MineStar Command for Drilling

Cat® MineStar Command for Drilling ensures that every hole is accurately placed, drilled to the proper depth and angle, and able to stand up until blasting.

Cat® MineStar Command for drilling ensures that every hole is accurately placed, drilled to the proper depth and angle, and able to stand up until blasting. A range of capabilities lets site managers configure and automate the drilling system to their budgets and needs.

Semi-autonomous single row drilling automates the entire drilling cycle for one row, including autonomous tramming.

Autonomous pattern drilling automates drill cycles and tramming for the entire blast pattern and allows one operator to manage drill operations across the mine site from a remote operator station.


  • Enhances fragmentation consistency by precisely executing drill patterns.
  • Ensures accurate hole placement - to the right location and hole depth.
  • Ensures better-shot material, which means smoother downstream operations.
  • Allows removal of operators from dust and other hazards.
  • Improves operator comfort, recruitment and retention.
  • Simplifies training to make new operators productive more quickly.
  • Through improved consistency, reduces the costs associated with fuel, drill tools and explosives.
  • Improves equipment utilization, productivity and operator effectiveness.
  • Allows adjustment of collar elevations on uneven ground to ensure consistent toe elevations.
  • Reduces hole-to-hole tramming time.
  • Preserves machine life and reduces GET tool waste by limiting operation to be within the OEM parameters for both the machine and the drill tools.
  • Enables consistent drilling from operator to operator on any terrain.

What makes Cat MineStar for drilling different?

  • Integration: MineStar is a fully integrated system between Fleet, Terrain, Detect, Health and Command.
  • Interoperability: While putting Cat technology on Cat equipment is the ideal scenario, Command for drilling is not limited to Cat machines. Command for drilling is interoperable with multiple brands of drills.
  • Scalability: Command for drilling follows a building block approach - from Operator Mission Assist to Semi-Autonomous to Fully Autonomous - which allows sites to adopt automated drilling at different levels. This approach is unique to the industry.

What can you expect with Cat MineStar for Drilling?

MineStar Command for drilling is proven to deliver a 34 percent improvement in production versus a manned operation and a 20 percent reduction in OPEX cost per meter drilled.


Collaboration delivers world first autonomous drilling success (2022)

A collaborative project involving Thiess, WesTrac and Caterpillar® has led to the rollout of world-first autonomous drilling solutions that are delivering people, productivity and efficiency benefits.


Mount Pleasant coal mine is a complex coal deposit located in New South Wales, Australia, owned by MACH Energy. Characterised by high quality coals, a low strip ratio and high-processing yield, Mount Pleasant contains some of the most attractive coal resources in the Hunter Valley.

A team of innovators from Caterpillar, WesTrac and Thiess find the site attractive for another reason: It’s an ideal proving ground for drilling autonomy. Leveraging Cat MineStar Command for drilling on a fleet of Cat MD6250 rotary drills, the three entities have found the greenfield site and its complex drilling conditions the perfect stage to explore autonomous operations. Working together, they are adding value to the Mount Pleasant operation while setting the stage for the sustainable mine of the future.

In this video below, Thiess and WesTrac representatives showcase autonomous drilling, discuss the breadth of Caterpillar’s other Command autonomous solutions, and share their enthusiasm about being on the leading edge of autonomous technology.

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