(CAT) Caterpillar Signs Australian Memorandum of Understanding

Caterpillar Inc. (CAT) along with its dealer WesTrac recently signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Perth, Australia based Fortescue Metals Group, to implement an autonomous mining solution, that enhances productivity and performance for Fortescue’s new Solomon iron ore mine.

The solution includes the full implementation of Cat MineStar System technology suite and the fleet of 12 Command for hauling autonomous 793F trucks to be executed in the third and fourth quarters of 2012. Operating at its full capacity, Solomon mine is very likely to have around 45 autonomous trucks by 2015.

According to Fortescue Metals, working closely with mining customers enables the company to customize the solutions to suit the specific business needs with the help of Caterpillar’s wide variety of products, technology and services. The agreement between the two will also propel Fortescue Solomon’s sustainability in times of reduced environmental footprint. The main focus of Fortescue being innovation; the company has made forays into mining practices through innovations and aspires to take the business to a higher level in order to achieve its growth prospects.

Caterpillar will work in collaboration with WesTrac to execute the autonomous solution at Fortescue. Besides operating the system once implemented, the two will work for product and technology implementation, consulting and change management services to Solomon mine. Thus the agreement brings three parties together to provide the world’s leading autonomous mining solution at Solomon. We currently have a Zacks #3 Rank (short-term Hold recommendation) on the stock.

Peoria, Illinois-based Caterpillar Inc., is the manufacturer of construction and mining equipment, diesel and natural gas engines, and industrial gas turbines. It is one of the few leading U.S. companies in an industry that competes globally from a principally domestic manufacturing base. Caterpillar operates three divisions – Machines, Engines and Financial Products. The company competes with the likes of CNH Global NV (CNH), Komatsu Ltd. (KMTUY) and Volvo AB (VOLVY).

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