BHP and Rio Tinto Join Forces for Groundbreaking Electric Haul Truck Trials in the Pilbara

In an industry first, BHP and Rio Tinto will collaborate on the testing of large battery-electric haul truck technology in the Pilbara, Western Australia
In an industry first, BHP and Rio Tinto will collaborate on the testing of large battery-electric haul truck technology in the Pilbara, Western Australia

PERTH – MINING – In an industry-first collaboration, mining giants BHP and Rio Tinto have announced a joint initiative to test large battery-electric haul trucks in Western Australia’s Pilbara region. This move aims to accelerate the development and deployment of sustainable mining technology, aligning with both companies’ commitment to achieving net-zero operational greenhouse gas emissions by 2050.

Collaborative Trials to Drive Decarbonization

Working alongside manufacturers Caterpillar and Komatsu, the two mining giants will conduct independent trials of their battery-electric haul trucks. The trials will focus on evaluating battery performance, as well as static and dynamic charging systems, under the challenging conditions of the Pilbara environment. By sharing the results of these trials, BHP and Rio Tinto aim to expedite the learning process and drive progress towards a more sustainable mining future.

Testing Begins in 2024

The trials are set to commence in the second half of 2024 with two Caterpillar 793 haul trucks at BHP’s Pilbara operations. In 2026, two Komatsu 930 haul trucks will be tested at Rio Tinto’s Pilbara sites. The data gathered from these trials will be instrumental in informing the design and refinement of future battery-electric haul trucks and their supporting infrastructure.

Leaders in Sustainable Mining

BHP President Australia, Geraldine Slattery, emphasized the importance of technological breakthroughs and partnerships in achieving operational decarbonization. She highlighted the need to develop a comprehensive operational ecosystem around battery-electric fleets and expressed excitement about collaborating with Rio Tinto, Caterpillar, and Komatsu in this endeavor.

Rio Tinto Iron Ore Chief Executive, Simon Trott, echoed this sentiment, stating that the collaboration marks a significant step towards solving the challenge of zero-emissions haulage. He stressed the importance of working together to decarbonize operations and meet net-zero commitments.

A Step Towards a Greener Future

This landmark collaboration between BHP and Rio Tinto represents a major milestone in the mining industry’s efforts to reduce its environmental footprint. By embracing battery-electric technology and investing in innovative solutions, these companies are paving the way for a more sustainable and environmentally responsible approach to mining.

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