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Thiess sets global benchmark by deploying autonomous mining solutions at the Pembroke Resources’ Olive Downs Complex

Thiess 2 mins read

Thiess has made history at Pembroke Resources’ Olive Downs Complex making it the world’s first mining operation to deploy Cat® MineStar™ Command for hauling and Command for drilling solutions simultaneously. 

Thiess recently commenced fully autonomous hauling and drilling operations at the Olive Downs Complex from a purpose-built facility on site. This includes deploying 21 haul trucks and three drills fitted with autonomous technology. Additionally, Thiess has established a private LTE network on Pembroke’s onsite communication infrastructure, enabling the safe operation of more than 85 connected assets within the autonomous operating zone. 

Thiess Head of Autonomy and Operations Technology Trent Smith said: “We’re pleased to achieve this milestone in collaboration with Pembroke Resources, Hastings Deering and Caterpillar and remain committed to operating the Olive Downs Complex to a global standard. 

“This achievement also highlights Thiess’ ability to safely and efficiently transition from a greenfield site to a fully autonomous operation within 18 months, including exceeding our target of 6,500 annualised hours within two months of kicking off autonomous hauling operations.” 

The start of autonomous operations is also anticipated to enhance sustainability efforts for Thiess and Pembroke Resources, through skill development, lowered diesel consumption and prolonged life of consumable components. 

Pembroke Resources CEO Barry Tudor said: “With a dedication to achieving cleaner, more energy-efficient operations, Thiess, in collaboration with Hastings Deering and Caterpillar, is an ideal partner for Pembroke Resources as we seek to lower emissions. This achievement is a major step towards the goals of a sustainable autonomous mining solution and builds on our already strong environmental practices.” 

Thiess has upskilled more than 280 team members to support the delivery of autonomous operations at the Olive Downs Complex to enable improvements in safety, operating hours, cycle efficiency and cost. 

At full capacity, this includes the operation of 15 autonomous Cat 794 AC trucks, six autonomous Cat 793F trucks and three autonomous Cat MD6310 drills. 

Hastings Deering Executive General Manager – Resources Industries Jason Smith said: “The results of autonomous operations are game-changing. Workers are safer, machines move more efficiently, and operations run more consistently and productively. Already we’re seeing these benefits at the Olive Downs Complex with zero autonomous related incidents and increased effective hours.” 

Video and photos available for download.


Issued by Thiess Pty Ltd  ABN 87 010 221 486



Emily Griffiths, Thiess Senior Communication Specialist, T+61 0421 360 359

Vivian Lim, Thiess Group Manager Communications & Marketing, T +61 0434 306 131

Thiess partners with its clients to deliver sustainable solutions in open cut and underground mining in Australia, Asia and the Americas. For almost 90 years, Thiess has operated across diverse commodities, geologies, environments and cultures. 

As a global services provider, Thiess is uniquely placed to make a significant contribution to responsible, sustainable mining and a low-carbon future by working with our clients, suppliers and the industry to enable the global energy transition. Thiess is committed to harnessing the power of its people and technology to drive sustainable change.​



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