BHP & Rio Tinto Fast-Track Electric Haul Truck Trials


Australian mining heavyweights, Rio Tinto and BHP, are teaming up to accelerate trials of large battery electric haul trucks at their iron ore mines in the Pilbara region. The companies will collaborate with Caterpillar and Komatsu to test two CAT 793 battery electric haul trucks starting in 2024, followed by two Komatsu 930 trucks in 2026. This move aligns with their net zero emission targets for 2050.

Why does it matter?

The partnership aims to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in mining operations by transitioning from diesel to battery-electric technology. BHP and Rio Tinto plan to replace diesel with a new operational ecosystem that includes high-power charging infrastructure at the Jimblebar Mine. The trials will provide crucial data on the performance and productivity of battery electric haul trucks, driving the adoption of sustainable practices in the mining industry.

Fortescue Metals, a rival miner, is already ahead in emissions reduction goals with plans for “real zero” by 2030. In contrast, Rio Tinto had initially been hesitant about swift electric truck adoption but has now joined forces with BHP to address the challenge of achieving zero-emissions haulage. The collaboration signifies a significant shift towards embracing cleaner technologies to combat climate change.

How is it going to shape the future?

By fast-tracking trials of battery electric haul trucks, BHP and Rio Tinto are paving the way for a greener future in mining operations. The outcomes of these trials will enable the industry to overcome challenges associated with transitioning to sustainable transport solutions. The data shared between the companies will accelerate the development and deployment of zero-emission haulage options, setting a new standard for environmentally conscious mining practices.

In conclusion, the collaboration between Rio Tinto, BHP, Caterpillar, and Komatsu signals a collective commitment to reducing carbon footprints in the mining sector. With the introduction of battery electric haul trucks, these industry giants are driving innovation and setting the stage for a more sustainable mining industry in the years to come.