BMA) that it will create new skilled jobs in regional Queensland through the introduction of 34 autonomous trucks shows that the Australian minerals industry is again leading the world in technology adoption to improve performance, efficiency, safety and the environment.
BMA and its suppliers will create more than 150 project-related jobs and 56 permanent positions and invest $100 million to back auto-truck introduction at Daunia Mine in Central Queensland.
There will also be no job losses – another demonstration that technology and innovation are already transforming the Australian minerals industry for the better.
The MCA has long promoted the benefits of technology and innovation for Australian mining and its highly skilled, highly paid workforce.
Australia’s minerals industry is proud to lead the world in people, innovation and technology.
Innovation, people and skills combined with technological advances will deliver a more globally competitive minerals sector that delivers fulfilling careers in highly paid, high-skilled jobs.
In February 2019, the MCA released EY’s Skills Map for the Future of Work which found that 77 per cent of jobs in Australian mining will be enhanced or redesigned due to technology within the next five years and productivity increases up to 23 per cent could be achieved with the rollout of new technologies.
BHP’s announcement builds on other industry innovation initiatives such as the successful introduction of Rio Tinto’s Autohaul driverless train in the Pilbara, the world’s largest robot, and the widespread adoption of autonomous drills, drones and advanced sensors.
BMA in partnership with TAFE Queensland and CQUniversity is also developing autonomous qualifications for the resources sector through its Queensland Future Skills partnership.
In WA, South Metropolitan TAFE in partnership with the resources sector has developed Australia’s first-ever accredited qualifications in automation including a Certificate II in Autonomous Workplace Operations and a course in Working Effectively in an Automated Workplace.
Automation takes workers out of harm’s way, enables mines to deliver more of Australia’s top-quality minerals to customers more quickly through more efficient operation and has the potential to reduce emissions by optimising fleet and machinery performance.