Cat stated on Wednesday that the agreement with its dealer in the area, Finning International, and BHP Group involve the first trucks arriving in the second half of 2023, with delivery of the remaining trucks to extend over the next 10 years.
The current fleet is one of the largest in the industry worldwide, currently comprised of over 160 haul trucks.
The companies added that the deal allows Escondida | BHP to accelerate the implementation of its autonomy plans by transitioning the fleet to include technology that enables autonomous operation.
"This agreement is an important step to continue projecting into the future Escondida | BHP´s leadership in the industry. It will allow us to generate significant efficiencies at the operational level, but it is also in line with some of the main challenges that drive us as a company: innovation for the future of mining, decarbonization, and development of capabilities in Antofagasta´s community. We have great expectations regarding the benefits that will be generated in the short and long term for both the company and the Antofagasta region," said James Whittaker, President of Escondida | BHP.
"The Caterpillar team is excited to support the successful deployment of machines and technology that will facilitate a step-function improvement in BHP's operational excellence. We applaud BHP as this mine site transformation accelerates the delivery of their aggressive sustainability targets," said Denise Johnson, group president Resource Industries, Caterpillar Inc.
"We are very pleased to build on our long-term relationship with BHP to support its Escondida operations by improving efficiency, productivity, and safety, as well as reducing its carbon footprint, supporting its diversity and inclusion journey, and contributing to the development of capabilities in Antofagasta. This is the largest fleet deal in Finning's history, and will significantly expand the Caterpillar truck population and support the transition towards cleaner energy, with electric drive trucks, and future zero-emission trucks," said Scott Thomson, president and CEO of Finning International.