According to The Australian Financial Review, BHP has agreed to buy 41 autonomous trucks from Japanese manufacturer Komatsu for its new South Flank mine, in a deal that could be worth up to $700 million over a decade once maintenance and support activities are included.
The deal with Komatsu comes despite BHP's iron ore division traditionally being aligned to American manufacturer Caterpillar, and despite Komatsu's long-standing status as a supplier of autonomous trucks to Rio Tinto's iron ore division.
BHP and Komatsu's partnership means the big miners have effectively swapped partners, after Rio's decision in May to choose Caterpillar as the supplier of 20 haul trucks, four autonomous drill rigs as well as bulldozers, diggers and loaders for the $US2.6 billion ($3.86 billion) Koodaideri mine that Rio is building in Western Australia.
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