Atlas Copco wins order for autonomous mining in Australia

June 20, 2016

Stockholm, Sweden, June 20, 2016: Atlas Copco, a leading provider of sustainable productivity solutions, has won an order from BHP Billiton for autonomous upgrades of drill rigs to be used at iron ore mines in Western Australia.  

Pit Viper 271 drilling in the U.S.

An Atlas Copco Pit Viper 271

For the past two years, global mining company BHP Billiton has been running a trial of Atlas Copco’s autonomous technology on Pit Viper 271 rigs at the Yandi mine. The machines have operated autonomously for more than 15 000 hours and drilled more than one million meters.


As a result of the successful trial, BHP Billiton has ordered autonomous upgrade packages for 18 drill rigs, in addition to couple machines already operating autonomously. The 20 autonomous rigs will initially be controlled at BHP Billiton’s five iron ore mines in Pilbara, with the longer-term aim of remote operation from Perth, more than a thousand kilometers away.     


We are committed to delivering the most innovative solutions that enhance customers’ productivity, and our autonomous drill rigs are a fine example of that,” said Johan Halling, President of Atlas Copco’s Mining and Rock Excavation Technique business area. “We share a valuable partnership with BHP Billiton, and feel very proud to be able to provide the best solutions.”

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Atlas Copco is a world-leading provider of sustainable productivity solutions. The Group serves customers with innovative compressors, vacuum solutions and air treatment systems, construction and mining equipment, power tools and assembly systems. Atlas Copco develops products and services focused on productivity, energy efficiency, safety and ergonomics.  The company was founded in 1873, is based in Stockholm, Sweden, and has a global reach spanning more than 180 countries. In 2015, Atlas Copco had revenues of BSEK 102 (BEUR 11) and more than 43 000 employees. Learn more at www.atlascopcogroup.com.

Atlas Copco’s Mining and Rock Excavation Technique business area provides equipment for drilling and rock excavation, a complete range of related consumables and service through a global network. The business area innovates for sustainable productivity in surface and underground mining, infrastructure, civil works, well drilling and geotechnical applications. Principal product development and manufacturing units are located in Sweden, the United States, Canada, China and India.

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